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Jay Leno Receives Mark Twain Prize for Humor

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MUMBAI: Jay Leno has been awarded the nation’s top humor prize, ‘Mark Twain Prize for American Humor’. The comedian was feted in a ceremony which took place on 19 October at the Kennedy Center in Washington.

Jimmy Fallon, Jerry Seinfeld and Wanda Sykes celebrated with the former ‘Tonight Show’ host as he received the honour. The show will be broadcast nationally on 23 November on PBS.

According to media reports, accepting the awards, Leno said that The Tonight Show years were the best of his life and also praised his successor Jimmy Fallon for bringing a new dynamic to the show, adding that it's fun to see the show change.

The Mark Twain Award honours people who have had an effect on American society in the tradition of Samuel Clemens, the writer, satirist and social commentator, better know as Mark Twain. Past recipients of the award include Ellen DeGeneres, Carol Burnett, Will Ferrell and Bill Cosby.

Leno built his career in standup comedy and still makes more than 100 live performances each year. During his time on The Tonight Show, he remained the top-rated late-night host for years, before stepping down from the show for the second time this year. He stepped down for the first time in 2009 and finally in February this year.

Leno is currently developing a new TV show from his Los Angeles garage about on cars. Named Jay Leno's Garage, the show will premiere on CNBC in 2015. He will also continue his live performances and start a new comedy series next year at the Kennedy Center.

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