Bill Murray passes comedy crown to David Letterman with Mark Twain Prize for American Humor

The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor was awarded to late-night legend David Letterman. Last year’s recipient, Bill Murray, was on hand to pass the torch and show him that being king has its perks. Sporting Henry VIII-style garb, Murray said to Letterman and the crowd, “When you are anointed you rise above all your fellow men and women. Hello down there.” Eventually, Murray cried out “I’m hungry” and was promptly brought a sandwich. He then ordered that Letterman and his guests get the same. “Feed his box,” Murray said, “Feed him in his box!”

Plenty of other comedy greats were in attendance, including Steve Martin and Martin Short, who were big fans of Letterman’s whiskers. Martin said, “I’ll tell you something, Marty. Dave has always had spot-on comedic instincts. What better time than right now to insist on looking like a Confederate war general?”

Letterman’s retirement look was a topic of discussion among many of the comedians including token female Amy Schumer, who said, “I’m not saying that his appearance has changed. But Dave looks like he should be telling jokes to a volleyball.”

The night continued with a video message from Michelle Obama and a song from Eddie Vedder before Letterman graciously accepted his award to a standing ovation. “Thank you so much,” he said. “That’s great. I get a standing ovation and it’s on PBS.”

David Letterman: The Mark Twain Prize aired on PBS

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