Netflix Inks Multiyear Deal to Stream Mark Twain Prize for American Humor

Netflix has inked a new multiyear deal with John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for the streamer to become the exclusive home for the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

The deal with kick off with the 25th anniversary of the award, which will be presented to Kevin Hart to honor his accomplishments in comedy, film and television. The ceremony moves from CNN, where the event was aired for one year after PBS served as the Mark Twain Prize’s broadcast home for 20 years.

Hart will be presented with the award during a live ceremony at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall on Sunday, March 24, which is set to premiere on Netflix on Sunday, May 11, during the “Netflix is a Joke” festival.

During the ceremony Hart will be joined by fellow comedians and performers, including Dave Burd aka “Lil Dicky,” Dave Chappelle, Jimmy Fallon, Tiffany Haddish, Regina Hall, Chelsea Handler, Nelly, The Plastic Cup Boyz (John Clausell, Ron “Boss” Everline, Wayne Brown, Will “Spank” Horton, Na’im Lynn, Harry Ratchford, Joey Wells), Keith Robinson, Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld and J.B. Smoove. Adam Blackstone serves as the music director for the event.

“We are delighted to announce our partnership with Netflix and continue the Center’s 25-year tradition of celebrating exceptional comedians like Kevin,” Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Ruttern said in a statement. “The Mark Twain Prize, which annually brings the comedy community together to recognize comedic excellence and impact, aligns with Netflix’s standing as the eminent home for comedy programming. We’re excited to bring this spectacular night of tributes, roasts, and hilarity to Netflix.”

Hart joins the stacked roster of previous recipients of the Mark Twain Prizer, which include the likes of Richard Pryor, Jonathan Winters, Carl Reiner, Whoopi Goldberg Bob Newhart, Lily Tomlin, Lorne Michaels, Steve Martin, Neil Simon, Billy Crystal, George Carlin, Tina Fey, Will Ferrell, Ellen DeGeneres, Carol Burnett, Jay Leno and Eddie Murphy, Bill Murray, David Letterman and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Most recently, Chappelle was presented the award in 2019, Jon Stewart took home the 2022 prize and Adam Sandler was awarded the honor in 2023.

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