April 1, 2009

Bill Cosby to get Twain trophy

Comedian Bill Cosby has been named the next recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, the Kennedy Center announced Wednesday.

The 71-year-old performer is perhaps best-known for The Cosby Show, his classic 1980s sit-com about a close-knit, upper-middle-class black family living in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The stand-up comedian, writer and social activist's other TV credits include The Electric Company, I Spy and Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids.

"After bathing us, dressing us in fresh pajamas, and setting us into the crib together, Annie Pearl Cosby read to my brother James and I 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,' and later 'The Adventures of Huckleberry

Finn,' The Washington Post quoted Cosby as saying. I would like to apologize to Mr. Twain for falling asleep hundreds of times, but he should understand that I was only 4."

What Bill offers us is the opportunity to look at so many different things -- his standup, his appearances on late night television, his movies, his TV show. Our show in everyway will be diverse, said Mark Krantz, a co-executive producer of the Twain tribute ceremony, which is to be taped before a live audience Oct. 26 for future broadcast, the Post said.

Past winners of the Twain prize include the late Richard Pryor, Jonathan Winters, Carl Reiner, Whoopi Goldberg, Bob Newhart, Lily Tomlin, Lorne Michaels, Steve Martin, Neil Simon and Billy Crystal. Last year's recipient was the late George Carlin.