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Julia Louis-Dreyfus is this year's recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor

Photo: Mark Davis (Getty Images)

Julia Louis-Dreyfus is going to need a bigger awards shelf: The 11-time Emmy winner will have to clear some space, as Deadline reports that she’s this year’s recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. The prize, which has been given out every year since 1998 by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, is essentially a lifetime achievement award for comedy, recognizing individuals who have “have had an impact on American society”similar to the famous 19th-century humorist and steamboat pilot.


Louis-Dreyfus, as far as we know, doesn’t have a secret past as a steamboat pilot, but she did set a new record last year when she won her sixth Emmy in a row for her role as President Selina Meyer on HBO’s Veep. Her nine SAG Awards are also unmatched, and she introduced both the “Elaine dance” and the concept of “sponge-worthiness” to the pop-cultural lexicon, both of which seem about the modern equivalent of steering paddleboats down the mighty Mississippi. She’s also currently in recovery after undergoing treatment for breast cancer, a diagnosis she announced last fall.

Louis-Dreyfus will be feted at an awards gala in Washington, DC on October 21; no plans for a telecast have been announced as of yet, but the gala usually airs on PBS.

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