Comedian David Letterman was awarded the coveted Mark Twain Award for American Humor at the Kennedy Center Sunday night. Associated Press:

WASHINGTON (AP) — David Letterman was never known as a particularly political comedian, preferring a detached irony-drenched tone that favored the surreal and silly over topical humor. But there was an unmistakable political tint to much of Sunday night’s ceremony to present Letterman with the Mark Twain award for American humor.

Several of the comedians honoring Letterman took shots at President Donald Trump and the general state of the country. More than one comedian quipped that the Kennedy Center’s funding was about to be cut off mid-show, notwithstanding the announcement that Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was a Kennedy Center benefactor.

Kimmel jokingly blamed Letterman for helping to bring Trump to power.

“It’s like you went out for cigarettes one day and left us in the hands of our abusive, orange stepfather,” Kimmel quipped.[...]

Comedian-turned-Senator Al Franken thanked Letterman for a post-retirement series of videos he and Letterman recorded together designed to raise awareness on climate change. Comedians Martin Short and Steve Martin, a previous Mark Twain honoree, needled Letterman about his bushy white retirement beard with a line touching on the country’s current divisive political atmosphere.

“Dave has always had excellent instincts. What better time than now to choose to look like a Confederate war general,” Steve Martin said.


Letterman joins an august group of comedians who have received the award including Billy Crystal, Bill Murray, Richard Pryor and Bill Cosby. George Carlin received the award posthumously in 2008.