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Jay Leno awarded Mark Twain Prize, roasted by fellow comedians

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Jay Leno
Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Image

On Sunday night, Jay Leno received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center, and the event wasn’t without its share of cracks at the former Tonight Show host. According to the Associated Press, Jimmy Fallon, Jerry Seinfeld, Wanda Sykes, Garth Brooks, Kevin Eubanks, and Chelsea Handler were on hand to pay tribute to Leno, and they did not hold back on lobbing zingers about Leno.

“When I first heard that Jay was getting this Mark Twain Prize tonight, which is a huge honor, I found out it was for humor, and I was a little bit confused,” Handler said, according to the Associated Press. “I wasn’t sure what the connection was.”

Seinfeld also shared some faux bitterness against Leno, saying, “There’s no one more deserving to get this wonderful award obviously than Jay. No one—except and I really don’t want to sound bitter here—except maybe me? I mean, come on.”

As he accepted the award, Leno said he “didn’t leave (The Tonight Show) dead broke like Bill and Hillary.”

Leno will be returning to his NBC roots soon with a new show, Jay Leno’s Garage, which is inspired by his love of cars and is expected to premiere in 2015 on CNBC.

The ceremony for the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor will be televised on PBS on Nov. 23.

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