Bill Murray is receiving this year’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, the Kennedy Center announced Monday. The actor is the prize’s 19th recipient following recent honorees Eddie Murphy, Jay Leno, and Carol Burnett.
“I’m honored by this award and by its timing,” Murray said in a statement to the New York Times. “I believe Mark Twain has rolled over in his grave so much for so long” — the writer died in 1910 — “that this news won’t disturb his peace.”
Murray’s most notable contributions to comedy include his time on Saturday Night Live from 1977 to 1980 before (as well as his multiple stints as host), and his roles in comedy films like Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day, and Wes Anderson films including Rushmore, which earned him a Golden Globe nomination, and The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. Along with the Rushmore Golden Globe nod, Murray was also nominated for Ghostbusters, Hyde Park on Hudson, Olive Kitteridge, and, most recently, St. Vincent. He won the Globe for his performance in Lost in Translation, >which also earned him an Oscar nomination.
“An award-winning writer, actor, and comedian, his brilliant wit and infectious spirit continue to inspire our laughter across generations both on and off screen,” Kennedy Center president Deborah F. Rutter said in a statement. “His unique brand of humor seems to defy time itself — always remaining relevant and relatable to new audiences — much like our award’s namesake.”
Murray will receive the award Oct. 23.