CONGRESSWOMAN NORTON CONGRATULATES DAVE CHAPPELLE ON WINNING MARK TWAIN PRIZE FOR AMERICAN HUMOR

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[Comedy\Dave Chappelle]
The Mark Twain award recognizes satirists and creators who “startled and outraged many while delighting and informing many more with his uncompromising perspective of social injustice and personal folly.”
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Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) congratulates Washington, D.C. native Dave Chappelle on receiving the Mark Twain Award for his lifetime contributions to American humor and will speak today at Duke Ellington School of the Arts at a ceremony honoring Chappelle at 4:00 p.m.

The Mark Twain award recognizes satirists and creators who “startled and outraged many while delighting and informing many more with his uncompromising perspective of social injustice and personal folly.”

Chappelle grew up in the District and attended Duke Ellington School of the Arts, the city’s premier performing arts high school. Chappelle, most known for his critically acclaimed TV series Chappelle’s Show, has two Emmy Awards and two Grammy Awards for his performances and has been considered among the best stand-up comedians of all time.

Norton will introduce a statement in the congressional record today honoring Chappelle’s achievements.

In her statement, Norton writes: “Dave has never forgotten D.C. as his home. He has gone back to Duke Ellington to speak and inspire students, often reflecting on his own time at the school. He graciously gave the school his Emmy in 2017, impressing on the students that fighting the odds is possible. He is an advocate for equal rights for D.C. residents, and D.C. residents returned the love in 2017 when Chappelle was painted, alongside other well-known African American Washingtonians, on the wall of Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street.”

Here is Norton's full statement congratulating Chappelle:

"Madam Speaker, I rise today to ask the House of Representatives to join me in congratulating Dave Chappelle for receiving the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor this year.

"On October 27, 2019, Dave Chappelle will be the recipient of the 22nd annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. He will be the first District of Columbia-born recipient of this award, making D.C. residents exceedingly proud of his recognition.

"Chappelle, who graduated from Duke Ellington School of the Arts (Duke Ellington), the city’s premier performing arts high school, attributes a great deal of his success to his upbringing in the Nation’s Capital and to Duke Ellington. At Duke Ellington, he was inspired by his older peers to do better and take risks in artistic expression.

"After graduating from Duke Ellington, Chappelle committed to standup comedy. He later went on to produce and star in his own show, 'the Dave Chappelle Show,' and earn an Emmy for his performance on Saturday Night Live. His collection of awards now includes two Emmys and two Grammys.

"Chappelle has never forgotten D.C. as his home. He has gone back to Duke Ellington to speak and inspire students, often reflecting on his own time at the school. He graciously gave the school his Emmy in 2017, impressing on the students that fighting the odds is possible. He is an advocate for equal rights for D.C. residents, and D.C. residents returned the love in 2017 when Chappelle was painted, alongside other well-known African American Washingtonians, on the wall of Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street.

"The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor is an annual award given to individuals who have impacted society in ways similar to 19th-century novelist and essayist Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain). Like Mark Twain, Chappelle is an intense observer of society. I could not agree more with Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter when she said, “Dave is the embodiment of Mark Twain’s observation that ‘against the assault of humor, nothing can stand.’

"As a recipient of the Mark Twain Prize, Chappelle follows in the footsteps of America’s best comedians, most recently, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, David Letterman, Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy and Jay Leno.

"Madam Speaker, I ask the House of Representatives to rise today to honor Dave Chappelle for his contributions to the art of humor, for his contributions to the District of Columbia through his comedy and advocacy, and for receiving the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor."

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