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David Letterman and His Gandalf Beard Win the Mark Twain Prize for Humor

The late-night host will get comedy's top honor

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Tim Surette

David Letterman may not be visiting our living rooms every weeknight anymore, but the guy is still funny and he'll soon have the trophy to prove it.

The former host of Late Show with David Letterman is this year's recipient for the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, which is considered the country's top honor for comedy. The award is given out by the Kennedy Center to the comedian who has had a significant impact or contribution to American humor and is named after Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, the satirist and novelist who wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

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Letterman has hosted more than six thousand episodes of late-night television between CBS' Late Show, which he hosted from 1993 to 2015, and NBC's Late Night with David Letterman, which he hosted from 1982 to 1993.

"This is an exciting honor," Letterman said in a statement. "For 33 years, there was no better guest, no greater friend of the show, than Mark Twain. The guy could really tell a story." Ha ha, Dave.

Since retiring from late night, Letterman has kept mostly a low profile but has grown a pretty kick-a-- wizard beard.

David Letterman

David Letterman

Kevin Mazur