TV ONE CELEBRATES EDDIE MURPHY IN PBS' "18TH ANNUAL MARK TWAIN PRIZE FOR AMERICAN HUMOR" SPECIAL THIS FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4 AT 8 P.M. ET
SILVER SPRING, MD (December 1, 2015) - TV One salutes comedy genius Eddie Murphy with the network premiere of PBS' Eddie Murphy: The Mark Twain Prize on Friday, December 4 at 8 p.m. ET. Originally broadcast on PBS stations nationwide, the special taped at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and features star-studded appearances by leading entertainers and comedians including Dave Chapelle, Kathy Griffin, Arsenio Hall, Brittany Howard, George Lopez, Sam Moore, Tracy Morgan, Kevin Nealon, Trevor Noah, Jay Pharoah, Joe Piscopo and Chris Rock. This spectacular night of entertainment pays tribute to Murphy's legendary career - spanning over three decades and encompassing accomplishments in stand-up, TV, movies and recording performances - in addition to the smiles he continues to give legions of fans today.
Eddie Murphy is the most commercially successful African-American actor in the history of the motion picture business, and is one of the industry's top-five box-office performers overall. Murphy is on the very short list of actors who have starred in multiple $100 million pictures over the past three decades, from Beverly Hills Cop to Daddy Day Care. He is also the voice of Donkey in the Oscar(R)-winning animated film Shrek and its sequel, Shrek 2, which is the top-grossing animated film of all time. Murphy won an Annie Award and earned BAFTA and MTV Movie Award nominations for his performance in the first Shrek, and reprised the role of Donkey in the final installment of the hugely successful franchise, Shrek Goes Fourth. Murphy began his career as a stand-up comedian 25 years ago. In 1980, at the age of 19, he joined the cast of Saturday Night Live, and has since gone on to establish a successful career on the big screen. His films have been among the highest-grossing comedies in the industry, including 48 Hrs., Trading Places, Dr. Dolittle, Coming to America and the Beverly Hills Cop franchise. Murphy garnered Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Actor in a Comedy for his performances in Beverly Hills Cop, Trading Places and 48 Hrs. In 1989, Murphy made his directorial debut with Harlem Nights, a period comedy he also wrote and starred in, opposite Richard Pryor and Redd Foxx. In addition, Murphy starred in and produced the hit comedy Life co-starring Martin Lawrence, and starred opposite Steve Martin in the comedy Bowfinger. He was also the voice of Mushu the Dragon in the successful animated epic Mulan. In 2007, Murphy received rave reviews and critical acclaim for his portrayal of James "Thunder" Early in the Dreamworks film Dreamgirls, a performance which would garner him the Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture as well as earning him his first Academy Award nomination in the same category.
The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor was created in 1998 by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Mark Krantz, Peter Kaminsky, Bob Kaminsky and Cappy McGarr to recognize the art of humorists who have had an impact on American society in ways similar to the distinguished 19th century novelist and essayist best known as Mark Twain*. As a social commentator, satirist and creator of characters, Samuel Clemens was a fearless observer of society, who startled many while delighting and informing many more with his uncompromising perspective of social injustice and personal folly. He revealed the great truth of humor when he said, "Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand." Eddie Murphy was presented a copy of an 1884 bronze portrait bust of Mark Twain, sculpted by Karl Gerhardt (1853-1940). The bust and its images are courtesy of the Mark Twain House, Hartford, Connecticut.
WETA Washington, D.C., is one of the largest-producing stations of new content for public television in the United States and serves Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia with educational initiatives and with high-quality programming on four digital television channels. Other WETA productions and co-productions include PBS NewsHour, Washington Week with Gwen Ifill, The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize, The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize, performance specials from the White House and the U.S. Capitol and documentaries by filmmaker Ken Burns, including The Roosevelts: An Intimate History and an upcoming documentary on Jackie Robinson. Sharon Percy Rockefeller is president and CEO. More information on WETA and its programs and services is available at www.weta.org.
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Launched in January 2004, TV One (www.tvone.tv) serves 57 million households, offering a broad range of real-life and entertainment-focused original programming, classic series, movies and music designed to entertain and inform a diverse audience of adult Black viewers. The network is the exclusive home of News One Now, the only live daily news program targeting Black viewers. In December 2008, the company launched TV One High Def, which now serves 14 million households. TV One is solely owned by Radio One [NASDAQ: ROIA and ROIAK, www.radio-one.com], the largest radio company that primarily targets Black and urban listeners.
*"Mark Twain Prize" TM/(C) Chase Manhattan Bank and Richard A. Watson as trustees of The Mark Twain Foundation Trust under license authorized by CMG Worldwide Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana, 46256 USA.