It was announced yesterday that Julia Louis-Dreyfus will be the 2018 recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for Humor. This is a very good thing. Not only is it nice to have an award dedicated solely to someone who is good at making us laugh, it’s very nice to have the recipient of the award be so fully deserving of it you wonder why it's ever been given to anyone else. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is such a recipient.
Past winners of the award have included Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Richard Pryor and George Carlin; Bill Cosby won the award in 2009, but it has since been rescinded. By all accounts, the Mark Twain jury seems like a bunch of people with good judgement on who is very funny and who no longer deserves their award. Other institutions, take note. Anyways, they kept their bar high as ever this year by honoring the inimitable Louis-Dreyfus, who has been making us laugh-cry for over 30 years.
The Veep star responded to hearing the news by saying, “Merely to join the list of distinguished recipients of this award would be honor enough, but, as a student of both American history and literature, the fact that Mr. Twain himself will be presenting the award to me in person is particularly gratifying.”
Louis-Dreyfus's particular brand of comedy manages to feel joyful even in the selfishly cruel characters she inhabits. Watching Elaine Benes complain or Selina Meyer shit talk someone behind their back is never not a delight. Not only are her acting abilities award worthy, she's funny in her day to day life. She will receive her duly earned award on October 21st.
Here's a highlight reel of some of her most hilarious moments, should you need any more convincing that she deserves this thing. Or, you know, if you just need a good laugh.
As Maggie Lizer on Arrested Development
Just Hanging with Joe Biden and Michelle Obama
As an Unfaithful Wife on SNL
"A Christmas Message," from Her Earlier, Much-Neglected Days on SNL
As Herself, Accepting an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Sorry, I Couldn't Just Choose One Elaine Moment, So I Chose a Lot
Playing Lisa Kudrow's Sister in My Dream Crossover, on Web Therapy
The Manic Veep Bathroom Scene with Selina and Gary