DeGeneres will receive the award tonight (Oct. 22), and the show will be broadcast on Oct. 30 on PBS stations. She’ll join in a long line of prestigious comedians who have received the honor, including Bill Cosby, Whoopi Goldberg and Tina Fey.
The prize is meant to honor Mark Twain‘s satirical style that offered up plenty of social commentary, and DeGeneres has done just that. A number of big names will be on hand in Washington, D.C. deliver tribute performances to honor DeGeneres, including Jane Lynch, Jimmy Kimmel, John Krasinski, John Leguizamo, Steve Harvey, Lily Tomlin, Jason Mraz, Kristin Chenoweth and Sean Hayes.
“She’s got that ‘it’ factor,” Harvey tells The Washington Post. “She’s got that thing that’s hard to put your finger on. … I had to move a lot of stuff around to do [the Twain ceremony], but for a person who has been as kind as she has to me, it was an honor.”