It’s official: Tina Fey is the funniest woman in America.
So says the Kennedy Center, which is honoring the “30 Rock” creator and star with the 13th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. She’s the third woman to win the prize, after Whoopi Goldberg and Lily Tomlin, and is the youngest recipient of the award by a good margin.
“I am truly thrilled to receive this honor,” Fey says in a statement. “I assume Betty White was disqualified for steroid use.”
Past Mark Twain Prize winners also include Richard Pryor, Carl Reiner, Bill Cosby, Steve Martin and Fey’s “Saturday Night Live” mentor, Lorne Michaels. The award was established in 1998 and is given to “people who have had an impact on American society in ways similar” to its namesake.
The award will have to compete for space on Fey’s very crowded trophy shelf. “30 Rock” has won three consecutive Emmys for best comedy series, and she’s also won for lead actress in a comedy (in 2008) and guest actress in a comedy (for her Sarah Palin impression on “SNL”). Then there are the Golden Globes, the SAG Awards and the Producers Guild and Writers Guild awards.
Fey will accept her honor on Nov. 9 in Washington.