• The Latest: Louis-Dreyfus references Kavanaugh at award

    WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on Julia Louis-Dreyfus receiving the 21st annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor for an iconic career in comedy (all times local):

    11 p.m.

    Julia Louis-Dreyfus accepted her Mark Twain award with an extended comedic bit and a few shots at new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

    The veteran comedic actress first drew laughs by repeatedly referencing her true life's ambition to be a respected dramatic actress. In midspeech, she stopped to deliver a monologue from Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice."

    A native of Washington suburbs in Maryland, Louis-Dreyfus is a graduate of the elite Holton-Arms School. It's also the alma mater of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of groping her in high school.

    Louis-Dreyfus make a veiled but unmistakable reference to Ford's testimony, as she recalled a high school performance of the play "Serendipity."

    Said Louis-Dreyfus: "I can remember every single aspect of that play that night, so much so that I would testify under oath about it. But I can't remember who drove me there or who drove me home."


    10:45 p.m.

    Jerry Seinfeld paid tribute to former co-star Julia Louis-Dreyfus by recalling how hard it was to pull off their relationship on the iconic sitcom "Seinfeld".

    Their characters, Jerry Seinfeld and Elaine Benes, were former lovers who remained close friends after they broke up, and Seinfeld said the complicated dynamic was "way, way beyond any acting ability that I possessed."

    But the real Seinfeld, on stage on Sunday, said they were able to portray their characters' relationship believably because "I just really, really liked Julia. I enjoyed spending time with her."

    The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is honoring Louis-Dreyfus in Washington with the 21st Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.


    9:20 p.m.

    Tina Fey paid tribute to Julia Louis-Dreyfus at the Mark Twain award ceremony by tracking the similarities between their lives.

    "We both started comedy in Chicago. We both moved on the 'Saturday Night Live.' We both lost our virginity to Brad Hall," referring to Louis-Dreyfus' husband and former SNL castmate sitting next to the honoree.

    Fey praised the "secret precision" of Louis-Dreyfus' comedy and her willingness to make her Seinfeld character so flawed.

    Said Fey: "Julia let Elaine be selfish and petty and sarcastic and a terrible, terrible dancer."

    The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is honoring Louis-Dreyfus in Washington with the 21st Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.


    9 p.m.

    Late night host Stephen Colbert kicked off the Kennedy Center ceremonies to honor Julia Louis-Dreyfus with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

    Colbert says on stage: "I sincerely believe that she is the funniest person on television. And I say that as someone who is on television right now."

    Colbert also referenced the center's decision to rescind the 2009 Mark Twain award from Bill Cosby, who was convicted of sexual assault earlier this year. A Pennsylvania judge sentenced Cosby to serve three to 10 years in prison. He is seeking a new trial.

    Colbert displayed a sign declaring "167 day's since the last Un-Twaining."

    With his fingers crossed, he told Louis-Dreyfus, "I think you'll be OK."


    8:40 p.m.

    Julia Louis-Dreyfus says knew from an early age that she had a gift for comedy.

    Louis-Dreyfus says: "The first time I really knew was when I stuffed raisins in my nose and my mother laughed. I ended up in the emergency room because they wouldn't come out!"

    Louis-Dreyfus shared her memory as she walked the red carpet on her way into the Kennedy Center Concert Hall to receive the 21st Mark Twain Prize for American Humor from the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.


    8:25 p.m.

    Comedian and director Kumail Nanjiani grew up in Pakistan and never saw an episode of TV's "Seinfeld" until he immigrated to the U.S as an adult.

    Nanjaini says: "But I became a huge fan as soon as I moved here."

    The co-writer of the movie "The Big Sick" particularly recalls her iconic, slightly convulsive "Elaine Benes dance" on the show, which he credits to Louis-Dreyfus' gift for physical comedy.

    Nanjaini says: "There are some comedians who think physical comedy is beneath them. But she was just fearless and ego-less."

    The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is honoring Louis-Dreyfus with the 21st Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.


    8:05 p.m.

    Jerry Seinfeld vividly remembers the first time he saw Julia Louis-Dreyfus in action.

    His iconic sitcom, "Seinfeld," was still in the planning stages and producer Larry David knew Louis-Dreyfus from their time together on "Saturday Night Live."

    Seinfeld says: "We had just two short pages of script, and we sat down to read the dialogue together. As soon as she opened her mouth, I knew she was the one."

    Seinfeld also credited Louis-Dreyfus for having the confidence and strength of personality to hold her own on what he called "a very male show."

    He made his comments as he walked on the red carpet, as he headed into the ceremony to honoring Louis-Dreyfus as the 21st recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.


    7:25 p.m.

    Celebrities have begun to arrive at Washington's Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to help honor Julia Louis-Dreyfus with the Mark Twain award for lifetime achievement in comedy. Among the early arrivals are television and film star Lisa Kudrow and Keegan-Michael Key of Comedy Central's "Key & Peele."

    Those scheduled to speak at the ceremony include Jerry Seinfeld, Stephen Colbert and previous Mark Twain recipient Tina Fey.


    1:05 p.m.

    Julia Louis-Dreyfus is one of the best-known comedic actresses of her generation, and now she's being recognized with the Mark Twain Award for lifetime achievement in comedy.

    She's set to receive the 21st annual Twain prize Sunday night at Washington's Kennedy Center, with testimonials from Jerry Seinfeld, Stephen Colbert and 2010 Mark Twain recipient Tina Fey.

    The 57-year-old Louis-Dreyfus emerged from Chicago's famed Second City comedy troupe before joining the cast of "Saturday Night Live." Her best-known role is her nine-year run as Elaine Benes on "Seinfeld." More recently, her work as Vice President Selina Meyer on "Veep" earned her six consecutive Emmy Awards.

    Production on the upcoming seventh season of "Veep" was delayed as Louis-Dreyfus received treatment for breast cancer.

    PBS will air the Twain event on Nov. 19.

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