Julia Louis-Dreyfus to Receive Mark Twain Prize This Fall

Julia Louis-Dreyfus is being honored with the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize for a lifetime in comedy.

The veteran actress and comedian will be the 21st recipient of the Twain prize. The Kennedy Center announced her selection Wednesday and she will be celebrated at a gala event on October 31.

Louis-Dreyfus started as a cast member on Saturday Night Live and went on to create a pair of iconic and long-running television characters: Elaine Benes on “Seinfeld” and Vice-President Selina Meyer on “Veep.”

She has earned 11 Emmy awards, including a record-setting six consecutive Emmys.

Previous recipients of the Twain prize include Lily Tomlin, Steve Martin, George Carlin, Tina Fey, Bill Murray and Carol Burnett. Bill Cosby received the award in 2009 but it was rescinded earlier this year.  (AP)

 

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Michael Che, Colin Jost of “SNL” to Host Emmy Awards

NBC says that Michael Che and Colin Jost of “Saturday Night Live” will co-host this year’s Emmy Awards.

Che and Jost anchor the “Weekend Update” segment of “Saturday Night Live” and are head writers on the long-running sketch show.

The Emmy ceremony rotates from the major broadcast networks, allowing them to use the host’s job to highlight a show or performers. “SNL” has enjoyed a ratings resurgence with its sharp-edged jabs at President Donald Trump and his administration.

Alumni of the late-night show have hosted the Emmys, including Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers. But the last current “SNL” cast member to serve as host was Eddie Murphy in 1983.

The 70th prime-time Emmy Awards will air Sept. 17. (AP)

David Letterman Headed Back to Talk TV With Netflix Series

David Letterman, who said goodbye to his long-running CBS talk show two years ago, will say hello to TV again with a new show for Netflix.

Netflix announced Tuesday that the six-episode series has Letterman combining two primary interests: in-depth conversations, and in-the-field segments sparked by his curiosity and humor. In each hour-long episode, Letterman will conduct a long-form conversation with a single guest, and explore topics of his own outside the studio.

The as-yet-untitled series is set to premiere in 2018.

In 33 years on late-night television, Letterman hosted 6,028 episodes of NBC’s “Late Night” and CBS’ “Late Show,” and is the longest-running late-night broadcaster in American history. He stepped down from “Late Show” in May 2015. (AP)

‘The Simpsons’ Renewed for Another 2 Seasons

A cartoon family of world-class underachievers is set to burst an enduring TV record.

The Fox network has ordered the 29th and 30th seasons of “The Simpsons,” carrying it through the 2018-19 season. This takes the animated series to 669 episodes, breaking the previous record for a scripted series set four decades ago with the Western “Gunsmoke,” which produced 635.

Family patriarch Homer Simpson was quoted as commenting: “Take that, ‘Gunsmoke’! You lost a race you didn’t even know you were running!”

The tale of mythical Springfield and the Simpson clan premiered in 1990 and recently aired its 600th episode.

It stars Dan Castellaneta as Homer and Julie Kavner as Marge, as well as Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria and Harry Shearer. It airs Sunday at 8 p.m. Eastern time. (AP)

Letterman, Aykroyd to Honor Bill Murray at Kennedy Center

Bill Murray was the first and last guest on David Letterman’s late-night show, and Letterman will return the favor by making a rare public appearance when Murray is presented with the nation’s top prize for humor.

On Tuesday, The Kennedy Center announced the lineup of performers for next month’s celebration of Murray, who’ll receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

In addition to Letterman, two of Murray’s “Ghostbusters” co-stars – Dan Aykroyd and Sigourney Weaver – will appear at the event on Oct. 23. Other performers include comedian Aziz Ansari; late-night host Jimmy Kimmel; actor Bill Hader; musician Paul Shaffer; author and humorist Roy Blount, Jr.; and Murray’s brother, Brian Doyle Murray.

The prize is awarded annually to a humorist who influences society in the tradition of Mark Twain. (AP)

Bob Odenkirk to Write Book of Essays About His Life

“Better Call Saul” star Bob Odenkirk has nabbed a book deal to write essays about his life and comic journey.

Random House announced Wednesday that the still-untitled book will explore Odenkirk’s career working at Chicago’s Second City to writing and acting on “Saturday Night Live,” ”Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” ”Mr. Show,” ”Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul.”

Random House Executive Editor Ben Greenberg says the book will give Odenkirk’s TV fans who might not know the comedian’s past “a look at the remarkable writer and comedic mind hiding just beneath that character.”

Odenkirk arrived at “Breaking Bad” in its second season as welcome comic relief, then grew Saul into a full-fledged scene stealer and has become the star in the quirky prequel “Better Call Saul.” (AP)

Jay Pharoah, Taran Killam Exiting “Saturday Night Live’

NBC says “Saturday Night Live” cast members Jay Pharoah and Taran Killam are exiting the show.

Pharoah and Killam won’t be back when “SNL” returns this fall for its 42nd season, the network said Monday. The comedians have been on the show for six seasons.

Both are known for their celebrity impressions on “SNL,” including Pharoah’s Barack Obama and Kanye West and Killam’s Brad Pitt and Donald Trump – although the Trump role went to “SNL” announcer and former star Darrel Hammond during the past season.

“SNL” is known for its revolving-door cast, with Tina Fey, Jimmy Fallon and Eddie Murphy among its successful alumni. (AP)