[image-1]Charleston’s favorite man-about-town William James Murray — better known to locals as Bill — will by awarded the 19th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts will celebrate Mr. Murray’s body of work and contributions to American culture during a ceremony on Oct. 23 at the Kennedy Concert Hall in Washington, D.C. The ceremony will be broadcast nationwide. Previous recipients of the award include comedy legends such as Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Tina Fey, Carol Burnett, and Ellen DeGeneres.

“I’m honored by this award and by its timing. I believe Mark Twain has rolled over in his grave so much for so long, that this news won’t disturb his peace,” said Murray in a statement from the Kennedy Center.

You may recognize Murray from classic films such as Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, the work of director Wes Anderson, or his turn as President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Hyde Park on Hudson. Or you’ve probably just seen him around town or at a baseball game. I once chased him through a dimly lit park at night. That was very unprofessional of me. I apologize. That was no way to treat a national treasure.

“Since his first performances on Saturday Night Live more than three decades ago, Bill Murray has charmed us with unforgettable performances from an eclectic cast of characters that have become ingrained in our cultural vernacular,” said Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter. “An award-winning writer, actor and, comedian, his brilliant wit and infectious spirit continue to inspire our laughter across generations both on and off the screen. His unique brand of humor seems to defy time itself — always remaining relevant and relatable to new audiences — much like our award’s namesake.”

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