The Kennedy Center was scheduled to award Ellen DeGeneres the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor on Monday night. The show will be broadcast Oct. 30 on PBS stations. When she first heard she was receiving the same honor that Bill Cosby, Tina Fey, and Will Ferrell won in recent years, DeGeneres, 54, joked, ‘‘It really makes me wonder . . . why didn’t I get this sooner?’’ DeGeneres began her career as a comedy club emcee. In 1986 after she performed on Johnny Carson’s show, he invited her over to his desk to chat. She was the first female comedian to receive that invitation from Carson. She broke ground and a taboo in 1997 when she came out publicly as a lesbian and her TV persona on her sitcom “Ellen” then became the first lead character on prime-time TV to reveal she was gay. Her hit talk show is in its 10th season.
Testimony in Spears trial
Testimony has opened in a defamation lawsuit against Britney Spears’s parents, with a top record executive saying he was never told that plaintiff Sam Lufti was her manager. Music industry executive Barry Weiss testified Monday in Los Angeles that he — Weiss — was Spears’s lifeline during the dark period when erratic behavior threatened her career. Weiss testified he never heard of Lufti before then and only knew him later as someone who made sure Spears was on the set for a music video. Lufti claims he was Spears’s personal manager and deserves millions. The defamation claim involves the way Lufti is depicted in a book written by Spears’s mother.
“My first fake pregnancy rumor! I’ve finally made it!” — Lea Michele, “Glee” actress, on Twitter.