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Adam Sandler tapped for Mark Twain Prize

Adam Sandler, who accepted the Film Tribute award during the Gotham Awards in November, will next be honored by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in March.Mike Coppola/Getty Images for The Gotham Film & Media Institute

Richard Pryor, Bob Newhart, Lily Tomlin, Tina Fey, and … Adam Sandler? Yup. This year’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor is going to the former “Saturday Night Live” cast member, who has made a name for himself in a number of dramatic films.

Presented by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts since 1998, the prize is given to comics who, as the Center notes on its website, “have had an impact on American society in ways similar to the distinguished 19th-century novelist and essayist Samuel Clemens, best known as Mark Twain.”

This year, the ceremony will be held on March 19, then run on TV on March 26. But the telecast is moving from its former home, PBS, to CNN for the first time, as the cable news channel tries to change up. Guests for Sandler will include Jennifer Aniston, Judd Apatow, Drew Barrymore, Steve Buscemi, Conan O’Brien, Chris Rock, and David Spade, among others.


Matthew Gilbert can be reached at matthew.gilbert@globe.com. Follow him @MatthewGilbert.