Washington needed a cathartic night of comedic relief, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus and friends delivered.
The Twain Prize serves as a major fundraiser in support of the Kennedy Center’s national artistic and educational programs. Julia Louis-Dreyfus was the sixth woman to receive the award in its 21-year history.
It’s been a roller-coaster year for Emmy Award-winning actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who has been publicly battling breast cancer. Cancer is no joke, but on this night it served as a jumping-off point to honor the craft of one of America’s leading ladies. In a video message, Larry David joked, in his cringe-worthy way, “I gotta say, the lengths that she went to to get [the Mark Twain Prize], frankly, I was a little surprised. I mean, come on! That whole cancer thing? Cancer?” In addition to cast members from Seinfeld and Veep, Tina Fey, Kumail Nanjiani, Keegan-Michael Key, Lisa Kudrow, Bryan Cranston and Stephen Colbert each gave remarks. Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer even created a modern dance performance of Louis-Dreyfus’ greatest physical comedy moments, including the “Elaine Dance.” Politics and Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh were fair game, too. During her acceptance speech, Louis-Dreyfus quipped, “Back in fourth grade, as a matter of fact, I was in a very serious Holton-Arms production of Serendipity. You know, it’s funny with us Holton girls—I remember every detail of that play. I could swear to it under penalty of perjury. And yet, I don’t remember who drove me to the show or who drove me home. Or if Squee or Tobin were there. Or if Brett put it on his weird wall calendar.”
Photography by: PHOTO BY TRACEY SALAZAR/GETTY IMAGES