A host of fellow funnymen and TV family members were on hand at the Kennedy Center Monday night to help celebrate the life of comedian-philanthropist-education advocate Bill Cosby.
Cosby, who helped tear down TV’s racial barriers, while keeping the nation in stitches in the process, was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Although the 72-year-old entertainer has won a plethora of awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002, he told The Associated Press that the Mark Twain Prize is special because Twain was the "quintessential American writer — because he held his language and his love for words in perfect American form."
Taking part in the tribute, which will air on nationwide on PBS on Nov. 4, were Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld; Phylicia Rashad and Malcolm-Jamal Warner, his co-hosts on “The Cosby Show”; and comedian Dick Gregory. First lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, Vice President Joe Biden's wife, were among those on hand to hail TV’s most famous dad.
The tribute will air Nov. 4 nationwide on PBS. Cosby insisted the performances at the tribute be free of profanity and that the show reflect his emphasis on education, The Associated Press reports. "The show is very, very important to me," Cosby told AP. "It makes me aware that as a monologist and a writer and a performer, I've done some wonderful work."