Comedian Bill Murray became the newest recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, putting forth a message of love during his acceptance speech.
In addition to starring in such classic comedies as “Ghostbusters,” “Caddyshack,” and “Groundhog Day,” among many others, Mr. Murray has recently appeared in such films as the “Ghostbusters” remake that was released this summer, the “Jungle Book” film that also came out earlier this year, and the 2015 TV special “A Very Murray Christmas.”
Murray was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor for his appearance in the 2003 movie “Lost in Translation.”
During his acceptance speech Sunday evening, Murray spoke about the positive relationships he has had with his family and with his co-workers.
“There’s love,” he said. “That's what we came with, that's what we go with. ‘I love you,’ let's try to repeat that to each other.”
Stars including Jimmy Kimmel of the ABC late-night show “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” actor Steve Martin of “Home,” “Saturday Night Live” co-star Jane Curtin, and “Master of None” actor Aziz Ansari discussed the actor’s career during the ceremony held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C..
Ryan Gilbey of the Guardian, who has called “Groundhog Day” “the perfect comedy,” wrote that much of that film’s success can be attributed to its star. When Mr. Gilbey rewatched the film at a movie theater, the audience “hung on Murray’s every poisonous putdown,” he wrote.
His performances since then, from his collaborations with Wes Anderson … to his Oscar-nominated turn in Sofia Coppola’s ‘Lost in Translation,’ each have as their springboard ‘Groundhog Day.’ Before that, Murray was seen largely as a clown. After it, he was a complex actor with range.”
Murray is the latest former star of the NBC variety program “Saturday Night Live” to receive the Mark Twain Prize. Within the past seven years, four of the recipients starred on “SNL,” showing the continuing ability of the decades-old TV show to make its stars into household names. (Some of those recipients include the 2015 honoree, Eddie Murphy; the 2011 honoree, Will Ferrell; and the 2010 honoree, Tina Fey.)
“SNL” creator Lorne Michaels was given the prize himself in 2004.
More women have received the prize in the past several years as well. Between 1998 and 2009, two women – Whoopi Goldberg and Lily Tomlin – were the honorees out of 12 recipients total. But in the past seven years, three women received the Mark Twain Prize: Ms. Fey, Ellen DeGeneres, and Carol Burnett.