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Tina Fey's funny friends

An all-star reunion of talent from "Saturday Night Live" will headline the salute to Tina Fey at the annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.


Tina Fey. (Peter Kramer / AP)

Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers and Fred Armisen, as well as the long-time creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels, will share their hopefully uncensored stories about Fey. Steve Martin, who was never an official member of the cast but frequent enough to qualify as an alumni, will appear. A few of her other friends will drop by including Steve Carell, Jon Hamm, Jane Krakowski and Betty White. Jennifer Hudson will perform at the November 9 sold-out event.

The tribute show follows a formula of video clips from the honoree's career, and stand-up routines from the guests. The tone of the show is a gamble, dependent on whether the comedians are hitting their funny marks and whether there is even chemistry between all the parts.

The Twain Prize was established 13 years ago by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to honor an art form that is often overlooked in all the entertainment industry awards. Fey is the youngest recipient, following the nods for Bill Cosby, Neil Simon, Billy Crystal, Lily Tomlin, Whoopi Goldberg and Steve Martin.

* * Photo gallery: An all-star reunion at Mark Twain ceremony * *

Fey, who has won plenty of Emmys for her writing and acting, has given the producers and writers plenty of skits and one-liners to work with.

An alumni of the University of Virginia and Chicago's Second City Improv Group, Fey spent nine years with SNL. Her role moved from the front of the camera to both onstage and backstage jobs when she became the first female head writer. In 2006 she opened her own skit shop with "30 Rock" the weekly NBC showbiz comedy. Fey is the executive producer, creator and star.

However, she never abandoned her SNL family. When a physical resemblance between Fey and then Republican vice-president candidate Sarah Palin was noticed, Fey returned to the show with a spot-on interpretation. There was so much chatter about the skits that Palin, even though she was critical, was game enough to appear on the show.

By Jacqueline Trescott  | September 29, 2010; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  Jacqueline Trescott, Kennedy Center  | Tags:  Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, Saturday Night Live, Tina Fey  
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