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The Latest: Kimmel says Letterman helped nation after 9-11

Last Updated Oct 22, 2017 at 9:20 pm EST

WASHINGTON – The Latest on David Letterman receiving the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor (all times local):

9:05 p.m.

Fellow comedian Jimmy Kimmel is honouring David Letterman by recalling the monologue he gave after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Speaking at a ceremony at Washington’s Kennedy Center, Kimmel says Letterman “let us know it was OK to move on and OK to laugh again.”

But, jokingly, he blamed the election of President Donald Trump on Letterman’s retirement in 2015.

Kimmel said: “It’s like you went out for cigarettes one day and left us in the hands of our abusive, orange stepfather.”

The 70-year-old Letterman is being honoured with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor after 33 years on late-night TV, hosting long-running shows on NBC and then on CBS.

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8:30 p.m.

Comedians Steve Martin and Martin Short are roasting David Letterman before he receives a prestigious award for his comedy career at Washington’s Kennedy Center.

Their tribute to Letterman started with Steve Martin playing a grand piano while Short sat on top.

The two took gleeful shots at Letterman’s bushy white retirement beard.

Martin said: “Dave has always had excellent instincts. What better time that now to choose to look like a Confederate war general.”

The 70-year-old Letterman is being honoured with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor after 33 years on late-night TV, hosting long-running shows on NBC and then on CBS.

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8 p.m.

David Letterman is recalling his favourite dumb moment from his late night show before receiving the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

Speaking on the red carpet at Washington’s Kennedy Center, Letterman recalled the “monkey cam” in which he would attach a camera to a monkey’s head and let it run wild. He remembered the monkey biting comedian Sandra Bernhard and quipped: “Actually looking back, maybe it wasn’t that much fun.”

Of President Donald Trump, Letterman adds: “It’s hard for me to recognize him as the president because I remember him as just Don.”

Letterman says Trump would come on the show and he would make fun of his hair.

The 70-year-old Letterman is being honoured after 33 years on late-night TV, hosting long-running shows on NBC and then on CBS.

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7:15 p.m.

Celebrities have begun arriving on the red carpet at Washington’s Kennedy Center ahead of a ceremony awarding David Letterman the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

Early arrivals include comedian John Mulaney, late night host Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmie Walker of the 1970s television series “Good Times.” Walker gave Letterman one of his first jobs as a joke writer in Hollywood.

Kimmel says nothing compares to the honour of being asked to speak on Letterman’s behalf at the ceremony. He recalled his favourite moments watching Letterman as a child.

The 70-year-old Letterman spent 33 years on late-night TV, hosting long-running shows on NBC and then on CBS. His final broadcast on May 20, 2015, was episode No. 6028 that Letterman hosted. His long run shattered the record of his mentor, Johnny Carson.

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9 a.m.

No joke: David Letterman yukked it up on late-night TV longer than anyone else. Now his career of comedy has earned him a prestigious award and a celebrity roasting.

Letterman was to receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor during a star-studded celebration Sunday night at Washington’s Kennedy Center.

Expected to attend are previous recipients Steve Martin and Bill Murray, late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, musician Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam and Al Franken, the comedian-turned-senator.

The 70-year-old Letterman spent 33 years on late-night TV, hosting long-running shows on NBC and then on CBS. His final broadcast on May 20, 2015, was episode No. 6028 hosted by Letterman. His long run shattered the record of his mentor, Johnny Carson.