Dave Chappelle was awarded the Mark Twain Prize at the Kennedy Center on Sunday and during his acceptance speech he defended the First Amendment while smoking a blunt.
“What are they going to do? Kick me out before I get the prize?” he quipped the audience as per USA Today. There were tons of comedians in attendance like Jon Stewart, Tiffany Haddish, Kenan Thompson, Aziz Ansari, Sarah Silverman, Morgan Freeman. John Legend, Lorne Michaels and Bradley Cooper.
“It’s not that serious,” he said. “The First Amendment is first for a reason. The Second is just in case the First doesn’t work out.”
The legendary comedian told reporters on the red carpet: “Personally, I am not afraid of other people’s freedom of expression. I don’t use it as a weapon. It just makes me feel better.” Then he said, irreverently, “And I am sorry if I hurt anybody, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, yada yada yada. Everything I am supposed to say.”
He added, “I worked very hard in my life. The fact that anybody would recognize that outside of me and my family, is amazing to me. And I am very grateful, especially given my past experience.”
The first recipient of the Mark Twain Prize was Richard Pryor in 1998. And now we will get the honor of seeing Dave Chappelle get one in a special that will air on PBS on Jan. 7