Will Ferrell receives top comedy award

US actor Will Ferrell has been awarded his country’s top comedy awards, the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

Ferrell, who impersonated George W Bush on sketch show Saturday Night Live, was given the award at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington DC.

The screen star joked he had turned down the prize 13 times before.

Conan O’Brien, Jack Black and Ben Stiller were among stars who paid tribute to Ferrell at the ceremony. It is to be televised in the US at the end of October.

When Ferrell was awarded the bronze bust of Twain, he dropped it on the floor and tried to pick up the pieces.

The Anchorman and Zoolander star, who co-founded comedy website Funny Or Die, said he had decided to accept the award so that he could be watched on PBS “by hundreds of people across the country”.

Jack Black opened the show with a musical routine, changing the words of Queen’s We Will Rock You to: “Will will, Will will, rock you.”

Black also paid tribute to Ferrell as “crazy funny – he makes you laugh so hard you cry and pee simultaneously”.

Previous winners of the Mark Twain Prize include Tina Fey, Bill Cosby, Steve Martin, Whoopi Goldberg and Richard Pryor.

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