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WASHINGTON — Will Ferrell, who refined his impersonation of President George W. Bush on “Saturday Night Live” and later took his presidential act to Broadway, was awarded the nation’s top humor prize Sunday night.
The TV star went on to make movies and co-found the popular website FunnyorDie.com in a career that won the 44-year-old the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor from the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
It was the Bush impression, though, that might have made the Washington crowd laugh — and cringe — the hardest Sunday.
“Washington is not a city much known for its comedy — at least not the intentional kind,” said PBS news anchor Gwen Ifill, who mentored Ferrell on his journalistic skills for the movie “Anchorman.”
She introduced a clip of Ferrell playing Bush in “You’re Welcome, America: A Final Night with George W. Bush” on Broadway. Dressed in a flight suit under a banner that read “Mission Accomplished” in a mock Oval Office he explained how Morocco had sent a special unit of 2,000 trained monkeys to fight terrorism “and make children laugh.”
With that kind of comedy, Ferrell had accomplished something amazing, Ifill said.
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