Dave Chappelle Awarded Mark Twain Prize For American Comedy

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WASHINGTON – While smoking, Dave Chappelle began his acceptance speech for the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at The Kennedy Center. Sunday night was a celebration of the comic, which presumably will keep the censors busy when it airs on Jan. 7 air on PBS (9 p.m. EST).

Several stars were on hand to honor Chappelle, like Bradley Cooper, Tiffany Haddish, John Legend, Common and more.

"I want everyone in America right now to look at me. Look at me smoking indoors," the guest of honor bragged. "I didn't ask anybody... What are they gonna do? Kick me out before I get the prize?"

He added: "It's called leverage."

He would later thank the Fire Marshal "for having the courage to let me be myself."

Chappelle informed the audience "I did not write a speech." During his impromptu remarks, he defended freedom of speech when talking about comedians he knows who are "very racist."