It’s a big day for comedy announcements in Washington: On the heels of Wednesday’s reveal that SNL’s Cecily Strong will host the upcoming White House Correspondents’ dinner, the Kennedy Center has stated comedian/DC native/soon-to-be Late Show host Stephen Colbert will head this year’s Kennedy Center Honors in December.
In a release, co-producer George Stephens Jr. promised Colbert “will no doubt undo any solemnity that might otherwise attend the occasion,” which this year recognizes Al Green, Tom Hanks, Patricia McBride, Sting, and Lily Tomlin. Colbert, for his part, says, “I am stunned to be receiving a Kennedy Center Honor at such a young age. I thought it would be years before… I’m sorry. I’m being told I am HOSTING the Kennedy Center Honors. Oh…Well, I’m glad. That makes a lot more sense.”
Colbert joins a relatively short list of hosts for the program, which was created in 1978. Walter Cronkite hosted from 1981 to 2002 and in 2004; Caroline Kennedy hosted in 2003 and 2005 through 2012; and Glenn Close helmed the event last year.
The 37th annual Kennedy Center Honors will be held December 7, and will be broadcast on CBS as a two-hour special December 30 beginning at 9. Here’s hoping Colbert has time to check in with his wax likeness at Madame Tussauds in between official hosting duties.