Bill Murray to receive top American comedy prize

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FILE - In this Feb. 24, 2016 file photo, actor Bill Murray attends an NCAA college basketball game between Xavier and Villanova in Cincinnati. Despite his move into serious roles, Bill Murray never stopped making people laugh. Now he’s being honored with the nation’s top prize for comedy. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced Monday, June 13, 2016, that Murray will be this year’s recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite his move into serious roles, Bill Murray never stopped making people laugh. Now he’s being honored with the nation’s top prize for comedy.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced Monday that Murray will be this year’s recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

The 65-year-old Murray is one of several “Saturday Night Live” alumni to receive the Twain Prize. He joined the cast in 1977, replacing Chevy Chase, and he won over audiences by creating the iconic character Nick the Lounge Singer.

His first big movie hit was “Caddyshack” in 1980. He went on to become the nation’s most bankable comedy star, playing the lovable smart aleck to perfection in “Ghostbusters” and “Groundhog Day.”

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