The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

December 3, 2012

Letterman, Hoffman, Zeppelin honored by Obama

— WASHINGTON (AP) — David Letterman's "stupid human tricks" and Top 10 lists vaulted into the ranks of cultural acclaim Sunday night as the late-night comedian received this year's Kennedy Center Honors with rock band Led Zeppelin, an actor, a ballerina and a bluesman.

Stars from New York, Hollywood and the music world joined President Barack Obama at the White House on Sunday night to salute the honorees, whose ranks also include actor Dustin Hoffman, Chicago bluesman Buddy Guy and ballerina Natalia Makarova.

The honors are the nation's highest award for those who influenced American culture through the arts. The recipients were later saluted by fellow performers at the Kennedy Center Opera House in a show to be broadcast Dec. 26 on CBS.

Obama drew laughs from his guests when he described the honorees as "some extraordinary people who have no business being on the same stage together."

Noting that Guy made his first guitar strings using the wire from a window screen, he quipped, "That worked until his parents started wondering how all the mosquitoes were getting in."

The president thanked the members of Led Zeppelin for behaving themselves at the White House given their history of "hotel rooms trashed and mayhem all around."

Obama noted Letterman's humble beginnings as an Indianapolis weatherman who once reported the city was being pelted by hail 'the size of canned hams.'"

"It's one of the highlights of his career," he said.

All kidding aside, Obama described all of the honorees as artists who "inspired us to see things in a new way, to hear things differently, to discover something within us or to appreciate how much beauty there is in the world."

"It's that unique power that makes the arts so important," he added.

Text Only
State and Nation
Photos


Poll

Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee