Kennedy Center honors Norman Lear and others

Posted on: December 27th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

John P. Filo/CBS ©2017 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — A special featuring highlights from the 40th Annual Kennedy Center Honors aired Tuesday night on CBS, and among the artists honored was Norman Lear, creator of such groundbreaking 1970s shows as All in the Family, The Jeffersons and One Day at a Time. The event took place in Washington, D.C. in early December — notably, without President Donald Trump in attendance.

Among those paying tribute to Lear was actor/director Rob Reiner, who got his start on All in the Family — playing Michael, the son-in-law to Carroll O’Connor’s Archie Bunker, whom Bunker often called “Meathead.”

“I think that of all the things that you have done for me…nothing compares to the fact that forever, because of you, I will be known as a ‘meathead,'” he joked.

The tributes continued with black-ish star Anthony Anderson praising Lear’s All in the Family spinoff, The Jeffersons, as turning point for African-Americans on TV.

“When [series star Sherman Hemsley playing George Jefferson] picked up a pen and a checkbook, that was a turning point,” he explained. “It was the first time any of us saw an African-American show his worth by the simple act of writing a check.”

Dave Chappelle, star of Comedy Central’s The Chappelle Show, joked that, like many kids his age, television became “a surrogate parent of sorts,” adding, “Norman Lear was the best parent I could’ve possibly had.”

The president’s decision not to attend for fear of creating a distraction, didn’t stop host Caroline Kennedy from seemingly alluding to the current commander-in-chief in her opening remarks, noting her father, President John F. Kennedy’s “commitment to freedom and the rule of law, to religious tolerance and racial justice, to nuclear disarmament and scientific innovation inspired the world”

In addition to Norman Lear, Lionel Richie, Gloria Estefan, LL Cool J, and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade were also honored.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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