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Watch Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder Honor David Letterman at the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor Ceremony

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Last month (Oct. 22), David Letterman was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. This past Monday (Nov. 20), the ceremony aired on PBS, and one of the musical acts who paid tribute was Pearl Jam‘s Eddie Vedder.

A longtime favorite of the retired late night talk show host and comedian, the singer performed a cover of one of Letterman’s best friends in music, the late Warren Zevon, taking on the song “Keep Me in Your Heart.” Zevon appeared on Letterman’s various television programs more than a dozen times over the years.

“Good evening,” began Eddie Vedder at the outset of the performance, which can be viewed above. “Dave, let me thank you, because if it weren’t for you I probably wouldn’t have known who Warren Zevon was. So it makes it a real honor to get to sing one of his songs for you.”

The singer was backed by a choir and Paul Shaffer, who was the leader of the house band for the Late Show With David Letterman. Following the performance, an appreciative Letterman stood up and clapped enthusiastically.

The Pearl Jam singer was a logical choice for the ceremony, as his band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year by Letterman, who humorously said during his induction speech, “[Pearl Jam] would blow the roof off the place and I’m not talking figuratively. They actually blew the roof off the place. For two years I did a show without a roof over the goddamn theater.”

Letterman is the recipient of the 20th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, which is named to honor one of the world’s greatest humorists. It is typically given at a gala event featuring some of the biggest names in comedy, and taped for broadcast nationwide.

In addition to honoring this country’s greatest comedians, the Mark Twain Prize also serves as a major fundraising event, with all contributions helping to support the Center’s year-round educational and artistic initiatives that reach millions of students, educators, and families throughout the nation.

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