The Date Night star, 40, has been chosen by officials at Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as the 2010 honouree.
The award is primarily in recognition of her work as a writer and comedian on hit U.S. sketch show Saturday Night Live, where she famously mimicked former U.S. vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin during the 2008 elections.
Mark Krantz, executive producer of the Mark Twain award, says, "It's that job as a head writer on a show that's been a traditionally male-oriented show. (She) kind of broke the ceiling for many, many women in comedy."
Poking fun at veteran Golden Girls star and recent SNL guest host Betty White, Fey says, "I am truly thrilled to receive this honour. I assume Betty White was disqualified for steroid use."
Fey also gained critical acclaim for her work on TV comedy 30 Rock and wrote the screenplay for Lindsay Lohan's hit film Mean Girls.
She will be presented with the accolade on 9 November (10) at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., when she will join the ranks of previous recipients Bill Cosby and Steve Martin.
Writer, actor, comedian and all-around awesome person Tina Fey will win the Mark Twain Humor Prize this year. Her win places her in the ranks of former winners George Carlin, Steve Martin and more, though she is only the third woman to win. The prize honors people who continue Twain's legacy of socially concious satire, and was established 13 years ago by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC. While "I can see Russia from my house" may not the height of political commentary, Fey's compelling political humor does support Twain's own belief that "against the assault of laughter nothing can stand."
Fey is best known for her work on TV shows 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live, on which was the first woman head writer. Mark Krantz, executive producer of the prize, praised Fey for her role in "[breaking] the ceiling for many, many women in comedy, let alone that particular show." Fey returned to SNL more recently to portray Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, a role which won her her 6th Emmy in 2009. Tina Fey will probably have some difficulty fitting the prize onto her already crowded trophy shelf, but her valiant efforts at making SNL actually funny certainly deserve praise.
Sources: Yahoo! News, The Kennedy Center.