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Carol Burnett receives top U.S. humor prize

Fey opened the show with some jokes about the recent government shutdown and about fears over "Obamacare."

"Enough politics. We are here tonight to celebrate the first lady of American comedy, Ted Cruz," Fey said, referring to the Texas senator who took a prominent role during the shutdown.

Fey quickly turned to showering Burnett with accolades for opening doors for other women comedians.

"You mean so much to me," Fey said. "I love you in a way that is just shy of creepy."

In an interview, Burnett said she was drawn to comedy after realizing how it felt to make people laugh. She went to UCLA with plans to become a journalist, but she took an acting course that put her on stage.


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