The AFI explained why they had selected Martin as the recipient of the award and emphasised his ability to perform in both comedy and in more serious roles. In a statement, Sir Howard Stringer the Chair of the American Film Institute's Board of Trustees, described Martin as "an American original".
Stringer continued by stating: "From a wild and crazy stand-up comic to one who stands tall among the great figures in this American art form, he is a multi-layered creative force bound by neither convention nor caution. His work is defined by him alone, for he is the author - and a national treasur...
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