By Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist Published Oct 25, 2011 at 11:00 AM

The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has picked Will Ferrell for its annual Mark Twain Prize in American Humor. He formally got the award over the weekend, but we won't share in the event until PBS airs the ceremony later this year.

Last year's honoree was Tina Fey.

While last season's stint on "The Office" didn't work that well, I wouldn't say it was Ferrell's fault. He's cranked out a series of movies that are part of many DVD libraries.

Lots of the movies are silly, but it's hard to argue that they're not funny. Of course, these kinds of things are debatable. Feel free to debate away.

For the record, the previous prize winners are Fey, Bill Cosby, George Carlin, Billy Crystal, Neil Simon, Steve Martin, Lorne Michaels, Lily Tomlin, Bob Newhart, Whoopi Goldberg, Carl Reiner, Jonathan Winters and Richard Pryor.

Who else should be on the list?

Condolences to Terry Sater and his family: Channel 12 anchor Terry Sater's wife, Lynne Sater, died Monday after fighting a rare form of cancer for nearly two years. The couple met when both were TV reporters at Minneapolis' WCCO-TV.

She is survived by her husband, and couple's three daughters: Autumn, Sierra and Savannah.

Funeral arrangements are pending, but a fund to handle medical expenses has been set up at Landmark Credit Union.

On TV: NBC's "Saturday Night Live" had a Steve Jobs tribute on the most recent live episode, which was cut after dress rehearsal, a not uncommon thing, since the show has to fit the 90-minute time slot. But it was released on Hulu, and here it is:

  • The Hollywood Reporter says Wendy Williams' daytime talk show – currently airing at 10 a.m. weekdays on Channel 6 – has been picked up for two more years.
  • This isn't a viewing recommendation by any means. But if you're looking for a point to start watching Simon Cowell's "X Factor," five performers will be cut, leaving a dozen finalists – that's usually a good time to start watching "American Idol." It airs tonight at 7 on Channel 6.
  • Curse you, Fox! The broadcast network sent out the DVD of its Sunday animated Halloween shows, accompanied, as is usual, with a plastic Jack O'Lantern filled with candy. I ate way too much mini-chocolate candy bars, thanks to you. But only two tiny Butterfingers?

Sounds pretty traditional: If you missed Zooey Deschanel's delivery of "The Star Spangled Banner" in Sunday's Fox coverage of Game 4 of the World Series, you missed a pretty traditional rendering of the national anthem, a nice thing to say about a modern performer.

Deschanel's "New Girl" returns to Fox's lineup at 8 p.m. next Tuesday on Channel 6.

Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist

Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.

A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.

In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at

When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.