U.S comedian Jay Leno picked up the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor on Sunday night (19Oct14) at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

The funnyman, who hosted The Tonight Show for 22 years before stepping down in February (14), was joined by an array of comedians including his Tv successor Jimmy Fallon, Jerry Seinfeld, Chelsea Handler, Seth Meyers and Wanda Sykes.

The stars all participated in a toast, celebrating his contribution to comedy, and Fallon shared a few words at the event, telling the audience that Leno was "someone to look up to my entire career... he showed me that hard work does pay off."

Leno was clearly emotional when receiving the accolade, saying, "This means a tremendous amount to me. I am so touched by this."

Previous recipients of the honour include Richard Pryor, Ellen DeGeneres and Will Ferrell.