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Not to be outdone, on the red carpet, the 88-year-old White praised Fey’s “intelligence and her sense of comedy.”

Then she deadpanned, “Too bad she’s not good looking.”

White also took the stage to honor Fey. They also performed together on “SNL” in May for which White won rave reviews as host.

Steve Martin, who also has taken home the award, said Fey’s win means he’s been demoted. He said he loves Fey’s parody of Palin, but even more, he said he loves to read her writing.

“Isn’t it refreshing to find a comedian who is both really good and funny looking?” he said.

On the big screen, Fey recently starred with Steve Carell in “Date Night” and is a featured voice in “Megamind,” which debuted at No. 1 at last weekend’s box office. Now she is working on her first book, a memoir due out next year. She lives in New York with her husband, Jeff Richmond, and their daughter.

“SNL’s” Fred Armisen said one of his favorite things about Fey is her take on the world.

“She makes fun of people really well _ under her breath. It’s so funny, so sharp.”

The show will be broadcast nationally Sunday on PBS. Kennedy Center Chairman David Rubenstein said the event raised record $1.3 million for center with high demand for tickets _ especially from Alaska.

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Online:

Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts: http://www.kennedy-center.org

(This version CORRECTS Minor edits to correct typo in 9th paragraph and delete extraneous words in paragraph 21 about Carell.)