Arts & Humanities

Mel Brooks wins Peabody Career Achievement Award

Mel Brooks (Submitted photo)

Quinta Brunson, creator and star of ‘Abbott Elementary,’ wins Peabody Trailblazer Award

The Peabody Awards Board of Jurors today announced that Mel Brooks, the award-winning actor, comedian, writer, and director whose career has spanned over seven decades, has won the Peabody Career Achievement Award; and that Quinta Brunson, the award-winning writer, producer, actor, and comedian, has won the Peabody Trailblazer Award. Both awards were selected by unanimous vote of the Peabody Board of Jurors and will be celebrated live at the 84th Annual Peabody Awards ceremony on June 9 in Los Angeles.

Quinta Brunson (Submitted photo)

“Mel Brooks is not only one of the most beloved comedians of all time, but he literally set the standard for television comedy from its earliest days. Across TV, film, theater, and recordings, Mr. Brooks is in a league of his own. And Quinta Brunson has emerged as a refreshingly creative force in network television comedy,” said Jeffrey Jones, executive director of Peabody. “Peabody is proud to honor Mel and Quinta not only for their extraordinary contributions as storytellers, but particularly for their use of comedy to tell stories that matter, enriching the lives of so many.”

The Career Achievement Award – Mel Brooks

The Career Achievement Award is reserved for individuals whose work and commitment to broadcasting and streaming media have left an indelible mark on the field and in American culture. A pioneer in spoof comedy and one of the most influential figures in the history of American comedic television, Brooks broke ground through his use of comedy as a form of resistance. Over the course of his distinguished career, he has received two Academy Awards, four Emmys, three Tonys, and three Grammys, amongst other honors. Brooks joins Rita Moreno, Sam Pollard, Dan Rather, Lily Tomlin, and Cicely Tyson as recent winners of the Peabody Career Achievement Award.

The Trailblazer Award – Quinta Brunson

The Trailblazer Award recognizes visionaries that are impacting our culture and affecting social change through their innovative storytelling. Brunson is the creator and star of the groundbreaking, Peabody Award-winning series Abbott Elementary. Set at an underfunded, predominantly Black public school in Philadelphia, Abbott Elementary uses comedy to shine a light on the challenges faced by public school teachers. Brunson’s work as the series’ showrunner not only reflects Peabody’s mission to honor stories that matter, but also opens doors for the next generation of Black leaders in television. Brunson joins Issa Rae, the first ever recipient of the Peabody Trailblazer Award.

The winners of the 84th annual Peabody Awards will be announced on Thursday, May 9 and then celebrated on Sunday, June 9 at a ceremony at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles. This will be Peabody’s first in-person ceremony since 2019, as well as the first time ever in its history that the Awards will take place in Los Angeles. The awards ceremony will be produced by Bob Bain Productions. The 84th annual Peabody Awards are sponsored by Delta, and Variety will serve as the media partner for the awards ceremony.

About Peabody Awards:
Respected for its integrity and revered for its standards of excellence, the Peabody is an honor like no other for television, podcast/radio, immersive and interactive media. Chosen each year by a diverse Board of Jurors through unanimous vote, Peabody Awards are given in the categories of entertainment, documentary, news, podcast/radio, arts, children’s and youth, and public service programming. The annual Peabody winners are a collection of stories that powerfully reflect the pressing social issues and the vibrant emerging voices of our day. From major productions to local journalism, the Peabody Awards shine a light on the Stories That Matter and are a testament to the power of art and reportage in the push for truth, social justice, and equity. The Peabody Awards were founded in 1940 at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia and are still based in Athens today. For more information, visit to sign up for our newsletter.

About Grady College:
Established in 1915, the UGA Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication offers undergraduate majors in advertising, entertainment and media studies, journalism and public relations. The college also offers several graduate degrees. For more information, see or follow @UGAGrady on Twitter.