Mel Brooks and Quinta Brunson Honored by Peabody



Brooks and Brunson to Accept Awards at Star-Studded Ceremony on June 9 in Los Angeles; 
84th Annual Peabody Award Winners to be Announced on May 9


ATHENS, GA (May 2, 2024) – 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

“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.

More about Mel Brooks

Mel Brooks, director, producer, writer, and actor, is in an elite group as one of the few to earn all four major entertainment prizes – the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony awards. Brooks won his first Oscar in 1964 for writing and narrating the animated short The Critic and his second for the screenplay of his first feature film, The Producers in 1968. Many hit comedy films followed including The Twelve Chairs, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Silent Movie, High Anxiety, History of the World Part I, To Be or Not to Be, Spaceballs, Life Stinks, Robin Hood: Men in Tights and Dracula: Dead and Loving It. He won three Emmy Awards for his guest starring role as “Uncle Phil” on the hit sitcom Mad About You, and he won Grammys for both his The 2000 Year Old Man in The Year 2000 comedy album with Carl Reiner and his work on The Producers: the New Mel Brooks Musical, which still holds the record for the most Tony awards ever won by a Broadway musical. Mel Brooks has been the recipient of the AFI Life Achievement Award, The Kennedy Center Honors, and The National Medal of Arts – the highest award given to artists by the United States government. His career spanning autobiography, “All About Me! My Remarkable Life in Show Business” was an instant 2021 New York Times Bestseller and in 2022 the audiobook read by Brooks was also nominated for a Grammy Award. In 2023 he produced, wrote for and narrated the Emmy nominated HULU sketch TV series History of The World Part II, a follow up to his own film that fans had been waiting over 40 years to see. In 2024 the Board of Governors of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented Mel Brooks with an Honorary Oscar, in recognition of “a legacy that has made a lasting impact on every facet of entertainment.” 

More about Quinta Brunson

Named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People and dubbed “the new queen of sitcoms” by New York Magazine, Emmy, SAG, and Golden Globe award-winning actor, producer, writer and creator Quinta Brunson has quickly made a name for herself as a powerful force and game changer within the entertainment industry. Brunson made history as the first Black woman to receive three Emmy nominations and the second Black woman to win an Emmy in the category of Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for her Peabody award winning series “Abbott Elementary,” which she stars in and serves as creator/showrunner, head writer, and executive producer. The show, inspired by Brunson’s mother, follows a group of dedicated, passionate teachers brought together in a Philadelphia public school where, despite the odds stacked against them, are determined to help their students succeed in life. Since its launch “Abbott Elementary” has garnered a slew of awards season wins and nominations, with Brunson personally landing 49 nominations and 21 wins. Some highlights include recently winning her second Emmy (2023) for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, winning a Golden Globe award (2023) for Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Series, Musical, or Comedy, and landing a 2024 Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series. Brunson won her first Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Lead Performance in a New Scripted Series in 2023, and has been nominated for a PGA Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Comedy. Aside from winning a Peabody award, “Abbott Elementary” was also an honoree at the 2023 AFI Awards for Outstanding Television Program of the Year (to name a few). In film, Brunson appeared as Oprah Winfrey in the award winning feature “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” alongside Daniel Radcliff. It won Outstanding Television Movie at the 2023 Primetime Emmy Awards, and Best Movie Made for Television at the Critics Choice Awards.

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.


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