Mark Twain in popular culture

Mark Twain's legacy includes awards, events, a variety of memorials and namesakes, and numerous works of art, entertainment, and media.

Amusement parks and attractions

Art, entertainment, and media


  • In The Five Fists of Science (2006) Twain teams up with Nikola Tesla to defeat the evil plans of Thomas Edison.
  • Twain appeared in a comic strip story featuring The Phantom. The story featured the 16th Phantom meeting Twain in the Wild West.
  • In 2006, Twain appears in The Transformers: Evolutions "Hearts of Steel" comic series set in the United States during the Industrial Revolution. Mr. Twain is attacked by a steam powered Puma.
  • In the 2009 webcomic Homestuck, Mark Twain is depicted as Colonel Sassacre.
  • Clemens appears in "Three Septembers and a January", issue 31 of The Sandman. Set in September 1864, Clemens is an editor in San Francisco who strikes up a friendship with Emperor Norton I. After Clemens tells Norton his story about a jumping frog, the Emperor encourages Clemens to publish it.[3]



  • Singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett gives Twain a nod in his own literature, most notably by naming a main character's horse Mr. Twain.
  • Sam Clemens is one of the main characters of the Riverworld science fiction series by Philip José Farmer (19711983), depicting the posthumous career of various famous people resurrected at the banks of a mighty river in a mysterious world . In particular, the second book of the series, The Fabulous Riverboat, describes the quest of the character Clemens to build a paddle-boat to travel the vast river, with many echoes from the life of the real Clemens.
  • Winston Churchill recounts being introduced by Mark Twain during his American lecture tour following the Boer War, and writes of making his friendship.
  • William Saroyan wrote a short story entitled Samuel L. Clemens in his 1971 book, Letters from 74 rue Taitbout or Don't Go But If You Must Say Hello To Everybody.
  • Clemens is a major character in Peter J. Heck's series of historical mysteries in which Clemens hires a travel secretary before leaving on a lecture tour, which provides a variety of settings (such as New Orleans and London) through the course of six books. The secretary, Wentworth Cabot, is the series' narrator as well as a prime player/suspect in each adventure. With Cabot, or to clear him, Clemens gets involved and uses detective skills, his intelligence and his insight into human nature to solve each mystery. The title of each volume is a spin on a work by Twain: Death on the Mississippi (1996), an homage to Life on the Mississippi; A Connecticut Yankee in Criminal Court (1997) for A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court; The Prince and the Prosecutor (1998) for The Prince and the Pauper; The Guilty Abroad (1999) for The Innocents Abroad; The Mysterious Strangler (2000) for The Mysterious Stranger; and Tom’s Lawyer (2001) for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
  • Mark Twain appears in To Sail Beyond the Sunset (1987), part of Robert A. Heinlein's Lazarus Long cycle, as a family friend of the protagonist.
  • Sesh Heri's novel, Wonder of the Worlds 2005, depicts Twain joining Harry Houdini and Nikola Tesla on a journey to Mars in 1893.
  • Mark Twain appears in Joe R. Lansdale's Flaming Zeppelins: The Adventures of Ned the Seal (2010), an omnibus of Lansdale's novels Zeppelins West and Flaming London.
  • Samuel Clemens is a character in Kirk Mitchell's novel Never the Twain (1987), in which Howard Hart, the last living descendant of Western writer Bret Harte, a contemporary of Twain, travels back in time in an attempt to prevent Twain's literary career from taking off and overshadowing his ancestor's.
  • Samuel Clemens is a main character in Dan Simmons's Fires of Eden (1994). The main protagonist, Eleanor, follows in her aunt's footsteps, recreating a journey Aunt Kidder took with Clemens to the volcanoes on the Big Island of the then-Sandwich Islands (now Hawaii). The book alternates between Eleanor's modern day experiences and the events described in the diary.
  • Samuel Clemens appears in the alternate history novel How Few Remain (1997) as part of the Southern Victory Series by Harry Turtledove, in which one of the side-effects of the Confederacy's winning the American Civil War (known as the War of Succession in the series) in 1862 is that Clemens remains in San Francisco and becomes a newspaper editor there rather than an author, and never takes up a literary career or the pen name Mark Twain. When the Union and Confederate States go to war again during the Second Mexican War from 1881-1882 with the United Kingdom and France siding with the Confederacy, he writes many a scathing editorial. In this history he marries a different wife than in our history and has different children - one of whom, a daughter named Ophelia, appears in a sequel as a famous journalist herself.


  • Singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett has written three songs based on Twain's travelogue, Following the Equator ("That's What Livin' is to Me", "Take Another Road", and "Remittance Man") and has paraphrased Twain in other songs.
  • Twain is mentioned in Tom Petty's song "Down South" from his album Highway Companion (2006).


  • The webcomic series Achewood features Mark Twain as a character in one of the strip's story arcs. This arc features a narrative written in an imitation of Mark Twain's style, as Twain journals his encounter with two of the strip's central characters, who time-traveled from the modern day to the late 19th century.
  • Colonel Sassacre, a character heavily inspired by Mark Twain, appears in Andrew Hussie's webcomic Homestuck.
  • Another webcomic, Thinkin' Lincoln, features a zombified Mark Twain as a frequent character.[5]

Postage stamps

  • On December 4, 1985, the United States Postal Service issued a stamped envelope for "Mark Twain and Halley's Comet", noting the connection with Twain's birth, his death, and the comet.[6][7]
  • On June 25, 2011, the Postal Service released a Forever stamp in his honor.[8]


  • A statue of Mark Twain stands in his native town of Hannibal, Missouri, and was erected in 1913, three years after his death.
  • A statue of Mark Twain, and another of his wife Olivia, stands at Elmira College. The college library also has a statue of Twain seated on a bench.
  • A seated state of Twain on a bench was installed outside of the Finney County Library in Garden City, Kansas

Stage productions

  • Actor Hal Holbrook performed his one-man show Mark Twain Tonight! annually from 1959 to 2017, with each show presenting somewhat different Twain content.
  • Meteorologist Mike Randall has performed his own one-man show, Mark Twain Live!, since the early 1970s.



Awards in his name proliferate:



In space

  • Asteroid 2362 Mark Twain was named after him.



Several schools are named after him, including:


Many sites have been named after Twain. Many buildings associated with the writer, including some of his many homes, have been preserved as museums.


  1. "The American Adventure: We the People: Hosts". Disney World Attractions at Epcot.
  3. The Sandman #31 (October 1991)
  4. Robards, Jason; Shire, Talia; Thomson, R. H.; Reid, Fiona (1991-11-22), Mark Twain and Me, retrieved 2017-05-02
  5. "Webcomic featuring a zombified Mark Twain". Thinkin' Lincoln'.
  6. Scott Specialized Catalog of U.S. Stamps & Covers, various editions, catalogue number UC60, issued in Hannibal, MO
  7. Dunn, John F. Dunn (November 24, 1985). "STAMPS; MARK TWAIN AND HALLEY'S COMET". The New York Times.
  8. Allen Pierleoni (June 26, 2011). "Postal Service unveils a Forever stamp of Mark Twain". The Sacramento Bee. Archived from the original on March 4, 2014.
  9. Roberts, Jerry. Encyclopedia of Television Film Directors. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2009, p. 194.
  10. Rasmussen, R. Kent. Critical Companion to Mark Twain: A Literary Reference to His Life and Work. New York: Facts on File, 2007, p. 775.
  11. "Grand Master of Missouri Lecture".
  12. "Mark Twain Masonic Awareness Award: About The Award". Archived from the original on October 29, 2012.
  13. The First Annual Mark Twain Young Authors Workshop. Stetson University.
  14. "The Mark Twain Boyhood Home Museum: Education". Retrieved 2013-12-07.
  15. The Frog Jump.
  16. "Mark Twain Bret Harte Historic Trail".
  17. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
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