Maybe David Letterman will talk about it when President Obama appears on The Late Show September 18th. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced the recipients this morning. Letterman joins actor Dustin Hoffman, the rock band Led Zeppelin, blues great Buddy Guy, and ballerina Natalia Marakova as the 2012 Annual Kennedy Center Honorees. While Led  Zeppelin is being honored as a band, keyboardist/bassist John Paul Jones, guitarist  Jimmy Page, and singer Robert Plant will each receive a medallion. The night before the gala, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will host a  State Department dinner for the seven individuals who then sit with President Obama and First Lady Michelle during the December 4th ceremony. The  President and Mrs Obama will receive the Honorees and members of the Artists  Committee who nominate them, along with the Kennedy Center Board of Trustees, at  the White House prior to the gala.

For the 35th year, the honors will be broadcast by CBS as a two-hour primetime special on December 26th. George Stevens Jr, who co-created the honors in 1978, returns to produce and co-write. He was just tapped to receive an Honorary Oscar this year.

“With  their extraordinary talent, creativity and tenacity, the seven 2012 Kennedy  Center Honorees have contributed significantly to the cultural life of our  nation and the world,” said Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein.

“Buddy  Guy is a titan of the blues and has been a tremendous influence on virtually  everyone who has picked up an electric guitar in the last half century; Dustin  Hoffman’s unyielding commitment to the wide variety of roles he plays has made  him one of the most versatile and iconoclastic actors of this or any other  generation; David Letterman is one of the most influential personalities in the  history of television, entertaining an entire generation of late-night viewers  with his unconventional wit and charm; Natalia Makarova’s profound artistry has  ignited the stages of the world’s greatest ballet companies and continues to  pass the torch to the next generation of dancers; and Led Zeppelin’s John Paul  Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant transformed the sound of rock and roll with  their lyricism and innovative song structures, infusing blues into the sound of  rock and roll and laying the foundation for countless rock bands.”