WHEN THE Kennedy Center saluted its latest honorees Dec. 8, it was hard to decide what the biggest moment was.

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor spoke in praise of opera star Martina Arroyo. Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly was on hand for Herbie Hancock. ("I know, I'm surprised, too," O'Reilly told a stunned audience.) Rufus Wainwright, Don Henley, Garth Brooks and Tony Bennett sang together in a salute to Billy Joel.

Now, CBS gets to draw on that and other material for its two-hour 36th annual Kennedy Center Honors special, which airs at 9 p.m. Sunday.

Besides Joel, Arroyo and Hancock, the honorees included Shirley MacLaine and Carlos Santana, with President Obama and first lady Michelle in the audience.