Comics Remember George Carlin

Carlin inspired a generation of comedians with his groundbreaking humor.

ByABC News
June 23, 2008, 2:24 PM

June 23, 2008 — -- George Carlin gave more to his fellow comedians, actors and writers than a good laugh.

Responding to news of Carlin's death from heart failure at the age of 71, fellow funny men and women spoke about his groundbreaking humor, his brilliant mind, his big heart, and the effect he had on them and their profession.

"If there was ever a comedian who was a voice of their generation it was George Carlin," comedian and "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno told "Before George, comedians aspired to put on nice suits and perform in Las Vegas. George rebelled against that life. His comedy took on privilege and elitism, even railing against the game of golf. He never lost that fire. May he continue to inspire young people never to accept the status quo."

"George Carlin was a hugely influential force in stand-up comedy, actor Ben Stiller told "He had an amazing mind, and his humor was brave, and always challenging us to look at ourselves and question our belief systems, while being incredibly entertaining. He was one of the greats and he will be missed."

Comedian Mike Myers, currently starring in "The Love Guru," told "George Carlin is one of the greatest comedians that ever lived. His irreverence, bravery, and the fact that he was his own man, has served as an inspiration to me and he will be sorely missed."

Comedian Jimmy Kimmel concisely expressed his esteem for Carlin. "Free speech never had a better or funnier friend than George Carlin," he told

Jack Burns, who performed in a comedy duo with Carlin, called Carlin a genius.

"I will miss him dearly," Burns told the Associated Press. "We were working in Chicago, and we went to see Lenny (Bruce), and we were both blown away. It was an epiphany for George. The comedy we were doing at the time wasn't exactly groundbreaking, and George knew then that he wanted to go in a different direction."