02:19 AM EDT 07/07/2014
Originally posted 06/24/2008 08:20AM
Despite his gruff stage persona, offstage the late George Carlin was a gentleman who showed kindness to strangers and offered a hand to others hoping to beat addiction problems, Tom Arnold and other comics tell PEOPLE – while Jerry Seinfeld and Joan Rivers are expressing their appreciation of their unsentimental friend.
"Several times he'd call young comics who were messed up on drugs, and just introduce himself as 'George, a recovering addict, and why don't you go to a meeting with me or we can get together and talk,' " says Arnold, 49, who's also battled with drugs and alcohol. "And it blew them away. Nobody said no."
Arnold and those other comics who worked alongside Carlin over the decades made their remarks Monday night at Hollywood's the Laugh Factory, during a taping of Supreme Court of Comedy. Carlin, 71, died of heart failure Sunday.
Originally posted 06/23/2008 03:35PM
George Carlin – who once wryly wondered, "Why do they lock gas station bathrooms? Are they afraid someone will clean them?" – is being mourned by fellow comedians such as Ben Stiller and Jay Leno, not only for being a groundbreaker in entertainment but an individual of great honor.
"George Carlin was a hugely influential force in stand-up comedy," Stiller, 42, said in a statement. "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."
Carlin, 71, died Sunday of heart failure.
Staff members of Saturday Night Live and David Letterman's Late Show are said to devastated by the loss, a former associate of both programs tells PEOPLE.
Originally posted 06/23/2008 06:15AM
George Carlin, the edgy comedian and counterculture icon, died Sunday at the age of 71.
The stand-up comic and author – best known for his groundbreaking routine "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television" – reportedly died of heart failure at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica. (Carlin, who was open about his long struggle with drugs and alcohol, had a history of heart problems, including a previous heart attack.)
Originally posted 10/24/2007 01:15PM
Originally posted 12/28/2004 08:00AM
Outspoken stand-up comedian George Carlin had a serious message to deliver Monday – he's entering a rehab facility to deal with an alcohol-and-drug habit.
Top 10 News Categories
The most buzzed about stars this minute!
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
More On PEOPLE.com
Got a News Tip?
Send it to our People.com editors!