Jon Stewart, Lily Tomlin honor George Carlin

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The late comedian was honored with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor on Monday night. It was the only comedy award he believed was as a legitimate comedy prize.

Jon Stewart, Lily Tomlin, Joan Rivers and others saluted Carlin in Washington at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. They said Carlin inspired their own comedy, and they took up his cause of pushing the boundaries of free speech.

Carlin recorded 23 comedy albums, won four Grammys and served as the first host of "Saturday Night Live."

The Twain Prize was instituted in 1998 and first given to comedian and actor Richard Pryor. Recent recipients have included Billy Crystal in 2007 and Steve Martin in 2005.

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