May 13th, 2010
06:43 PM ET
George Carlin's birthday is not a national holiday, but it has special meaning for many comedians.
Hollywood's Laugh Factory hosted a posthumous birthday bash Wednesday night for Carlin, who would have been 73, to honor his lifelong struggle for comedic freedom.
Comedians Tom Arnold, Paul Mooney, Paul Rodriguez, Tom Green, Judy Tenuta, Jay Phillips and Shawn Wayans each held a sign with one of Carlin's "heavy seven" words from his legendary routine "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television."
Green, whose outrageous humor as a talk show host helped change television in the 1990s, is now following in Carlin's footsteps as a stand-up comic. Green's appearance even echoes Carlin's since he's replaced his goatee with a full beard.
"Remembering George Carlin and his revolutionary fearless comedy shined a light on the world and exposed its hypocrisy," Green said. "He is sorely missed today."
Carlin's former publicist Michael Levine, who organized the birthday party, said Carlin has "lasting iconic relevance" not just for his comedy but for free speech issues.
"George Carlin is someone who could be someday on a postage stamp," Levine said. "He's a modern-day Mark Twain."
Carlin was 71 when he died of heart failure June 22, 2008.
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