August 21st, 2012
05:38 PM ET
As "New Girl's" Zooey Deschanel and "Parks and Recreation's" Amy Poehler joined their fellow Emmy nominees at a cocktail reception on Monday, the two comic talents couldn't help but reflect on how the late, great Phyllis Diller paved the way.
Diller, known for her riotously funny stand-up that led the charge for future generations of women in comedy, died peacefully at 95 on Monday.
Poehler, who's also proved her comedic chops on NBC's sketch comedy series, "Saturday Night Live," told CNN at the Beverly Hills event that Diller was "a real pioneer."
"I had the pleasure of getting to know her," Poehler continued. "I interviewed her once for a magazine. She was lovely and very generous and very supportive of women in comedy and she just seemed like she worked really hard to get what she got, and she deserved all of her success."
Deschanel added that female comedians, such as herself, "owe [Diller] our careers."
Others in attendance, such as Florence Henderson and Lily Tomlin, reflected on how amazing it was that Diller stayed on top of her game well into her older years.
"Having known Phyllis so well for so many years and having been close friends, she will be so sorely missed," Henderson told us. "But to be able to work until you're in your 90s, and then be so good at your life and living it and dealing with it and then to pass so peacefully with your family around at age 95 ... I'm happy for Phyllis, but sad that she won't be here anymore but I will cherish the things she's given me over the years."
Tomlin concurred, remembering how Diller was still "vivacious and funny and sharp" later in life.
"The last time I was at her house - and I bought a bunch of her paintings, which I am really glad I have now - and she was just unbelievable then," Tomlin said. "And she was well into her 90s and she just never stopped."
Maya Rudolph, perhaps, put it most succinctly: "I just loved her like everybody else," she said. "What a cool lady."
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