Carlin Remembered: He Helped Other Comics with Drug Problems

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.

Ben Stiller, Jay Leno Pay Tribute to George Carlin

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.

Legendary Comedian George Carlin Dies at 71

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.)

George Carlin, Jamie Lee Curtis Blame Humans for Fires

George Carlin in Rehab for Alcohol, Drugs

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.

“I’m going into rehab because I use too much wine and Vicodin,” Carlin, 67, announced in a statement released by his publicist, Jeff Abraham. “No one told me I needed this. I recognized the problem and took the step myself.”

The name and location of the facility were not disclosed, reports the Associated Press, which also said Carlin was being treated for the first time.