While comedy is competitive, the best comedians are a surprisingly generous bunch. Here are 13 comedy legends who encouraged the next generation to bring the funny.

MURPHY GAVE YOUNG ROCK A BIT PART IN BEVERLY HILLS COP CRACKED.COM EDDIE MURPHY CHRIS ROCK The break came after Rock, a high school drop-out trying to make it in stand-up comedy, caught Murphy's eye. The only opinion I care about is Eddie's, Rock said after Murphy stopped by his

SHANDLING DROVE TO PHOENIX TO APPROACH CARLIN IN A CLUB GRACKEDCOM GEORGE CARLIN GARRY SHANDLING The amateur comic asked Carlin to read some jokes. I write my own, Carlin replied but invited Shandling to come back the following night. You're very green but I think you're funny. The encouragment convinced

TEENAGE CATHERINE'S BROTHER HAD A COOL GIRLFRIEND GILDA CRACKED.COM GILDA RADNER CATHERINE O'HARA When O'Hara turned 17, Radner gave her a book of home-made coupons with messages such as I'll take you shopping. O'Hara later became her understudy at Second City Toronto. Gilda wore a lot of funny hats and

WHEN SOMEONE LIKE ROCK IS LIKE, 'HEY YOU'RE FUNNY,' YOU REALIZE 'HOLY SH*T!' CHRIS ROCK AZIZ ANSARI Now we're friends and I can call him for advice, gushes Ansari. It's a very cool, very surreal thing. Rock is impressed. There's no easy path to stand-up. But Indian kid from

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APATOW INTERVIEWED SHANDLING FOR HIS HIGH SCHOOL RADIO SHOW CRACKED.COM GARRY SHANDLING JUDD APATOW He completely changed my life, Apatow says. He hired me to write for his show. He did a cameo on the pilot of The Ben Stiller Show ... He asked me to direct. It was always mysterious

CARL REINER'S 'THE JERK' HELPED MAKE MARTIN A COMEDY SUPERSTAR S9aa- CRACKED.COM CARL REINER STEVE MARTIN But it was Reiner's way of leading with kindness that taught Martin the most. Sometimes I deal with people in meetings, social dinners and plain- old conversation with a buoyancy foreign to me and

LEWIS WAS ONE OF THE ONLY PEOPLE WITH COOK'S CELL PHONE NUMBER CRACKED.COM JERRY LEWIS DANE COOK Cook still remembers a call with Lewis during a career rough patch. He told me to grab a pen and write down, am a very important person. I have wonderful ideas that

APATOW HELPED A LONG LIST OF HOLLYWOOD FUNNY PEOPLE GET STARTED JUDD APATOW SETH ROGEN Rogen and partner Evan Goldberg credit Apatow for teaching them the science of making funny movies. It feels natural to me to want to mentor people, Judd say, because people were kind enough to

MARGARET CHO GOT TO SEE THE SOFTER SIDE OF IDOL JOAN RIVERS CRACKEDCO JOAN RIVERS MARGARET CHO She became my friend, my mentor, and was always there for me -like if I had a bad night or a bad show. She was always very, very supportive, says Cho. It was

JERRY GAVE AMY SOME ADVICE ABOUT DOING IT FOR THE MONEY a CRACKED CO JERRY SEINFELD AMY SCHUMER If you do it because you love it, he said, it will always end up being the right decision no matter how it turns out. Long-time pal Schumer grew up idolizing Seinfeld's Elaine

MYERS WAS SET TO PLAY DEL CLOSE IN A SECOND CITY BIOPIC DEL CLOSE MIKE MYERS Myers looked up to improv legend Close as a personal guru. (The guy did teach Tina Fey, John Belushi, Bill Murray, and Gilda Radner, after all.) Financing fell through before Myers got the

BILL COSBY HAS WARNED STEVE HARVEY TO STAY FAR AWAY'' BILL COSBY STEVE HARVEY The convicted comic wants to keep the Family Feud host free of controversy, but Harvey remains grateful to his mentor. He taught me how to do this business, Harvey says. He didn't even know me

BEE LEARNED TOUGH WORK LESSONS FROM JON STEWART JON STEWART SAMANTHA BEE Mainly that hosting The Daily Show is all-consuming. There's no mistaking the fact that Jon did it incredibly, she says, but by the end he was exhausted. That led to Bee and her husband creating Full Frontal,
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