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he inaugural class of our Stand-Up Comics Hall of Fame made room for comedians both family-friendly (Bill Cosby) and blue (Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor) -- and if something ain't broke, there's no reason to fix it, so for this year's class we followed the same formula. Though each of our new Hall of Fame members has achieved major commercial success -- and each of them arguably redefined comedy for his era -- they each took different steps to get there. With Bob Newhart, you get mild-mannered dry wit; with Steve Martin, joyous absurdity. Eddie Murphy, of course, brings hilariously lewd humor to the table. And Sam Kinison? Well, he was just nuts.

It's a varied list, and we think you'll agree that everyone in this year's class is more than deserving of the honor.

Class of 2009 Eddie Murphy Eddie Murphy
"I had a mother that would throw a shoe at you at the drop of a dime. And fuck you up wherever she was aiming."
Sam Kinison Sam Kinison
"There's no happy ending to cocaine. You either die, you go to jail, or else you run out."
Steve Martin Steve Martin
"I like a woman with a head on her shoulders. I hate necks."
Bob Newhart Bob Newhart
"I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down'."
Don Rickles Don Rickles
"If I were to insult people and mean it, that wouldn't be funny."