Carl Reiner wouldn't make the call, but they came anyway.
Jerry Seinfeld, Steve Martin, Richard Belzer, Dick Van Dyke and Joy Behar came to tape a two-hour Kennedy Center tribute to the comedy legend after producers asked for help from standup comics.
"That was the most thrilling thing," Reiner told the Washington Post on Sunday. "I would never ask anybody to come and honor me. It's an imposition, I feel."
The comedians who came said they owed their careers to Reiner, a one-time writer and performer on "Your Show of Shows" and "Caesar's Hour." He also wrote, directed, produced and acted in "The Dick Van Dyke Show."
Later, the 12-time Emmy winner made such movies as "The Jerk" and "The Man With Two Brains," and was the straight man to Mel Brooks' 2,000-Year-Old Man.
The tribute, taped in October, airs Wednesday on PBS.