Jean Carroll, a stand-up comedian who helped pave the way for comedians such as Lily Tomlin, Phyllis Diller, and Joan Rivers, passed away yesterday at the age of 98. As the New York Times notes:

"Genteel by today's standards, Ms. Carroll's humor was radical in its day - radical, that is, in the hands of a lone woman with a microphone in front of her and an audience at her command. For a female comic to wield that sort of power was unheard of then, especially in the smoke-filled universe of nightclubs." [NYTimes]