As one of the original American Vaudeville acts, Burns had a knack for narrative based comedy and music.
If you aren't familiar with Vaudeville, you can probably better admire Burns for being a pioneer of the "situational comedy", better known as the sitcom.
Vaudevillian comedy is episodic and narrative. (If you don't know what I mean, watch the late George Burns tell his favourite joke: http://bit.ly/WPihLo) Vaudeville therefore proved that American audiences craved and appreciated short, deliberate comedic entertainment that existed only for the purposes of making people laugh. Hence: the birth of the sitcom.
His work moved from stage to radio to film to television. Burn's writing will forever be immortalized by "The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show" (Burns and Allen were married, both famed performers: http://bit.ly/13RTWvf). As well as an entire repertoire of Vaudevillian films including "The Big Broadcast" (http://bit.ly/XoZ1Fh) and "College Swing" (http://bit.ly/UYVnBu).
Here's to George on his birthday. May we all laugh as hard and live as long as he did.