That same vision continues to hold true today.
Honoring his legacy as one of America’s greatest comedians ever, paying tribute to his status as a TV icon and remembering with gratitude the fondness Carson had for the community he called home – that’s the foundation of the Great American Comedy Festival.
He was born Oct. 23, 1925, in Corning, Iowa, to Homer “Kit” and Ruth Carson. But in 1933, the family moved to Norfolk. Six years later, Carson began his life as an entertainer, and he never stopped. He graduated from Norfolk High School in 1943, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1949. By 1962, he took over as host of NBC’s “The Tonight Show” and continued entertaining television audiences for 30 years.
In 1981, he returned to Norfolk to tape “Johnny Goes Home,” a documentary on his life. In 1992, he retired from “The Tonight Show.” He died on Jan. 23, 2005.