Our Town Norfolk: Hometown Hero

NORFORK, Neb. -- Johnny Carson was 8 years old when his family moved from Corning, Iowa to Norfolk, Nebraska.

The Great American Comedy Festival was created in 2008 to pay tribute to Johnny's legacy of Norfolk's favorite son.

Over the past decade, the festival has become a mid-June tradition that has continued to grow in stature and scope.

The pride in Johnny Carson is as strong as ever. Because as we all know, Johnny's talent and career were hailed by the masses and in the words of David Letterman, a longtime friend of Johnny's, "all of us who came after are pretenders. We will not see the likes of him again."

Jim McKenzie bought Carson’s childhood home four years ago and he's been fixing it up ever since.

"It's just fun to enjoy the history and learn more about Johnny in the process and also try and give back to the community. Martin Short was here last year, he was our headliner last year. He put on a great show, it was absolutely hilarious, it was fantastic. Really enjoyed Drew Carey, got to interact with him a little bit after that show,” McKenzie said.

Chase Pflueger joined the Comedy Festival Organizational team as a booking agent last year.

"Growing up in Norfolk, Johnny is our hometown hero and definitely has a lot of influence and the other thing about Johnny is, he's just given so much back to Norfolk."

Big name performers such as Robert Klein, Larry Miller and Caroline Rhea have attended the festival in the past.

"The crowds were huge from the get-go and they've just continued to fill the theater year in and year out."

The 11th edition of the Great American Comedy Festival will take place this summer-- June 14th thru the 16th.

And it's a little too early to tell you which comedians will be headlining the weekend, but there is sure to be a great new batch of nationally known comedians who will tickle funny bones at the Johnny Carson theatre this June.