NORFOLK, NE — Johnny Carson has been dead for over 11 years, but the memory of his life lives on in his hometown.
“Every couple weeks or so someone will non-chalantly mention they knew Johnny,” said Elkhorn Valley Museum Executive Director Ryan Leichenauer. “Or mention he dated their sister, that’s a popular one.”
October 23rd is Johnny Carson’s birthday, so in proper tribute to the comedian, it was a celebration at the Elkhorn Valley Museum.
Carson’s 91st birthday party. The former television star moved to town when he was eight years old and graduated from Norfolk High School. According to Leichenauer, Carson had a deep connection to his hometown.
“Is his philanthropy and how much he cared about his hometown,” Leichenauer said. “And really the message that comes across is how he felt his growing up in Norfolk set him up to be a success.”
The party was attended by those who remembered Carson’s days on tv and those who may have just heard of him. Leichenauer says the Museum wants to pass on the memories of Norfolk’s favorite son.
“Everyone of a certain age knows and loves Johnny Carson but we want to make sure his memory and legacy is passed on to the next generation,” Leichenauer said.
The party featured kid’s games, cake, and highlights of the Tonight Show playing in two rooms. It was the third time the Museum hosted a birthday party for Carson.