Over a thousand people from late TV legend Johnny Carson's Nebraskan hometown of Norfolk gathered to pay their respects to the former TONIGHT SHOW host on Sunday (30JAN05).

Friends and colleagues of the star gathered in Norfolk High School's auditorium, named after Carson, to share stories about the TV star, who passed away on 23 January (05) of emphysema.

Carson's former principal JEFF BURKINK says he last met Carson in 1976 when the funnyman returned home to give the high school's commencement address.

Burkink recalls, ""He was nervous. He said he didn't want to be a flop in his hometown. But the minute he stood up there, he was humorous and relaxed. He was right at home with a microphone."

Carson was always fond of his hometown and donated over $5 million (GBP2.6 million) to local causes, including $2.27 million (GBP1.4 million) for a regional cancer radiation centre.

31/01/2005 17:34