It was a
sold-out star-studded night in Norfolk, Nebraska Saturday as the comedic
spirit of Johnny Carson was celebrated at the gala for the Great
American Comedy Festival.
The event was hosted by
comedian Drew Carey, who got his big break in
comedy when Carson invited him to the couch following his set on the
tonight show in 1991. Carey says he owes his entire career and
everything he has to Johnny Carson.
The night also featured the
professional comedian finals, which included eight comedians
who advanced earlier in the week.
The winner was Denver native Phil
Palisoul, who says he tried to get on the Tonight Show with
Carson , but never made it. When he heard of the festival in Norfolk,
it then became a mission.
"And when I wasn't able to get on the show, I was really disappointed.
So, to be able to come here and do this well in a festival for his name
and honor is…it's overwhelming really," he explained.
The Comedy Festival gala also included the presentation of the Johnny
Carson Comedy Legend Award to stand-up legend Steven Wright.
festival's executive producer Eddie Brill did a one-on-one interview to
help Wright tell the audience about his many appearances
on the Tonight Show and how his career also began to flourish following
his time on Carson's show.
This year's Great American Comedy Festival
wrapped up Sunday with a show by Christian Comedian Bob Smiley.
Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Kathy Clayton at (712) 239-4100 x209. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at firstname.lastname@example.org.