The late Johnny Carson’s longtime “Tonight Show” sidekick will be in Iowa this month to mark the formation of the Johnny Carson Birthplace Society. Ed McMahon will be part of the celebration in Corning on September 21st. Ed Chappell, the society’s chairman, says McMahon’s appearance is part of a fundraiser to preserve the small house in southwest Iowa where Carson was born in 1925.
Chappell hopes the home can be restored but says it’s more important to replace the house’s foundation first and he hopes Carson’s many fans will contribute to make that happen. Chappell bought the house in 2005 with his own money and is now turning it over to the community. He says he has another mission too. He’s trying to get Corning’s Quincy Avenue changed to Johnny Carson Avenue.
Chappell’s daughter, Diann Zimmerman, says a committed group of volunteers now has taken on the mission to own, preserve and promote the Johnny Carson Birthplace Home and Museum and related properties and assets. Zimmerman says they’re learning as they go.
A reception with McMahon will be held on September 21st at Corning’s Midwest Opportunities Building. Tickets are 100-dollars per person. McMahon, who was on “The Tonight Show” for 30 years, will also give a talk that night — with tickets running 20-dollars each. Money raised from the event will kick off the society’s capital campaign and membership drive. For more information, call (641) 322-3212.