Comedian Chevy Chase has expressed his grief at the passing of his dear friend Johnny Carson.

Actor Chase and beloved American TV personality Carson - who died yesterday (23JAN05) after a battle with emphysema - initially feuded before becoming close pals.

And Chase now believes his late friend's contributions to the showbiz world can never go ignored.

He tells American TV show EXTRA, "(Carson) was a very funny man and also a thoughtful man. It's just a shock... It was a great loss.

"(Carson's) not just the king of late night, this is a real interesting human being with a great intellect. He had at least 10 years to live a life not being hounded.

"With all you can say for JAY (LENO), DAVID (LETTERMAN), CONAN (O'BRIEN), they appeal to certain slices, where Johnny seemed to cut right through America. He was the quintessential American guy."

After hearing the news yesterday morning (23JAN05), Chase was left with another difficult task - he had to break the news to comedian Steve Martin.

Both stars were members of Carson's gourmet poker club.

24/01/2005 09:47