Posts Tagged ‘National Comedy Center’

National Comedy Center in Lucille Ball’s Hometown Close to Being Officially Designated by United States

February 23, 2019
NYS-Natl Comedy Ctr Jamestown

The National Comedy Center in Jamestown, New York – iconic comedian Lucille Ball’s hometown – is close to being designated the official “National Comedy Center” of the United States.

The National Comedy Center in Jamestown, New York – iconic comedian Lucille Ball’s hometown – is close to being designated the official “National Comedy Center” of the United States.

US Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer included a provision in the 2019 Lands Package that called on The Comedy Center, located in downtown Jamestown and built in-part to honor the massive national impact of Jamestown native Lucille Ball, to serve as America’s official center of comedy and its rich history in our nation. Schumer said this official congressional designation will help solidify the facility as a civic landmark and cultural institution, and the premiere “National Comedy Center” of the United States, and called on his colleagues in Congress to pass the Lands Package as soon as possible.

“Comedy is an art form, and it’s a part of our rich cultural history in America. I am proud to stand here today, in front of the revolutionary National Comedy Center, to continue my push to pass legislation that will officially designate it as the National Comedy Center of the United States,” Schumer said. “As the birthplace of the iconic Lucille Ball, and home to the Annual Comedy Festival, Jamestown has rapidly become an epicenter for comedy in the nation, and is the perfect home for the National Comedy Center. This organization is becoming a cultural institution, attracting visitors from far and wide, creating jobs, and injecting millions of tourism dollars into the region. I vow to do everything in my power to shuttle this legislation through Congress and on to the president’s desk, because I know that this institution has become a national attraction and a smash hit!”

The 2019 Lands Package includes legislation from Senator Schumer that will formally designate the National Comedy Center as the ‘national’ comedy center. Schumer noted that this designation will allow the center to build on the success of other Upstate New York tourist attractions like the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY. The National Comedy Center employs 38 people and has created nearly 200 spin-off jobs and is projected to have a $23 million impact on the region. Currently, the annual comedy festival hosts about 20,000 people and has been visited by famous comedians like Jerry Seinfeld, Joan Rivers, Jay Leno, and Nick Offerman. Schumer said this designation is vital to the center’s continued growth, and pointed out that Jamestown’s National Comedy Center is the only museum of its kind with the mission of preserving, protecting, and showcasing the art of American comedy and its role in our culture.

“The Jamestown Comedy Center is a celebration of talent and has quickly become a must-see location in New York. When I toured the museum, I was amazed by the incredible job done to transform an old train station into a state-of-the-art center dedicated to preserving the history of comedy in our nation,” said Senator  Kirsten Gillibrand. “This museum is a destination for families, tourists, and comedy lovers from all over the country, and it has played in important role in Jamestown’s revitalization. That’s why I fought to make sure that this year’s Land’s Package would designate the museum as the National Comedy Center, and I urge my colleagues in the Senate to pass this bill.”

“The National Comedy Center is committed to Lucille Ball’s vision for her hometown of Jamestown, New York to honor comedy’s great minds and unique voices in ways that educate, engage and inspire future generations. With visitors who’ve already come from all 50 states since our opening last August, we truly are the nation’s museum for the celebration of comedy. We thank Senator Schumer for everything he’s done to make the National Comedy Center a reality, and welcome this official Congressional designation in 2019,” said Tom Benson, Chairman, National Comedy Center.

“As the country’s first national-scale museum and cultural institution dedicated to presenting, preserving and celebrating the art form of comedy, the National Comedy Center — and Comedy — is deserving of this important recognition by Congress. We are grateful to Senator Schumer for his tremendous support and look forward to the bill’s passage in both the Senate and the House in the coming weeks,” said Journey Gunderson, Executive Director of the National Comedy Center.

The National Comedy Center, located at 203-217 West Second Street in Jamestown, New York, pays tribute to the art of American comedy through all eras, mediums, and genres. The 37,000 square foot, $50 million facility tells the story of comedy from its origins through the present, with more than 50 immersive, interactive exhibits. As of January 2019, the National Comedy Center has already attracted visitors from all fifty states and nine countries total. It was also recently named the second “Best New Attraction in America,” by USA Today.

Each visitor experiences a personalized trip through the Center as exhibits reflect one’s personal comedic sensibilities via use of a bracelet fitted with an RFID chip worn throughout the stay. Highlights of the collection include George Carlin’s massive personal archives that provide a glimpse into one of comedy’s most prolific minds, a hologram theater that presents performances of some of comedy’s most notable figures, and experiences that allow visitors to step into the shoes of a stand-up comedian. Additionally, the National Comedy Center features rare artifacts from some of comedy’s greatest names. In 2018, Senator Schumer helped deliver one such artifact, as a customs snag threatened to delay the arrival of a vintage Harley-Davidson motorcycle that was donated to the NCC by Dan Aykroyd.

Design of the museum and the repurposing of Jamestown’s original 1930 art-deco Gateway Train Station was provided by some of the most prominent cultural and interactive design firms in the world, whose portfolios collectively include the award-winning 9/11 Memorial Museum, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, the College Football Hall of Fame, Saturday Night Live: The Experience, Universal Studios, and more. The Center celebrates comedy in all of its forms, educating and engendering in visitors an appreciation for the art form and its artists.

The National Comedy Center opened in 2018, and ground was first broken on the project in 2015. Schumer noted he pushed a resolution in March of 2018 to formally recognize the National Comedy Center. Schumer also noted his successful push for $1.7 million from the Economic Development Administration, and $5M in net benefit due to New Market Tax Credits. In addition to this federal funding, the National Comedy Center has also received $10M from NYS, and private donations from the Gebbie Foundation, the John R. Oishei Foundation, the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, the Lenna Foundation, Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, the Ralph C. Sheldon Foundation, the Johnson Foundation, and the Jessie Smith Darrah Fund. Schumer said the National Comedy Center shines a spotlight on Jamestown as a global comedy destination.  

 

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National Comedy Center in Jamestown NY Hosts 2019 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival Aug 7-11

February 22, 2019
NYS-Natl Comedy Ctr Jamestown

The National Comedy Center opened August 1, 2018 in Jamestown, New York as the nation’s first state-of-the-art museum dedicated to sharing the vital story of comedy in America. Based on the vision of Jamestown native Lucille Ball for her hometown to become a destination for the celebration of comedy, the National Comedy Center showcases comedy’s great minds and unique voices, from Charlie Chaplin to David Chappelle.

Jamestown, New York –The National Comedy Center, the nation’s first museum and visitor experience dedicated to the comedic arts, announced today that Sebastian Maniscalco and John Mulaney will headline the 2019 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, August 7-11. Tickets for their performances are now on sale at www.ComedyCenter.org.

Many festival events have yet to be announced, in a lineup that will celebrate comedy’s contemporary stars, rising voices, and historic legacies.

Sebastian Maniscalco and John Mulaney are two of the most popular and acclaimed comedians in the country in 2019 — Maniscalco breaking several comedy box office records over the past year, and Mulaney named “one of the best stand-up comics alive” by Entertainment Weekly.

John Mulaney will be performing on Friday, August 9 and Sebastian Maniscalco will be performing on Saturday, August 10 in Jamestown’s Northwest Arena, adjacent to the National Comedy Center, a $50 million museum experience dedicated to comedy.

“We could not be more pleased to announce that two of the most in-demand stand-up comedians touring today — Sebastian Maniscalco and John Mulaney — will be performing as we mark the first anniversary of the National Comedy Center this August,” said Journey Gunderson, National Comedy Center Executive Director. “This is a great opportunity to experience the best of live comedy by night, after experiencing the story of comedy –- across all eras and genres –- by day, with a trip to the National Comedy Center and the Festival.”

Comedian, actor and best-selling author Sebastian Maniscalco has been called “one of the funniest comedians working stand-up today,” by Esquire Magazine, “one of the hottest comics,” by Newsday and “the comedian’s comedian” by People Magazine.

Maniscalco can currently be seen with Viggo Mortensen in the Oscar-nominated “Green Book,” winner of three Golden Globes including Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. Last November, Maniscalco won Billboard’s inaugural Comedian of the Year award. In 2019, Maniscalco will be starring in Martin Scorsese’s new film “The Irishman,” with Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci.

Before Emmy Award-winning comedian and writer John Mulaney was called “one of the best stand-up comics alive” by Entertainment Weekly, he began writing for “Saturday Night Live” in 2008, where he also appeared as a “Weekend Update“ correspondent and co-created memorable characters such as “Stefon” with Bill Hader. He has spent the past year touring the United States with his most recent show, “Kid Gorgeous,” which was released as a Netflix original special last year and won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Variety Special.

Mulaney has starred three previous stand-up specials. He has performed stand-up on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and “Comedy Central Presents.” In 2016, Mulaney starred in the Broadway hit “Oh, Hello” on Broadway alongside Nick Kroll. He can also be heard in the 2018 film “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” which recently won the Golden Globe for best Animated Feature Film and has just been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film.

Additional Lucille Ball Comedy Festival events, including more than five comedy showcases, Late Night Comedy events, National Comedy Center Dialogues, and Lucy legacy events will also be announced atwww.ComedyCenter.org in the coming months.

“This festival is a celebration of all things comedy” says Malachi Livermore, the National Comedy Center’s Director of Programming and Guest Experiences. “It offers something for everyone – from a free kids’ comedy show and a series of discussions about the comedic arts, to some of the best stand-up comedians that the nation has to offer, and the opening of an Ernie Kovacs Centennial exhibit featuring never-before-seen archives.  And there is still more to come.”

As an enhancement to this year’s Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, the National Comedy Center is once again partnering with the world-renowned Chautauqua Institution, located on nearby Chautauqua Lake, New York, for a comedy-themed week during the Institution’s summer season, which will run prior to the festival: July 29 through August 3. Events and speakers will explore how comedy changes us and, in turn, society, and the potential of comedy to change minds and influence decision-making. Programming details will be released in the coming months. For more information and reservations, visit CHQ.org.

Last year’s Lucille Ball Comedy Festival featured the grand opening of the National Comedy Center and featured Amy Schumer, Lily Tomlin and a panel of original “Saturday Night Live” performers and writers including Dan Aykroyd, Laraine Newman and Alan Zweibel.

The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival is presented by the National Comedy Center and embodies Lucille Ball’s vision for her hometown — Jamestown, New York, to be a destination for the celebration of the comedic arts and to showcase new comedic talent from around the country. The festival attracts over 15,000 attendees annually from nearly every state in the country, who come together to share laughter while honoring the craft and contributors on stage at dozens of venues throughout Jamestown, including the National Comedy Center and the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum.

Now in its 28th year, the festival has featured comedy’s greatest stars and rising young comedians, including Jerry Seinfeld, Ellen DeGeneres, Trevor Noah, Lily Tomlin, Jay Leno, Amy Schumer, Brian Regan, Lewis Black, W. Kamau Bell, Jim Gaffigan, Paula Poundstone, Dan Aykroyd, Joan Rivers, Bob Newhart, the Smothers Brothers and more than one hundred other comedic artists.

National Comedy Center Named a ‘Best New Attraction’

The National Comedy Center recently took second out of twenty “Best New Attractions” in the country, in USA TodayCondé Nast Traveler called the National Comedy Center “One of the best museums in the country,” while comedy website The Interrobang named the design team of the National Comedy Center second on its list of “Innovators Who Changed Comedy” in 2018. Visitors from all 50 states and nine countries have given the Center a rare 5/5 rating on TripAdvisor in just its first six months of operation.

The National Comedy Center opened August 1, 2018 in Jamestown, New York as the nation’s first state-of-the-art museum dedicated to sharing the vital story of comedy in America. Based on the vision of Jamestown native Lucille Ball for her hometown to become a destination for the celebration of comedy, the National Comedy Center showcases comedy’s great minds and unique voices, from Charlie Chaplin to David Chappelle. As a non-profit cultural institution, the National Comedy Center was created with a $50 million investment, funded by a mix of federal, state and private philanthropic support, including partnership with I LOVE NEW YORK ™, Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York State’s Empire State Development.

The National Comedy Center features exclusive collections and world-class exhibits that give comedy fans an unprecedented, behind-the-scenes look at the time-honed creative processes that have elevated comedy entertainment to an art form. Over 50 innovative exhibitions across 37,000 square feet of space enable visitors to take an interactive journey through comedy history, from early vaudeville to the latest viral memes. Cutting-edge personalization technology makes the entire experience unique. Throughout the experience, visitors gain a profound appreciation for comedy icons and innovators, as well as for the tremendous influence of humor on how we think, live and laugh.

Design for the National Comedy Center was led by the most prominent cultural and interactive design firms in the world, whose portfolios collectively include the award-winning 9/11 Memorial Museum, The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, The College Football Hall of Fame, SNL: The Experience, and more.

The National Comedy Center also operates the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum, which explores the lives, careers and legacy of the “First Couple of Comedy,” and the incredible impact they had on the world.

Stay connected to the National Comedy Center:

Website: www.comedycenter.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nationalcomedycenter/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LucilleBallComedyFestival/

Follow on Twitter and Instagram at @ntlcomedycenter

 

National Comedy Center, 203 W. 2nd Street, Jamestown, NY, 716-484-2222, www.ComedyCenter.org.

 

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Schumer, Tomlin, Original SNL Cast Headline National Comedy Center Opening in Lucille Ball’s Hometown, Jamestown, NY

May 31, 2018
NYS-Natl Comedy Ctr Jamestown

The National Comedy Center, an interactive and immersive museum with 50 exhibits, opens in Jamestown, NY, Lucille Ball’s hometown, in August.

Jamestown, NY –The National Comedy Center will celebrate its grand opening in Lucille Ball’s hometown of Jamestown, New York,  with appearances by Amy Schumer, Lily Tomlin, Saturday Night Live original season alumni including Dan Aykroyd and more, coinciding with the annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, August 1-5.

Featuring more than 50 immersive and interactive exhibits designed by leading museum design firms in the world, the 37,000 square foot National Comedy Center visitor experience tells the story of comedy from its origins through the present and is the first non-profit cultural institution and national-scale attraction dedicated to the art of comedy.

The opening celebration will feature more than 50 events and 40 artists that include the innovators, creators, and legends of comedy.

Emmy Award-Winning Comedian Amy Schumer will perform Friday, August 3rd with her show “Amy Schumer and Friends” at the Northwest Arena, while comedy legend Lily Tomlin brings “An Evening of Classic Lily Tomlin” center stage at Reg Lenna Center for the Arts on August 4th.

“Each of these artists has played a significant role in shaping and redefining comedy as we know it today.  From sketch to stand-up to TV to film, the landscape has been forever changed due to the creativity and, frankly, bravery, of Lily Tomlin and Amy Schumer. Laraine Newman, Dan Aykroyd, Garrett Morris and Alan Zweibel challenged the nation’s sensibilities about comedy in what they brought to air in 1975, introducing what became one of the very few cultural phenomena to endure more than four decades,” said National Comedy Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson.

On August 2nd, Saturday Night Live cast members Dan Aykroyd, Laraine Newman and Garrett Morris, along with original writer, Alan Zweibel, will come together at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts to share stories and laughs in a conversation about the show’s early years.

“Offering four brilliant minds from the show that broke the late night television mold is not only a glimpse into the creation of Saturday Night Live but also a sampling of the National Comedy Center‘s core mission to share the story of comedy,” notes Malachi Livermore, Director of Operations and Programming for the National Comedy Center.

Continuing an annual series of National Comedy Center dialogues, Violet Ramis Stiel will offer a stage conversation about her new book, “Ghostbuster’s Daughter: Life with My Dad, Harold Ramis.”

Festival partner COZI TV will present a very special “Conversation with Fran Drescher” as part of the opening week events. The Nanny star will share insights on her storied life and career influences, including Lucille Ball, on August 3rd.

Additional programming includes five comedy showcases featuring comedians with credits including appearances on ColbertConan, and Last Comic Standing. The weekend will also feature National Comedy Center dialogues, exhibit unveilings, block parties, free kids’ comedy shows featuring the critically-acclaimed Story Pirates and tribute events honoring the influential careers of the “First Couple of Comedy”, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Additional events will be added to the lineup in the coming months.

The National Comedy Center embodies Lucille Ball’s vision for her hometown of Jamestown, New York to become a destination for the celebration of comedy in a way that educates, fosters and inspires. Design has been led by the most prominent cultural and interactive design firms in the world whose portfolios collectively include the award-winning 9/11 Memorial Museum, The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, The College Football Hall of Fame, and SNL: The Experience. The $50 million endeavor was made possible by state, federal and private philanthropic support including partnership with I LOVE NEW YORK™, Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York State’s Empire State Development.

In a special press briefing at the site on March 30, United States Senator Charles Schumer (who is comedien Amy Schumer’s actual cousin) announced his push for a congressional designation for the Center. The new designation would officially make the National Comedy Center the nation’s cultural institution dedicated to the art of comedy, recognizing it as the only institution of its kind with the mission of preserving, protecting, and showcasing the art of comedy and its role in our culture.

The National Comedy Center also operates the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum, and for the last 25 years has produced the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival with performers including Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, Lewis Black, Trevor Noah, Joan Rivers, Ellen DeGeneres, Paula Poundstone, Nick Offerman, Ray Romano, Bob Newhart, The Smothers Brothers and more than 100 other comedic artists.

Located in Jamestown, a city in Chautauqua County and Western New York, the National Comedy Center is in the region of Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Toronto.

Tickets may be purchased by visiting NationalComedyCenter.org. by calling 716-484-0800 or visiting the festival box office located at 2 W. 3rd Street, Jamestown, NY 14701.

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