JAMESTOWN, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The National Comedy Center, the nation’s official cultural institution and non-profit museum dedicated to comedy as an art form, announced today that it has launched a new online content platform featuring exclusive content directly from its interactive comedy exhibits, as an extension of the museum during its temporary closure.
National Comedy Center Anywhere tells the story of comedy via commentary from the artists themselves, and rare archival material never-before-seen outside of the Comedy Center -- just named the “Best New Museum in the Country” six weeks ago by USA Today, and named to TIME magazine’s “World’s Greatest Places” in 2019.
“We want to enable our online visitors to explore the great works and unique voices that have shaped our culture through comedy. Our mission is to provide education on the comedic arts in the form of commentary and contextualization of its bodies of work, while providing an examination of the time-honed creative processes that have elevated comedy to an art,” said Journey Gunderson, National Comedy Center Executive Director. “Now is not the time to stop. We need laughter more than ever.”
With the museum in Jamestown, New York temporarily closed as a COVID-19 precaution, National Comedy Center Anywhere provides an unprecedented opportunity for anyone, no matter where they live, to enjoy content directly from the National Comedy Center and its archives, never before seen outside its walls.
The platform takes each visitor on a journey through the world of comedy, including stand-up, sketch and improv, late night TV, film, the latest online comedy, and more.
In addition to footage from its interactive exhibits, the Comedy Center’s online platform will feature selections from its archives, including rare artifacts and documents from some of comedy’s greatest talent, along with special event highlights from its renowned Lucille Ball Comedy Festival and its National Comedy Center Dialogues.
The platform will also be presenting live-streamed stand-up comedy shows in the coming weeks.
“With the healing power of laughter more important than ever in these challenging times, we hope we can bring a taste of our unique National Comedy Center experience into your homes until we can re-open our doors and welcome visitors to Jamestown once again. In the meantime, National Comedy Center Anywhere is a virtual comedy hug for everyone who needs it right now, in addition to providing some much-needed support for our vital non-profit cultural institution,” added Gunderson.
The platform features a selection of free material with the option to upgrade to access more content from the museum. Upgraded access includes one additional gift access to share the laughter with a friend or family member, plus one admission ticket to the National Comedy Center visitor experience in Jamestown, NY, which can be used when the museum re-opens in the coming months. The $19.50 fee for upgraded access will support the mission and ongoing operations of the National Comedy Center during this critical time, while sharing comedy content with a friend or loved one.
Sample National Comedy Center Anywhere video, The “Healing Power of Laughter”: https://anywhere.comedycenter.org/programs/healingpower?categoryId=31550
About the National Comedy Center
The National Comedy Center is the United States’ official cultural institution and museum dedicated to presenting the vital story of comedy and preserving its heritage for future generations, as formally designated by the U.S. Congress in 2019. Opened in August 2018 in Jamestown, New York, the museum complex offers an unprecedented visitor experience using state-of-the-art technology, interactivity and personalization to create the first true 21st Century museum environment.
USA Today named the National Comedy Center the “Best New Museum in the Country” in 2020 while TIME magazine named it one of its “World’s Greatest Places,” - one of only “100 new and newly noteworthy destinations to experience right now” and one of only nine attractions to visit in the United States. Condé Nast Traveler called the National Comedy Center “One of the best museums in the country,” and People magazine named it one of “100 Reasons to Love America.” The National Comedy Center was also voted a “Best New Attraction” in the county, ranking #2 out of 20 new attractions by USA Today readers, and chosen as the #1 museum and #1 ticketed attraction. Comedy industry authority The Interrobang named the design team 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 raring on TripAdvisor, ranking among the highest in the attraction and tourism industry.
Based on the vision of Jamestown native Lucille Ball for her hometown to become a destination for comedy, the National Comedy Center showcases comedy’s great minds and unique voices in ways that engage, inspire, educate and entertain. As a non-profit institution, the National Comedy Center was funded by a mix of federal, state and private philanthropic support, including partnerships with I LOVE NY, Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York State’s Empire State Development.
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 has been embraced by the entertainment industry, with props, costumes and archival material provided by many of the most revered names in comedy. The Comedy Center recently announced a major initiative to preserve Carl Reiner’s personal “Dick Van Dyke Show” script archive. Exhibition partners include the Kelly Carlin and the George Carlin estate, George Shapiro and Jerry Seinfeld, Dan Aykroyd, Alan and Robin Zweibel, Joan Dangerfield, The Lenny Bruce Memorial Foundation, Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner, The Harold Ramis Family, The Garry Shandling Estate, George Schlatter, Bill Marx and the Harpo Marx Family, the Ernie Kovacs and Edie Adams estate, Desilu Too, NBC Universal, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Corporate Archive, and many more.
The National Comedy Center 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.
Now in its 30th year, the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in Jamestown has showcased 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. The 2019 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, presented by the National Comedy Center last August, was headlined by Sebastian Maniscalco and John Mulaney. The 2020 festival will feature Jeff Foxworthy and Legends of SNL David Spade, Rob Schneider and Kevin Nealon.
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