From the second you walk into the National Comedy Center, you can feel the energy. On display, comedians spanning several decades say hello and welcome you to the new facility.
For the last eight years, Journey Gunderson has been working to make the dream of the National Comedy Center come to life. But, she says, the concept came about long before she was a part of the picture.
Gunderson, Executive Director of the National Comedy Center, says, “It started with Lucille Ball saying to Jamestown in the late 80’s, ‘don’t just celebrate my legacy, celebrate all of comedy and make Jamestown a destination for the celebration of it as an art form in a way that would foster and cultivate and inspire.'”
A few decades later, the museum holds more than 50 exhibits of all things comedy, each display aiming to aline the voice of the center with the voice of the artist.
Laura LaPlaca, Director of Archives for the National Comedy Center, says, “I’ve traveled around the country to meet with these families and work together to decide what pieces best encapsulate their stories.”
And as you walk through the museum, the whole experience will be personalized to you just by tapping the displays with your interactive armbands.
The facility is one unlike anything else you’ll find elsewhere, even on the internet. In some ways, a gift to the world of comedy and to the city of Jamestown.
Gunderson says, “I think it’s going to expose a lot of the country to a neck of the woods that they might not otherwise have visited and the economic impact that over 100-thousand visitors a year will bring is certainly something that’s going to help an otherwise economically depressed city.”
There are still tickets available for the shows during opening week.