National Comedy Center in Jamestown has received formal designation as such by Congress

The National Comedy Center in Jamestown, NY, now is officially that, thanks to legislation passed this week by Congress and signed into law by President Trump on Tuesday.

“Jamestown is now to comedy what Cooperstown is to baseball and Cleveland is to rock and roll,” said Rep. Tom Reed, the Corning Republican who sponsored the bill.

The designation was included in a larger bill addressing natural resources management policy, which Congress passed two weeks ago. New York’s two U.S. senators also pushed for the designation: Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer called the center a “tourism magnet,” and Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand said it is “a celebration of talent.”

The National Comedy Center opened for tourists last year in Lucille Ball’s hometown, some 65 miles south of Buffalo, and 45 miles east of Erie, Penn.

Here are more quotes from the press release:

“We are honored that this legislation has been formally passed by Congress, establishing the National Comedy Center as the country’s official cultural institution dedicated to presenting and preserving the vital story of comedy in America,” said Journey Gunderson, National Comedy Center Executive Director. “Comedy is a true art form with an extraordinary heritage, and it deserves this important recognition and high distinction.”

“Ten years ago, we embarked on a mission to create a world class attraction dedicated to the art form of comedy in Jamestown, New York”, said Tom Benson, Project Chairman. “Our dream was realized when the National Comedy Center opened on August 1, 2018 to rave reviews, and now we are thrilled that this important institution will be forever known by law as America’s official home for the celebration of comedy.”

“Comedy is an art form, and it’s a part America’s rich cultural history. I’m thrilled that Congress passed legislation designating Jamestown’s Comedy Center as the official National Comedy of the United States and been signed into law. The Comedy Center is a tourism magnet and now, finally, it has the national designation it so clearly deserves,” said Senator Charles Schumer. “I am incredibly proud to have played my part in enacting this legislation, to help this cultural institution continue attracting visitors from far and wide.”

“I am very excited that the Jamestown Comedy Center has just been officially designated as the National Comedy Center. The Jamestown Comedy Center is a celebration of talent and has quickly become a must-see location in New York. This museum is a destination for families, tourists, and comedy lovers from all over the country,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “When I visited the museum, it was clear that the Comedy Center should become a landmark in New York. 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’m proud to see this legislation signed into law.”

“Jamestown is now to comedy what Cooperstown is to baseball and Cleveland is to rock and roll,” said Representative Tom Reed. “As the nation’s first state-of-the-art museum and cultural institution dedicated to presenting, preserving and celebrating the art form of comedy, there is no other place more deserving of full backing of the U.S. government as the nation’s home to comedy than the birthplace of Lucille Ball and the National Comedy Center.”

Featuring exclusive collections, world-class exhibits and leading-edge technology, the National Comedy Center presents an unprecedented, behind-the-scenes look at the time-honed creative processes that have elevated comedy entertainment to an art form. Over 50 innovative exhibits within the 37,000-square-feet facility enable visitors to take an interactive journey through comedy history, from early vaudeville to the latest viral memes. Throughout their personalized 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. 

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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