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Funny faces of Comedy.
Funny faces of Comedy.

National Comedy Center

Field review by the editors.

Jamestown, New York

Some would say the punchline of the National Comedy Center is that you have to drive to Jamestown to visit it. But a center for comedy was the dream of Lucille Ball, born and buried in Jamestown, so that's where it was built and opened on August 1, 2018.

The Puffy Shirt.
The Puffy Shirt.

The Center is part museum, part hall of fame, and part high-tech comedy club. Visitors are given an RF "laugh band" when they enter and are instructed to create a "sense of humor profile" by tapping a series of screens. This skews what they will see, running the har-de-har gauntlet from vaudeville to sketch comedy to YouTube videos of cats.

The Center has a room with a bar where visitors can perform "comedy karaoke" by reading their favorite comedians' jokes on a stage. The "Blue Room" is devoted to adult humor; a "Stand-up Lounge" offers holograms of the famous. And there are comedy relics as well: Seinfeld's puffy shirt, Chaplin's cane, Weird Al Yankovik's accordion, a Flying Fickle Finger of Fate award from Laugh-In.

For kids -- or adults who refuse to grow up -- the Center provides a "Ham it Up" video wall that encourages funny faces (or Louis Black-inspired angry faces), and at least one bench with a secret built-in whoopee cushion.

Sounds Funny interactive consoles.
Sounds Funny interactive consoles.

National Comedy Center

203 W. 2nd St., Jamestown, NY
Downtown, just north of the bridge across the river, on the south side of W. 2nd St. just west of its intersection with Washington St.
Su-Th 10-5, F-Sa 10-9 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Adults $23.50
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Lucy Desi Museum and Desilu StudiosLucy Desi Museum and Desilu Studios, Jamestown, NY - < 1 mi.
I Love Lucy Chocolate Factory MuralI Love Lucy Chocolate Factory Mural, Jamestown, NY - < 1 mi.
World's Largest I Love Lucy MuralWorld's Largest I Love Lucy Mural, Jamestown, NY - < 1 mi.
In the region:
1954 Dairy Queen with Original Sign, Port Colborne, ON, Canada - 56 mi.

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