AM Buffalo is live at the National Comedy Center, a world-class attraction based on the celebration of comedy.
This was Mercedes Wilson’s first visit to the National Comedy Center and she built her profile for the first time and she says, “ I learned a little more about myself. It was very interesting.”
Emily Lampa says, “The great thing about this place is that if you’re new to the museum, of course it is an amazing first experience, but those who have been here many times, like myself, it is new every single time you come especially because they are so great about switching ut the exhibits.”
Journey Gunderson, executive director says, “This is really exciting because as many of the viewers probably saw on the Today Show that Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner went on to announce to the world that they would be donating Carl Reiner’s entire archive to the national Comedy Center. So, we have spent more than a year processing 75 boxes of material that spans the career of one of the most prolific comedic minds the world will ever know, and hat exhibit opens on July 28th but we are celebrating it on the 27th of July, Wednesday evening, at the Chautauqua Institution Amphitheater with a program featuring, Rob Reiner, Lucas and Annie Reiner and also commentary that we sourced and recorded for the show from Bette Midler, Lily Tomlin, Steve Martin, Dick Van Dyke, Mel Brooks and more.”
Journey says, “For the first time since the pandemic started, they are bringing Lucy Fest back, what has become the most popular and well-respected comedy festival anywhere in the country.” The line-up is blockbuster. It includes greats and legends like Jeff Foxworthy, legends from SNL, Kevin Nealon, David Spade, and Rob Schneider and also Margaret Cho. Margaret Cho was named By Rolling Stone to the list of top 50 stand-up comedians of all time and she will e headlining the Thursday night of the festival. She says they are doing a stand-up showcase, multiple showcases and a free kids comedy show. Journey says you don’t need tickets for the kid’s comedy show and that is happening on Saturday, August 6th at 11am.
You can take in more than 50 events celebrating comedy during the festival from August 3rd to August 7th.
Journey says, “The National Comedy Center has 37,000 square feet of exhibit space, one of the most interactive museums anywhere in the world and completely personalized to your own sense of humor.”
Johnny Carson, the Immersive Experience is not open yet but Emily spoke with Gary Hahn vice president of marketing and communication. They are standing in front of part of the curtain that was part of the Tonight Show. Gary says it was used on the show from 1970 – 1977. He says, “It has not been displayed since Johnny retired in 1992 and we are honored to have that hanging. It went up about a week ago.” This is just part of the Johnny Carson experience. There are 30 different screens and Gary says you are going to feel like you are back in the days of Johnny and almost live at the Tonight Show, talking about all the stand-ups that started with him, the sketches we have here, some of the wardrobe that he wore, and they also have Bette Midler’s dress that she wore on his final show which aired on May 21, 1992. They interviewed Bette Midler for the experience, and she was kind enough to loan them the dress.
Gary says they are always refreshing the artifacts. Some come and some go away, they rest and they come back. If you are a fan of the Carol Burnett show they have some of the Bob Macke dresses but they are only there until the end of the summer but there is always something new at the National Comedy Center.
Mercedes and Journey are at the continuum at Prop Stars. Prop stars explores the use of props throughout comedy history and visitors can grab any one of the 25 different objects from a shelf and you set it down and move it to the corner to get a summery of what it is and you rotate it to see the use of that prop in comedy history.
There is so much to see at the National Comedy Center and if you would like more information go to comedycenter.org.