Think of the word museum and you’ll probably think of old paintings. You might expect the sound of footsteps crossing a quiet gallery or guards standing watch over masterpieces.
The National Comedy Center, which just opened in Jamestown, New York, shatters that lofty picture in favor of something more fun. If this museum is doing its job, attendees will be laughing their way through more than 50 interactive exhibits exploring the art of comedy in America.
With 37,000 square feet of exhibit space, the museum highlights a wide range of comedians and styles and illuminates the history of humor from early vaudeville to new viral memes. Attendees can watch projections of classic performances and see personal archives from pivotal names like the Marx Brothers, Joan Rivers, Phyllis Diller, Lenny Bruce, Jerry Seinfeld, and George Carlin. There’s also an adults-only “Blue Room” exploring off-color and taboo humor.
Each visitor creates a “humor profile” upon arrival which is embedded into a radio-frequency ID wristband. They are then shown exhibits tailored to their personal taste, such as satire, slapstick, or late-night comedy.
Jamestown, a 90-minute drive south of Buffalo, already belongs on the map as the birthplace of the iconic Lucille Ball and since 1996, as the home of the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum—it was because of that heritage that the museum was developed and built.
More info can be found at https://comedycenter.org.