The National Comedy Center, the nation’s official cultural institution and non-profit museum dedicated to comedy, and home to the George Carlin Archives, announced today that it will present an all-star tribute to comedy legend George Carlin, in support of the Center’s educational and preservation initiatives during the museum’s temporary closure.
To be streamed on his 83rd birthday, Tuesday, May 12, “Laughing Matters: Carlin’s Legacy” will celebrate the comedian’s life, career and legacy and is presented by the National Comedy Center as the first in its new “Laughing Matters” series streaming on its new online content platform, National Comedy Center Anywhere at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT.
The event will feature comedians, comedy writers, producers and friends who will reflect on Carlin’s art and long-standing influence, including conversations with Norman Lear, Judd Apatow, Sebastian Maniscalco, Lewis Black, Jim Norton and George Carlin’s daughter Kelly Carlin, along with tributes from Tim Allen, Elayne Boosler, Bill Engvall, Judah Friedlander, Judy Gold, Kathy Griffin, Penn Jillette, Maz Jobrani, George Lopez, Mark Normand, Russell Peters, Colin Quinn, Brian Regan, Alex Winter, Steven Wright and Alan Zweibel, with more anticipated to join the event in the coming days. Check ComedyCenter.org/Carlin for lineup updates.
“Laughing Matters: Carlin’s Legacy” will be live streamed at ComedyCenter.org/Carlin with a simulcast via Facebook Live on the National Comedy Center Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/nationalcomedycenter/.
“With laughter more important than ever in this challenging time, we are thrilled to honor the legacy and influence of George Carlin with this special event, and join with our comedy community to celebrate what his work has meant to all of us – and, in turn, what it means to have a cultural institution that exists to preserve these stories and legacies of comedy,” said Journey Gunderson, National Comedy Center Executive Director. “We look forward to welcoming everyone to the National Comedy Center to see the George Carlin Archives up close, and to experience all the exhibits at our state-of-the-art museum, once we can re-open.”
The National Comedy Center was recently named the “Best New Museum” in the country by USA Today and one of TIME magazine’s “World’s Greatest Places” shortly before it was closed as a COVID-19 precaution on March 16th.
The National Comedy Center will also be adding exclusive video content and rare archival material from its George Carlin exhibit and archives to its new National Comedy Center Anywhere online platform, along with highlights from past National Comedy Center Dialogues on Carlin’s career. Most of this content has never before been seen outside of the National Comedy Center museum.
About the National Comedy Center
The National Comedy Center is the United States’ official cultural institution and museum dedicated to presenting the vital story of comedy and preserving its heritage for future generations, as formally designated by the U.S. Congress in 2019. Opened in August 2018 in Jamestown, New York, the museum complex offers an unprecedented visitor experience using state-of-the-art technology, interactivity and personalization to create the first true 21st Century museum environment.
USA Today named the National Comedy Center the “Best New Museum in the Country” in 2020 while TIME magazine named it one of its “World’s Greatest Places,” – one of only “100 new and newly noteworthy destinations to experience right now” and one of only nine attractions to visit in the United States. Condé Nast Traveler called the National Comedy Center “One of the best museums in the country,” and People magazine named it one of “100 Reasons to Love America.”
The National Comedy Center was also voted a “Best New Attraction” in the county, ranking #2 out of 20 new attractions by USA Today readers, and chosen as the #1 museum and #1 ticketed attraction. Comedy industry authority The Interrobang named the design team second on its list of “Innovators Who Changed Comedy” in 2018. Visitors from all 50 states and nine countries have given the Center a rare 5/5 raring on TripAdvisor, ranking among the highest in the attraction and tourism industry.
Based on the vision of Jamestown native Lucille Ball for her hometown to become a destination for comedy, the National Comedy Center showcases comedy’s great minds and unique voices in ways that engage, inspire, educate and entertain. As a non-profit institution, the National Comedy Center was funded by a mix of federal, state and private philanthropic support, including partnerships with I LOVE NY, Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York State’s Empire State Development.
Design for the National Comedy Center was led by the most prominent cultural and interactive design firms in the world, whose portfolios collectively include the award-winning 9/11 Memorial Museum, The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, The College Football Hall of Fame, SNL: The Experience, and more.
The National Comedy Center has been embraced by the entertainment industry, with props, costumes and archival material provided by many of the most revered names in comedy. The Comedy Center recently announced a major initiative to preserve Carl Reiner’s personal “Dick Van Dyke Show” script archive.
Exhibition partners include the Kelly Carlin and the George Carlin estate, George Shapiro and Jerry Seinfeld, Dan Aykroyd, Alan and Robin Zweibel, Joan Dangerfield, The Lenny Bruce Memorial Foundation, Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner, The Harold Ramis Family, The Garry Shandling Estate, George Schlatter, Bill Marx and the Harpo Marx Family, the Ernie Kovacs and Edie Adams estate, Desilu Too, NBC Universal, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Corporate Archive, and many more.
The National Comedy Center operates the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum, which explores the lives, careers and legacy of the “First Couple of Comedy,” and the incredible impact they had on the world.
Now in its 30th year, the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in Jamestown has showcased comedy’s greatest stars and rising young comedians, including Jerry Seinfeld, Ellen DeGeneres, Trevor Noah, Lily Tomlin, Jay Leno, Amy Schumer, Brian Regan, Lewis Black, W. Kamau Bell, Jim Gaffigan, Paula Poundstone, Dan Aykroyd, Joan Rivers, Bob Newhart, the Smothers Brothers and more than one hundred other comedic artists. The 2019 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, presented by the National Comedy Center last August, was headlined by Sebastian Maniscalco and John Mulaney.
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