The Experience

Welcome to 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 a true 21st Century museum environment.

TIME named the National Comedy Center 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, while USA Today named it the “Best New Museum” in the United States. People magazine named the National Comedy Center one of “100 Reasons to Love America,” Condé Nast Traveler called it “one of the best museums in the country” and U.S. News & World Report selected it as one of the “25 Top Weekend Getaways in the U.S.”  Visitors from all 50 states and nine countries have given the Center a rare 5/5 rating 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.
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 immersive exhibits with the 37,000-square-foot 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.


One of the Most Interactive and Immersive Museums in the World

Personalized for the Kind of Comedy that You Like Most


The National Comedy Center is an interactive playground for comedy fans, offering an immersive experience for visitors of all ages, featuring state-of-the-art technology and personalization throughout the 37,000-square-foot museum complex. With over 50 exhibits, there is a wide variety of experiences to choose from as guests explore every genre of comedy, from stand-up, sketch and improv to television, radio, movies and more.


Here we’ve highlighted some of the most popular, “must see” interactive experiences at the National Comedy Center.

Create Your Sense of Humor Profile


Personalization is at the heart of the National Comedy Center experience. As you begin your National Comedy Center visit, we invite you to tell us the comedians, movies and TV shows that you like best, so that we can create your customized Sense of Humor profile. That information is stored on a LaughBand, worn on your wrist. As you scan your LaughBand throughout the experience, each interactive exhibit presents personalized content based on your comedy taste and preferences.

Comedy Continuum


Explore the connections and collaborations between artists on this state-of-the-art, 60-foot digital touch screen video wall. Learn the “six degrees of separation” between your favorite comedy stars and their greatest influences as you build webs that link comedic talent across genres and eras in comedy, and unlock their hidden connections.

Laugh Battle


Compete with friends and family to see who can make each other laugh. Microsoft AI facial recognition technology detects whether you smiled or laughed when a joke is delivered by your opponent. If you manage not to laugh, you’ll score the point.

Be the Performer – Comedy Karaoke


It’s your turn to take the stage as you perform a classic comedy routine in front of your family and friends. Choose stand-up material from Jerry Seinfeld, Ali Wong, Jeff Foxworthy, Chris Rock, John Mulaney, Aziz Ansari and many more. If the spotlight is not your thing, cheer on your friends and family while enjoying a beverage in our Karaoke lounge.

Prop Stars


Explore how iconic comedy props – the anvil, the rubber chicken, “Groucho” glasses, whoopie cushion, the seltzer bottle, and many more – have been used throughout comedy history, as clips from classic films, TV shows and cartoons featuring those props are showcased.

Act the Part – Green Screen Experience


Put yourself and your friends and family in classic TV shows and movies including the iconic I Love Lucy chocolate factory scene, and favorite scenes from Dumb and Dumber, Anchorman, Saturday Night Live, plus classic pie fights, movie car crash scenes and more.

The Writer’s Desk


Sit down at the Writer’s Desk and use hand gestures to flip through film and television scripts, many with handwritten annotations, to see how scenes often change from what was originally on the page to what is actually filmed. Perhaps a scene is falling flat on shoot day and has to be fixed — in the moment – to make it work, with the creative input of the writers, director, producer and/or the actors.

Sounds Funny


Become a “Foley” artist by adding your own sound effects to a Three Stooges clip or the iconic campfire scene from Blazing Saddles. Do you have what it takes to fill these scenes with sounds that get the biggest laughs?

Draw a Cartoon on Our Digital Screens


Try your hand at cartooning by following the instructions on the touchscreen monitor. Have fun creating your own characters and cartoon panels, which will be sent to you via email after your visit.

Late Night Studio Camera


Get behind the camera and travel back through time to explore the iconic studios and production sets that served as the homes for legendary late night television talk shows over the past 70 years.