11 May National Comedy Center Acquires the Archives of Comedian George Carlin
Jamestown, NY, MAY 11, 2016 – The National Comedy Center has acquired the archives of George Carlin. The acquisition was announced last night by the comedian’s daughter, Kelly Carlin, at a private event in New York hosted by the Comedy Center. The contents of the Carlin archive contain material saved by the comedian over his 50-plus-year career, and will be utilized in the Center’s forthcoming museum experience.
The event, Satire and Democracy: Empowering the Citizenry with Comedy, was held at The Paley Center for Media, and featured a panel discussion with Lewis Black, Robert Klein, Larry Wilmore and Lizz Winstead recorded for the Comedy Center’s archives. The panel was held in tribute to George Carlin, who passed away in 2008 and would have been 79 years old tomorrow.
Kliph Nesteroff, author of “The Comedians: Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels and the History of American Comedy,” moderated the discussion and was announced last evening as a curator of the Comedy Center’s forthcoming museum experience.
The Carlin archive includes his extensive creative files, annotated set lists, handwritten journals, scrapbooks, awards, letters, clothing, arrest records and countless hours of video and audio recordings containing both released and unreleased material.
“There comes a time in one’s life when it’s time to let go of our parent’s stuff. For me this has been a literal process. Through the writing of my memoir and touring my solo show, I’ve gotten to be with my father in many ways, and let go of, honor and transform our past together,” said Kelly Carlin in a statement. “I am truly excited that there will be a place for my dad’s stuff—permanently. The folks at the National Comedy Center are thoughtful, respectful and excited about the art of comedy. I can think of no other place for my dad’s legacy to be permanently honored, archived and preserved for future generations.”
Journey Gunderson, Executive Director of the National Comedy Center, added, “George Carlin helped redefine the art form of stand-up comedy and we are honored to help steward his legacy in this way. With this incredible archive we can provide a window into his creative process for generations to come.”
A non-profit cultural institution dedicated to the celebration of comedy the National Comedy Center is a $50 million project funded by public-private partnership. To date it has been awarded more than $3.5 million from New York State, Empire State Development and I Love NY™. Design of the immersive, interactive visitor experience has been provided by renowned creative firm Jack Rouse Associates.
“The National Comedy Center’s museum will take guests on a personalized, interactive comedic journey through time, and across all media types, in a unique and fun way,” said Tom Benson, Chairman of the project. “It will preserve, protect and trace the lineage between comedy of the past and the future so that it will live and be relevant forever.”
The National Comedy Center’s ground-breaking weekend for the forthcoming museum took place last August and featured Jerry Seinfeld, Nick Offerman, the award-winning creative team of David Letterman’s 33-year career, and the families of Milton Berle, George Carlin, Harold Ramis, and Joan Rivers.
The project embodies Lucille Ball’s vision for her hometown of Jamestown to become a destination for the celebration of the comedic arts. The organization operates the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum, and for the last 25 years has produced the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival with performers including Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, Joan Rivers, Ray Romano, Bob Newhart, The Smothers Brothers and more than 100 other comedic artists.
The Comedy Center’s 2016 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, August 4-7, will feature comedians Lewis Black, Trevor Noah and Brian Regan, panel discussions featuring screenwriter-directors the Farrelly Brothers, and the daughters of Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor.