National Comedy Center Announces New Themed “Summer Fun Weeks” and “Riverside Saturdays” Free Outdoor Movie Series for Summer 2021

National Comedy Center Announces New Themed “Summer Fun Weeks” and “Riverside Saturdays” Free Outdoor Movie Series for Summer 2021

Lucille Ball Comedy Festival Shows Rescheduled for 2022


Jamestown, NY – May 19, 2021 – The National Comedy Center, the United States’ official cultural institution dedicated to the art form of comedy, announced its full event schedule for this summer, featuring the debut of themed Summer Fun Weeks from June 20 through August 7, 2021, celebrating many of the most beloved comedy genres and talent.

Each week, a special type of comedy will be honored, including slapstick comedy, comedy in the workplace, buddy comedies, cartooning and animation, and more. The museum visitor experience will feature fun activities for all ages, special storytelling spotlights and outdoor events celebrating the weekly theme, all included with admission to the National Comedy Center.

Summer Fun Weeks will culminate with a weekly, free outdoor comedy movie during the Comedy Center’s Riverside Saturdays at Comedy Center Park, situated behind the National Comedy Center alongside the Jamestown Riverwalk on the Chadakoin River. Riverside Saturdays will run from June 26 through August 7 and feature music, a new outdoor patio café/bar and fun activities for the entire family on Saturday evenings starting at 7 pm, with entertainment by live bands, including The Untouchables, St. Vith, Uptown Fever and For the People, and family comedy shows from comedian and variety entertainer Nels Ross. The feature film will start each Saturday at dusk (8:45 pm) on two jumbo outdoor screens.

All events will be safe, socially-distant and worry-free in accordance with the National Comedy Center’s award-winning LaughSafe health and safety protocols.

A full schedule of weekly comedy themes and movies is listed below and available at

“We all need laughter now more than ever, so we are thrilled to introduce our ‘Summer Fun Weeks,’ activities and events throughout the summer, which will provide something extra for all our visitors as we celebrate many of the greatest comedy genres, themes and talent of all time,” stated National Comedy Center executive director Journey Gunderson. “A high point each week will be our ‘Riverside Saturday’ celebrations at Comedy Center Park, featuring activities for the family, a new outdoor patio café/bar and free comedy movies on large outdoor screens.”

The National Comedy Center’s “Riverside Saturdays” summer event series sets the stage for the Chadakoin River Strategic Business Plan, to be released in the coming weeks. This comprehensive plan includes projects designed to attract visitors to the Jamestown river corridor and basin area behind the Comedy Center.

“The National Comedy Center’s summer event programming in Comedy Center Park is a perfect complement to the implementation of the Chadakoin River Strategic Business Plan”, said Greg Edwards, CEO of the Gebbie Foundation and a member of the steering committee for this initiative. “Activating that area with nighttime entertainment will introduce area residents and visitors to a beautiful setting that is destined to become a signature downtown location,” added Edwards.  “The City of Jamestown deserves this plan for a vibrant downtown waterfront, and the Comedy Center’s ‘Riverfront Saturdays’ is a great way to kick it off.”

Summer Fun Weeks at the National Comedy Center

A celebration of comedy with a weekly theme throughout the summer.

June 20 – August 7

Buddy Comedy  June 20 – June 26

From Laurel & Hardy to Cheech & Chong to Wayne’s World, the buddy comedy is one of our most enduring and beloved comedic formulas. This week we celebrate our favorite friends-on-a-mission.

Comedy in the Workplace  June 27 – July 3

From The Office and 30 Rock, to Cheers and M*A*S*H, workplace humor has been at the center of some of the most revered films and television shows of all time. Play hooky this week and spend time with your favorite comedy coworkers.

The Healing Power of Comedy  July 4 – July 10

It’s intuitive: Laughter makes us feel better. Now more than ever, let’s tap into comedy’s incredible power to uplift us, foster empathy, and boost our emotional health.

Animation & Cartooning  July 11 – July 17

Cartoons make us laugh, feel, think, and come together, carrying an appeal that spans generations. Join us in celebrating the animated films, comic strips, and cartoons that have been a mainstay of our comedy heritage for over a century.

Slapstick Comedy  July 18 – July 24

What is it about falling down, getting bonked, or taking a pie in the face that is so reliably funny? Visit us this week to explore the art of slapstick comedy–from the silent film era to today’s most beloved blockbusters.

Legends of Comedy  July 25 – July 31

Comedy is a vital art form that shapes the world we live in. This week, we celebrate legendary comedic voices from Richard Pryor to Joan Rivers that have opened our minds, spoken truth to power, and changed the course of history.

We Love Lucy & Desi  August 1 – August 7

Since its debut in 1951, I Love Lucy has bought joy and inspiration to millions. Join us as we celebrate the 70th anniversary of “I Love Lucy” and the 25th anniversary of the Lucy Desi Museum and honor the legacies of two pioneering American innovators.

Riverside Saturdays Presented by the National Comedy Center

Free movies, music and More at Comedy Center Park


Date Weekly Theme Movie Showing 8:45 pm Performances 7:00-8:45 pm
June 26 Buddy Comedy Wayne’s World The Untouchables
July 3 Comedy in the Workplace Groundhog Day
July 10 Healing Power of Comedy Sister Act
July 17 Animation and Cartooning Monsters Inc Nels Ross Family Comedy Show (7-8)
July 24 Slapstick Comedy Airplane St. Vith
July 31 Legends of Comedy Blues Brothers Uptown Fever
August 7 We Love Lucy & Desi Classic Lucy & Desi For the People


To reserve admission tickets for the National Comedy Center during Summer Fun Weeks, visit Advance reservations for Riverside Saturday movie presentations will be available at starting on Tuesday, June 1st at noon ET. Due to current COVID capacity restrictions, reservations are required for the free movies and availability is limited.

The National Comedy Center is currently open Thursdays through Mondays from 10 am to 5 pm and will reopen on Tuesdays from 10 am to 5 pm through the summer starting June 1, 2021. The Comedy Center will stay open late on “Riverside Saturdays,” extending operating hours until 7 pm on those special event days. Chautauqua County residents receive a special discounted rate for National Comedy Center admission: only $19.50 for adults (over 23% off the regular ticket price).

Comedy Center Park, along with the new riverside patio café/bar, will also be available for private event rentals, featuring new furnishings, an audio system, a 30 x 60 ft covered space, and more. Contact for more information.

Lucille Ball Comedy Festival Update

Due to the status of COVID-19 health and safety concerns for indoor, large-group events and arena performances, and the existing restrictions relative to these events, the shows scheduled for the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, which had been scheduled for August 4-8 2021, will be rescheduled for the same weekend in 2022: August 3-7, 2022, in order to ensure the health and safety of festival attendees, staff and volunteers.

Comedian Jeff Foxworthy’s shows have been rescheduled for Friday, August 5, 2022 and the Legends of SNL: David Spade, Kevin Nealon and Rob Schneider performance has been rescheduled for Saturday, August 6, 2022. All other events have also been rescheduled for the corresponding day and time in 2022. A schedule of events is available at

“While we are heading in the right direction on the COVID front, the festival takes months of lead time to present. The reality is that with thousands of ticket buyers coming from nearly all 50 U.S. states and having to make travel plans, and with dozens of artists, agencies and venues involved, we had to make the call now on rescheduling the shows, given existing guidelines for indoor performance venues that seat 50 to 2,500 people,” stated executive director Journey Gunderson. “While we are saddened that we had to reschedule, we are excited to present a seven-week event series that will generate economic impact for our local businesses throughout the summer and introduce many people to the Comedy Center and Comedy Center Park for the first time. We are grateful for the patience, understanding and continued support of our festival attendees, sponsors, volunteers and staff, and look forward to finally bringing our 30th Lucille Ball Comedy Festival to venues throughout Jamestown in August 2022.”

Current Lucille Ball Comedy Festival ticket holders will have their tickets transferred automatically to the same shows and events for the 2022 festival, unless they choose a different option.

Festival ticket holders will have several options to consider:

  • Transfer tickets to the same shows and events for the 2021 festival. New ticket will automatically be issued to ticket holders within the next several weeks.
  • Donate the value of their tickets to the non-profit National Comedy Center as a tax-deductible contribution as the
  • Exchange the value of their tickets for a National Comedy Center gift card to be used for admission, membership, future event tickets or merchandise.
  • Receive a full refund for their ticket purchase by selecting this option by July15, 2021.

Festival ticket holders can now select their preferred option via the Comedy Center’s Ticketing form at

Those wishing to purchase new tickets for 2022 festival events, including Jeff Foxworthy and Legends of SNL, without holding existing tickets for 2021, can do so by visiting beginning Tuesday, June 1, 2021 at noon ET.