National Comedy Center Presents “The GI’s of Comedy” as it Honors our Military and Veterans During Memorial Day Weekend

National Comedy Center Presents “The GI’s of Comedy” as it Honors our Military and Veterans During Memorial Day Weekend

Jamestown, New York – January 31, 2020 – The National Comedy Center, the United States’ official cultural institution and museum dedicated to comedy, has announced that it will be presenting “The GI’s of Comedy” live on stage on Saturday, May 23rd, 2020 as it honors our active military and veterans during Memorial Day weekend. The show will be held at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts, just three blocks from the National Comedy Center.

The GI’s of Comedy is an acclaimed, professional stand-up comedy troupe who have taken their love of their country and brought it the comedy stage. As their motto says, they are “Stand-up Comics. All Veterans. Still Serving Their Country. One Joke at a Time.” Featuring founder Thom Tran (US Army), James P. Connolly (US Marine) and Les Jennings (US Air Force), their mission is to help heal their fellow soldiers with their comedy, and to bring laughter to all those who have supported the people who wear the uniform of the United States Armed Forces. The troupe has performed in 30 states and nearly two dozen countries.

“The National Comedy Center is honored to present The GI’s of Comedy on Memorial Day weekend and offer this ‘comedic troupe of troops’ performance free to active military and veterans,” stated Malachi Livermore, Director of Programming and Guest Experience at the National Comedy Center. “There is no better way for us to salute our troops than to share the laughter by featuring these talented comedians and veterans live on stage.”

The GI’s of Comedy is the brainchild of comedian, writer, producer and former US Army Staff Sergeant Thom Tran. Having served in Iraq during Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, Tran was medically retired in 2005 after he was wounded in combat in Iraq. After returning to civilian live, comedy became the only real therapy for Tran, who continues to struggle with Post-Combat Trauma, as many veterans do.

Tickets are on sale now at The show is offered free to active military and veterans.

The National Comedy Center will be welcoming visitors and veterans throughout Memorial Day weekend, when it will also kick off its 2020 “Comedy Under the Stars” free movie presentations on its jumbo outdoor screens with the comedy favorite, “Airplane,” showing on the evening of Friday, May 22 at 8:00 pm.

With over 50 immersive exhibits, including a presentation in its “Laughing Matters” gallery on the history of USO comedy shows with artifacts from the career of Bob Hope, the National Comedy Center takes visitors on a laugh-filled journey through the world of comedy as they explore the great minds and unique voices that have elevated comedy to an art form.

A special museum admission discount is available for active military and veterans. The National Comedy Center is open seven days a week. Plan your visit at

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.

TIME just named the National Comedy Center one of its “World’s Greatest Places,” ¾ 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,” while People magazine recently named it one of “100 Reasons to Love America.” 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 NEW YORK ™, 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.

For over 25 years, the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in Jamestown has showcased comedy’s rising young comedians and greatest stars, including Jerry Seinfeld, Amy Schumer, Jay Leno, Lily Tomlin, Lewis Black, Trevor Noah, Joan Rivers, Ellen DeGeneres, Jim Gaffigan, Paula Poundstone, Ray Romano, Bob Newhart and The Smothers Brothers, and over one hundred other comedic artists. The 29th annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, presented by the National Comedy Center, was held this past, headlined by Sebastian Maniscalco and John Mulaney. The 30th annual festival is scheduled for August 5-9, 2020.

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