20 May National Comedy Center’s Lucille Ball Comedy Festival Returns
National Comedy Center’s Lucille Ball Comedy Festival Returns Live & In-Person this August with Over 50 Live Events
Comedian Margaret Cho Joins All-Star Lineup Including Jeff Foxworthy and SNL Legends David Spade, Rob Schneider and Kevin Nealon. Ticket Pre-Sale for Margaret Cho Starts Wednesday, June 1 for National Comedy Center Members; Public On-Sale for Cho Begins Monday, June 6. Tickets for Foxworthy and SNL Legends Shows Available Now.
Jamestown, New York – May 19, 2022 –The National Comedy Center, the nation’s official museum and cultural institution dedicated to comedy, announced today that the 2022 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival is a “full go” for returning live and in-person this August, and comedian Margaret Cho has joined the lineup, performing live on Thursday, August 4, 2022. Cho joins comedian Jeff Foxworthy, and Saturday Night Live legends David Spade, Rob Schneider and Kevin Nealon for three consecutive nights of headliner shows during the 30th live festival. A Stand-Up Comedy Showcase has also been added to the lineup on Wednesday, August 3, 2022. The full lineup features over 50 live events taking place in Jamestown, NY – Lucille Ball’s hometown – August 3-7, 2022.
Cho will perform on Thursday, August 4, 2022, at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts. Tickets will go on pre-sale for National Comedy Center members only – starting Wednesday, June 1 at noon ET at ComedyCenter.org/Festival. Public on-sale date will be Monday, June 6 at noon ET.
Journey Gunderson, National Comedy Center Executive Director, stated “We all need laughter after these past two years, so we’re pleased that the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival is back and features some of comedy’s greatest talent: Margaret Cho, Jeff Foxworthy, Legends of SNL David Spade, Kevin Nealon and Rob Schneider, along with the best rising voices from comedy nationwide. The talent descending on Jamestown that week is remarkable.”
As a trailblazing comedian, actress, musician and activist, Margaret Cho has five Grammy Award nominations and one Emmy nod for her groundbreaking work on 30 Rock. Rolling Stone magazine named Margaret one of the 50 Best Stand-Up Comics calling her “the sort of funny, sex-positive feminist and LGBT activist younger comics continue to look up to.” Her legendary stand-up career has yielded 10-plus comedy tours, television appearances (smash hit The Masked Singer, HBO’s High Maintenance), podcasting (The Margaret Cho) and film, Netflix’s Good on Paper with Iliza Shlesinger and Auntie Ling in Netflix’s first major animated film, Over the Moon, which was nominated for an Academy Award & Golden Globe Award. She recently made her debut on two popular HBO Max shows, The Flight Attendant and Hacks, and is starring in a comedy-horror film Fire Island scheduled to be released this summer. Cho is a fierce advocate for anti-racism, anti-bullying and gay rights campaigns, and has won numerous awards for her humanitarian efforts on behalf of women, Asian Americans and the LGBTQ+ community.
“I’m thrilled to be performing at the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival for the first time – and excited to visit the National Comedy Center, which celebrates this art form and recognizes the importance of comedic artists, whose diverse voices push boundaries and move our society forward,” stated Margaret Cho. “I can’t wait to see everyone in Jamestown this summer.”
“It’s an honor to welcome Margaret Cho to the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival,” stated Journey Gunderson. “Margaret is brilliantly funny, fearless and original – a true master of the craft who opens our minds to the world around us while always keeping us laughing.”
To become a National Comedy Center member in order to gain first access to available seats for Margaret Cho during the pre-sale ticket window, visit ComedyCenter.org/membership or call the National Comedy Center at 716.484.2222. Memberships start at $50 and provide benefits including a full year “season pass” for visiting the acclaimed National Comedy Center in Jamestown, New York.
“Our 30th live and in-person Lucille Ball Comedy Festival will once again offer a broad variety of comedy to suit every taste – from comedy legends to the best rising talent in the country, with stand-up showcases, late night comedy, kids comedy, Lucy legacy events, free live music, block parties and more,” stated Malachi Livermore, the National Comedy Center’s Director of Programming and Guest Experiences. “If you haven’t purchased tickets yet, now is the time, before we start selling out many of these shows.”
The Jeff Foxworthy and Legends of SNL shows, which had previously been scheduled for the cancelled 2020 and 2021 festivals, are still available for ticket purchase, while tickets last, at ComedyCenter.org/Festival. In addition, a Stand-up Comedy Showcase will take place on Wednesday, August 3rd, with the talent lineup to be announced soon. Tickets for the Stand-Up Showcase, Late Night comedy shows, Lucy legacy events and kids comedy show are now available for purchase.
Jeff Foxworthy, the largest-selling comedian of all time with more than 13 million albums sold, will be performing on Friday, August 5. With the first show sold-out, a second show is now available. Foxworthy is one of the most respected and successful comedians in the country, a multiple Grammy Award nominee and a best-selling author of 26 books. Widely known for his redneck jokes, his act goes well beyond that to explore the humor in everyday family interactions and human nature, with a style that has been compared to Mark Twain’s.
The Legends of SNL show will feature stand-up from three of SNL’s most popular performers: David Spade, Rob Schneider and Kevin Nealon and take place on Saturday, August 6, as the National Comedy Center reunites these comedic talents on stage for an extraordinary stand-up comedy show. David Spade, Rob Schneider and Kevin Nealon were all part of the cast and writing team of SNL during a pivotal era for the NBC show in the 1990’s. Each of them created memorable and beloved characters throughout their run on the show, and each were nominated for Emmy awards as part of the SNL writing team. There is very limited ticket availability for this show.
Both Foxworthy’s performance and the Legends of SNL show will be held in Jamestown’s Northwest Arena, adjacent to the National Comedy Center complex.
The acclaimed National Comedy Center and the Lucy Desi Museum are available for tour experiences throughout the festival. Named the “Best New Museum” in the country by USA Today and one of the “World’s Greatest Places” by TIME magazine, the National Comedy Center will debut two new, multi-media exhibits this summer celebrating comedy legends Johnny Carson and Carl Reiner – the largest and most comprehensive exhibits to debut since the Center’s opening in 2018. The Johnny Carson exhibit will celebrate Carson’s legendary run as host of The Tonight Show, highlighting his 30 years on late night television, 30 years later. The Reiner exhibit, Carl Reiner: Keep Laughing, will showcase hundreds of never-before-seen archival materials spanning Reiner’s remarkable seven decades as a writer, director, producer, author, and performer. New artifacts and wardrobe will also be on display this summer from Beverly Hills Cop, Anchorman, School of Rock, Harlem Nights, Zoolander and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, joining displays featuring Charlie Chaplin’s cane, Lucille Ball’s blue polka dot dress, Seinfeld’s “puffy shirt,” Eddie Murphy’s Nutty Professor costume, and artifacts, documents and wardrobe from George Carlin, Joan Rivers, Carol Burnett, The Smothers Brothers, Lenny Bruce, Rodney Dangerfield and many more. The Lucy Desi Museum features new video presentations within the exhibits plus new photo opportunities on the iconic I Love Lucy living room set. The National Comedy Center’s award-winning LaughSafe health and safety program keeps the visitor experience safe and worry-free. Admission tickets are available at ComedyCenter.org.
The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival is presented by the National Comedy Center and embodies Lucille Ball’s vision for her hometown, Jamestown, New York, to be a destination for the celebration of the comedic arts and to showcase new comedic talent from around the country. The festival attracts over 15,000 attendees annually from nearly every state in the country, who come together to share laughter while honoring the craft and contributors on stage at dozens of venues throughout Jamestown, including the National Comedy Center and the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum.
For festival sponsorship and partnership opportunities, contact Thad Payne, Guest Experience and Development Manager, at Tpayne@comedycenter.org.
Since 1991, the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival has featured 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 featured comedians Sebastian Maniscalco and John Mulaney. In 2018, the festival celebrated the grand opening of the National Comedy Center and featured Amy Schumer, Lily Tomlin and a panel of original Saturday Night Live performers and writers including Dan Aykroyd, Laraine Newman and Alan Zweibel.
With the postponement of the live festival in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, the National Comedy Center launched the virtual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival – an award-winning online comedy event feature 30 major artists in conversations about the art of comedy. These programs are still available for viewing, for free, at ComedyCenter.org/Anywhere.
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. Opened in 2018 in Jamestown, New York, the museum complex offers an unprecedented, immersive visitor experience using state-of-the-art technology, interactivity and personalization.
USA Today named the National Comedy Center the “Best New Museum in the Country” 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.” Comedy industry authority The Interrobang named the design team second on its list of “Innovators Who Changed Comedy.”
In 2021, the National Comedy Center was featured in The New York Times, on CBS Saturday Morning, CBS Sunday Morning and on NBC’s TODAY Show, which called it “the Smithsonian of Comedy.”
Visitors from all 50 states and eighteen 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 non-profit National Comedy Center showcases comedy’s great minds and unique voices in ways that engage, inspire, educate and entertain. The Comedy Center’s mission is to provide education on the comedic arts in the form of commentary and contextualization of its bodies of work across all eras and genres of the art form.
The National Comedy Center has collaborated with dozens of artists and estates to preserve materials that represent comedy’s significant artistic, social, and political contributions to American culture including collections illustrating the careers of legendary artists like George Carlin, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Lenny Bruce, The Smothers Brothers, and the development of groundbreaking creative work such as sketch comedy series In Living Color, Saturday Night Live and more. Two new multi-media exhibits will open in the summer of 2022 – an exhibit that celebrates Johnny Carson as we mark the 30th anniversary year of his final Tonight Show, and an exhibit that honors and remembers Carl Reiner during his centennial year.
The National Comedy Center’s Advisory Board includes the recent addition of Tiffany Haddish – filling the seat held by the late Carl Reiner – along with Jim Gaffigan, Lewis Black, W. Kamau Bell, Paula Poundstone, Pixar’s Pete Docter, Paul Feig, Kelly Carlin, and more.
Within the Comedy Center’s museum galleries, more than 50 interactive exhibits and immersive experiences employ cutting-edge technology to present the story of comedy from its origins to the present day – using archival documents, artifacts, and media as their core. Its educational programming on the art form has featured George Lopez, Margaret Cho, Tiffany Haddish, Norman Lear, Debra Messing, Rain Pryor (daughter of Richard Pryor), Jay Leno, Kenan Thompson, Gabriel Iglesias, Ben Stiller, John Cleese, Jimmy Fallon, Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Weird Al” Yankovic, and many more.
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, SNL: The Experience, and 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, as well as the pioneering role and remarkable influence that I Love Lucy and Desilu Studios had on the entertainment industry for generations to come.
The National Comedy Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit cultural institution whose mission is funded by philanthropic support. Donations and grants support the museum and its work to present the vital story of comedy and preserve its heritage for future generations.
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