George and Jolene Brand Schlatter

George and Jolene Brand Schlatter


George Schlatter changed the face of television when he created and produced the landmark sketch comedy series Laugh-In. The #1 show in America during the height of the countercultural movement, Laugh-In launched powerful comedic voices like Lily Tomlin and influenced generations of future sketch shows like Saturday Night Live and In Living Color.

Throughout Schlatter’s long and storied career, he also created and produced the TV series Real People, produced the first five years of the Grammy Awards, and hundreds of hours of variety series and specials featuring many of comedy and music’s biggest stars, as well as two Presidential inaugural opening ceremonies. Schlatter has received numerous honors and awards including 25 Emmy nominations, and three Emmy awards, plus Television Critics Association Awards, NAACP Image Awards, Golden Globes, the Directors Guild Award, and the Producers Guild “Man of The Year.”

As the creator and producer of The American Comedy Awards, Schlatter was a pioneer in honoring and celebrating comedic artists and performances that stand the test of time. The American Comedy Awards was the first award show to honor comedy as an art form, running for 15 years. Schlatter is also a founding Advisory Board member of the National Comedy Center.

Jolene Brand Schlatter’s acting career included her work with Ernie Kovacs, becoming a regular on the comedy innovator’s TV shows in 1961. Jolene was a series regular in Desilu Productions’ Guestward, Ho! and played Zorro’s only girlfriend in Disney’s 1957-59 cult classic, Zorro. She is credited as the creative force who came up with the catchphrase “Sock It to Me” for Laugh-In and joins husband George on the National Comedy Center’s Advisory Board.


In August of 2023, the multi-media theater in the National Comedy Center was officially named in honor of the Schlatters. The George and Jolene Brand Schlatter Theater immerses museum visitors in exhibit experiences showcasing comedy’s significant artists and bodies of work.