New York State Funds National Comedy Center

New York State Funds National Comedy Center
National Comedy Center (artist’s concept)

The nonprofit National Comedy Center in Jamestown, NY has received a $500,000 grant from the New York State government. Appalachian Jamestown is the birthplace of Lucille Ball, who left when she was 3 years old. Her family later moved to nearby Celoron, a lakeside village with a great amusement park, and young Lucy understandably prefered living there. After her family went broke and moved back to Jamestown, 14-year-old Lucy soon left for New York City. Somehow Jamestown got the Comedy Center and Celoron got a really ugly statue of Lucy (later replaced).

It will cost $50 million to complete the Comedy Center. That’s a lot of whoopee cushions. State funding totals $14 million, the U.S. Department of Commerce kicked in $2 million, and the balance has come from private foundation sources. The center will open in 2018, but Jamestown held its annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival last week, and there seems to be a Lucy-Desi Museum there, too. If you want to pay your respects, Lucy’s remains were moved to Jamestown’s Lake View Cemetery.


“Editorial: While some joke about a comedy center in Jamestown, the concept makes sense,” Buffalo News


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Top image (“National Comedy Center — artist’s conception”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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