National Comedy Center – Jamestown, New York - Atlas Obscura

National Comedy Center

The first and only American institution dedicated to the enduring value of comedy in the United States. 

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A one-of-a-kind experiential complex devoted to the history and art of American comedy, located in Lucille Ball’s hometown of Jamestown, NY.

Holograms of comedy history, George Carlin’s arrest records, and immersive sets wait under the expansive roof of the National Comedy Center, housed in a converted train station. Covering the scope of American comedy, the colossal space is designed to educate visitors about the loudest, wackiest, punchiest figures in the field of farce, including Rodney Dangerfield, Joan Rivers, Jerry Seinfeld, and Dave Chapelle.

Visitors receive a “humor profile,” which uses a radio frequency identification chip inside a wristband to track and tailor content to personal comedic tastes across some 50 interactive exhibits. You can try out different comedic forms like cartooning, slapstick pie fights, script writing, and even the golden bough of comedy: stand-up.

Know Before You Go

The National Comedy Center is open seven days a week. Tickets are $25.50 for adults, $23.50 for seniors, $18.50 for children 13 and up, $12 for children 6 to 12. Chautauqua County residents and active military personnel and veterans enjoy discounted admission. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door.