I don’t know where or how it got into my head, but I thought that the Comedy Center that opened in Jamestown NY about a year ago was just a venue for performances. I had been to the Lucille Ball Museum also in Jamestown a few years ago and was impressed by the exhibits and the quality of the experience. Was I wrong!
From the time you go into the building, you start to get the idea that this is something very different. When you check in, you are given a wristband, and directed to a kiosk, where you register the wristband and then answer questions to create your comedy profile. What is that? It is a bunch of questions that try to pinpoint what makes your laugh..you favorite comedy movies, tv shows, comedians, etc. THEN, when you go to an exhibit, you swipe your wristband, and it will customize the experience to you! Isn’t that just genius?
What kind of exhibits? There are items donated by comedians (like Dan Ackroyd’s motorcycle, Joan River’s dresses and script notes), but also a hologram of Jim Garofalo doing a routine, a chance to pick up a prop (rubber chicken, banana) and see what movies and uses it has had in comedy, a chance to see a recorded performance, based on your likes (I got George Carlin). There was also a chance with another visitor to have a laugh off and tell jokes trying to make the other person smile or laugh, and an opportunity to do a stand up routine. For the adults, there is also a “blue room” that covers some the more controversial comics–Lenny Bruce, Richard Prior and others who specialize in adult humor.
We spent 3 hours and could have spent another few…I know that I will go back. My only criticism…the one space for food purchases is minimal and prewrapped…the venue is fantastic.. why not have some good food? Plan your day, and visit one or both of the museums, you will leave with a smile on your face! It is just a 40 minute drive from the Grape Arbor.perfect for a rainy day. Or a sunny day..