The National Comedy Center in Jamestown is hosting virtual comedy festivals to replace the in-person August celebration postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and is set to honor more than just America’s favorite redhead.
Pam Richardson of Buffalo is picking out a few souvenirs from her trip Monday to the National Comedy Center in Jamestown.
“My mother was really into comedy and we watched Lucy, of course, always. Phyllis Diller, Joan Rivers. Moms Mabley. I don’t know if anyone even remembers her anymore,” said Pam Richardson, Buffalo.
To help recognize the top names in comedy, the center, led by Executive Director Journey Gunderson, is holding two more virtual comedy festivals, one this weekend and one next.
The festival not only serves as a tribute to Lucille Ball, but her vision to mark the best in the industry.
“So, this year, again in her honor, to do a virtual festival where more than 30 artists in comedy come together to talk about the craft. You kno , I can’t think of a better way to fulfill our mission,” said Gunderson.
Featured comics include Jay Leno and Keenan Thompson, as well as a special tribute to the late Karl Reiner.
The festival replaces the annual in-person event that was postponed because of the pandemic.
“It allows us to pull back the curtain on the craft,” said Gunderson.
It also lets those like Pam make her way from one interactive exhibit to the other, where she becomes part of the experience that showcases the comics who make her laugh.
“I’ve never been in a place that was so interactive, so that was really, really cool,” said Richardson.
And then it’s back to the center’s gift shop to pick out a few more things before she heads home to Buffalo.
“I’ve been wanting to come here for a long, long time. I finally made it. I’m glad I came,” said Richardson.
A link to the virtual festival can be found here.