Serious about laughter, National Comedy Center ready to open

Published 07-30-2018

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JAMESTOWN, N.Y. (AP) - The new National Comedy Center is ready to reveal how serious it is about humor.

The $50 million high-tech center in western New York pays homage to what's made people laugh from Vaudeville to now. Its grand opening celebration starts Aug. 1.

The nonprofit center in Jamestown, New York, was inspired by hometown hero, Lucille Ball, who envisioned a place where comedy would be celebrated as an art form.

The center features displays of comedic artifacts like Ball's polka-dot dress and sit-com scripts, as well as lively immersive exhibits that let visitors explore props and sound effects and make cartoons and memes. The bravest can take the stage for a stand-up routine in "Comedy Karaoke."

The center is funded with a mix of private, state and federal support.

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