The National Comedy Center Opens With a Star-Studded Celebration

The National Comedy Center, the first nonprofit cultural institution dedicated to celebrating the art of comedy, has opened in Jamestown, New York. The grand opening event, beginning on August 1st, will run throughout the weekend with headliners including Amy Schumer, W. Kamau Bell, Dan Aykroyd, and more.

The National Comedy Center is one of the most personalized museums in the country. When a visitor first enters the Center, they receive their RFID-enabled “Laugh Band” and are asked to select some of their favorite comedians, movies, TV shows, podcasts, and cartoons. The visitor’s selections are used to establish their own sense of humor profile, which tailors the content of the exhibits to the visitor’s taste. With more than 50 interactive exhibits, the National Comedy Center has something for everyone. Topics range from sitcoms and late night talk shows to the humor of George Carlin and Lenny Bruce. The Center’s exhibits provide a complete overview of comedy in America and span a timeline from the Vaudeville era, in the late 19th century, to today’s viral internet memes.

Cortina’s work for the National Comedy Center is highlighted by Comedy Continuum, a 60-foot-wide touchscreen wall that allows visitors to explore the interconnectedness of the comedy industry; Laugh Battle, an interactive that allows two visitors to face off in a battle to make the other person smile using software developed to detect when a visitor gives in and cracks up; Stand-Up Lounge, an exhibit that analyzes the sense of humor profile of each visitor in the space to display a comedy routine that caters to everyone; and Prop Stars, an interactive table that recognizes a collection of physical props and explores how they have been used in comedy across generations.

Cortina Productions’ very own Principal and Creative Director, Stephen Platenberg, will be leading a discussion on developing interactive museum experiences during the opening festivities.

Cortina Productions is proud to have partnered with exhibit designers Jack Rouse Associates on the 37,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art National Comedy Center.

The “Make a Meme” interactive exhibit at the National Comedy Center.
The “Prop Stars” interactive table at the National Comedy Center.
Two “Laugh Battle” interactive stations at the National Comedy Center.
The exterior of the National Comedy Center.