No Laughing Matter: Reed’s National Comedy Center Designation Bill Passes House

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Office of Congressman Tom Reed

Today, Rep. Tom Reed announced the House of Representatives unanimously voted to officially designate the National Comedy Center, and recognize it as the only museum of its kind to exist for the exclusive purpose of celebrating comedy in all its forms.

“This is a monumental day for the center, for Jamestown, our local economy and, most of all, for comedy,” Tom said. “We care about shining a light on the art form of comedy on a national stage, and as Jamestown, NY is the birthplace of Lucille Ball it is only fair to officially designate the National Comedy Center here.

“This designation will appropriately highlight the excellent facility and immersive programming the National Comedy Center is bringing to our area,” Tom concluded.

Tom announced the bill in June after a visit to the center, and it was later passed unanimously in the House Natural Resources Committee.

In 2017, Tom helped connect the National Comedy Center with Federal New Market Tax Credit financing after noticing what a large impact the center would have on the area. These tax credits allowed for an increased flow of capital to the National Comedy Center by providing tax incentives to private investors.

Tom also coordinated conversations between the National Comedy Center and the Economic Development Administration to ensure additional funding for the project “The National Comedy Center is the first and only non–profit institution and national scale visitor experience dedicated to the art of comedy and it is wonderful that Congress has recognized it as such”, National Comedy Center Project Chairman Tom Benson said.

“Being America’s official home for comedy will provide national visibility and credibility that will benefit the NCC in many ways for years to come and we sincerely appreciate the efforts of Tom to spearhead this initiative in the House of Representatives.

“We now look forward to the approval by the Senate and then the President,” concluded Benson.

Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello said he is glad the center has received the designation and looks forward to great success from the center’s opening.

“Having the National Comedy Center designated as an official attraction by Congress will help bring us truly national recognition for this world-class attraction,” Borrello said.

“Comedy insiders have known for years that Jamestown NY is the place for Comedy,” Gebbie Foundations CEO Greg Edwards said. “They have been coming to sold out shows by Leno, Seinfeld, Trevor Noah, Jim Gaffigin and many other of the top names.

“In addition, hundreds of up and coming artists have been seen on our stages. That is why the Gebbie Foundation and virtually all of the other foundations in the region invested tens of millions of dollars to help create the National Comedy Center. Now with this Federal designation as the Nation’s official home of Comedy the rest of the world will know where to come to celebrate this art form,” concluded Edwards.

The National Comedy Center is located in the downtown area of Jamestown in Western New York. The center tells the story of comedy in America through interactive experiences, exciting displays and a plethora of information, including an extensive collection of notes from noted comedian, George Carlin. In 2015, the center held an official ground breaking at the Second Street site, and has been moving toward completion ever since. The center features two full-height, high-resolution digital screens just outside the doors, archives of information from a variety of comedians and an interactive experience tailored to the individual’s preferences.

The National Comedy Center is slated to open during the annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival from Aug. 1–5. For more information regarding the center or the upcoming festival and opening, visit www.comedycenter.org