Honoring George and Jolene Schlatter Establishing an Immersive Multimedia Theater in their Name
National Comedy Center
The National Comedy Center, the United States’ official cultural institution dedicated to the art form of comedy, celebrated legendary comedy producer, director and writer George Schlatter and his wife Jolene Schlatter at a star-studded reception held at The Comedy Store in West Hollywood on Sunday, October 23rd, with a reunion of Laugh-In stars Lily Tomlin, Goldie Hawn, Jo Anne Worley, plus Bill Maher and many other artists who have worked with or been inspired by Schlatter over his six-decade career in comedy and entertainment.
At this amazing event, Journey Gunderson, National Comedy Center executive director, announced their new immersive multimedia theater within the museum will be named in honor of the Schlatters. The George and Jolene Brand Schlatter Theatre will immerse museum visitors in exhibit experiences showcasing comedy’s significant artists and bodies of work, including a new retrospective on George Schlatter’s career and indelible legacy in comedy opening in 2023.
“The National Comedy Center is an American treasure,” stated George Schlatter. “Jolene and I are so grateful to be honored by this vital cultural institution, which embodies our belief in the importance and impact of comedy as a true art form. This has been main focus of my life’s work, so we are thrilled that the National Comedy Center will continue to present and preserve comedy’s greatest legacies for future generations as well as serve as a resource for new and upcoming comedic artists.”
“The National Comedy Center doesn’t merely enshrine artists like George; it celebrates their contributions to a vital and ever-evolving art form,” stated National Comedy Center executive director Journey Gunderson. “So, today we are here to ensure that we’ll always recognize and remember—for generations to come—the impact of George Schlatter’s work.
“George knows that comedy is an art form worthy of reverence, and he expects others to take it as seriously as he does. He has done so much to elevate comedy and to raise the level of its cultural esteem.
“Laugh-In shifted the orbit of the art form and sent it in new directions. The show awakened the nation and created an entirely new comic sensibility, whose impacts are still felt in comedy being created today.
“The American Comedy Awards was George’s clearest expression of his career-long commitment to discovering and nurturing comedy’s greatest talents. The Awards were an unprecedented opportunity for comedians to come together in mutual celebration of their craft—and to do so on a grand scale that respected the art form’s rigor and import,” added Gunderson.
The venue for Sunday’s event had special significance as The Comedy Store is also the former site of the renowned Ciro’s nightclub where Schlatter launched his show business career as the greeter, booker and the “Executive in Charge of Emergency Departures” over 65 years ago.
About George & Jolene Schlatter
George Schlatter changed the face of television when he created and produced the landmark sketch comedy series Laugh-In. Throughout his long and storied career, he also created and produced the TV series Real People, produced the first five years of the Grammy Awards, and hundreds of hours of variety series and specials featuring many of comedy and music’s biggest stars, as well as two Presidential inaugural opening ceremonies. Schlatter has received numerous honors and awards including 25 Emmy nominations, and three Emmy awards, plus Television Critics Association Awards, NAACP Image Awards, Golden Globes, the Directors Guild Award, and the Producers Guild “Man of The Year.”
As the creator and producer of The American Comedy Awards, Schlatter was a pioneer in honoring and celebrating comedic artists and performances that stand the test of time. The American Comedy Awards was the first award show to honor comedy as an art form, running for 15 years.
Schlatter is also a founding Advisory Board member of the National Comedy Center.
Jolene Brand Schlatter’s acting career included her work with Ernie Kovacs, becoming a regular on the comedy innovator’s TV shows in 1961. Jolene was a series regular in Desilu Productions’ Guestward, Ho! and played Zorro’s only girlfriend in Disney’s 1957-59 cult classic, Zorro. She is credited as the creative force who came up with the catchphrase “Sock It to Me” for Laugh-In and joins husband George on the National Comedy Center’s Advisory Board.
Stay connected to the National Comedy Center:
The National Comedy Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit cultural institution whose mission is funded by philanthropic support. Donations and grants support the museum and its work to present the vital story of comedy and preserve its heritage for future generations. Visit comedycenter.org.