You're Bound to LOL Like Crazy at This Newly Opened Museum

It's not a joke!

( Comedy as an art form traces its roots to fourth century BC Greece, which used the word to describe theater acts with happy endings. By the 19th century, it expanded its meaning to refer to any performance that invokes laughter. This is the comedy that we know today, and we have the likes of Charlie Chaplin to thank for. To celebrate this long history of LOLs, Jamestown, New York opened the National Comedy Center on August 1.

The opening week of the National Comedy Center coincided with the town's annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival. National Comedy Center
It pays homage to American comedian Lucille Ball who hails from Jamestown. National Comedy Center

The National Comedy Center is dedicated to telling the vital story of comedy in America. But it's not like any other museum with trivia and information that you can easily get online. The U.S. $50-million cultural hub is sprawling at 37,000 square feet, which is about seven times as big as a basketball court. Its state-of-the-art facilities and over 50 immersive exhibits take visitors on an interactive and fully personalized journey. Guests start with creating their humor profile, which records their likes and dislikes when it comes to enjoying various comedy forms. Then, they go on to watch stand-up comedies, try their hand at cartooning and comedy writing, take a look back at some of the funniest sitcoms and live shows on American television, and explore a long list of memes that have gone viral.

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There are over 50 interactive exhibits that guests can tinker with. National Comedy Center
You can also see what goes on behind the scenes of Late Night, an American late-night talk show that started airing in 1982. National Comedy Center
The museum boasts a cutting-edge technology for the enjoyment of guests. National Comedy Center

There's also a Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum, dedicated to two comedy personalities in America—Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Ball is known for her self-produced sitcoms like I Love Lucy, while Arnaz is best remembered for his role as Ricky Ricardo in the same show.

The National Comedy Center is at 203 West Second Street, Jamestown, New York. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets, priced from U.S. $18.50 to U.S. $30, are available through the National Comedy Center's website.

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