Banking on the maxim that comedy is just tragedy plus time plus morbid technology, the soon-to-be-unveiled National Comedy Center is planning a special feature attraction for visitors: dead comedians, hauled out of eternal slumber, and forced to perform their routines for you anew as holograms. The museum and performance space in Jamestown, New York, scheduled to open next year, is hoping to include a comedy club with a one-death minimum, where the greats of yesteryear will prowl the stage again, thanks to the same company that’s worked on holographic projections of entertainers like Liberace and Buddy Holly. It’s all part of the Comedy Center’s commitment to “honor the craft” of stand-up—that relentless grind of repeating the same gags over and over again in a purgatory of interchangeable nightclubs and audiences, from which not even death can free you now.

Among the comedians the Center is hoping to haul from their graves and make dance, monkey, dance, are the likes of Milton Berle, Bob Hope, George Carlin, and Rodney Dangerfield—although its chairman, Tom Benson, says no deals with their estates are currently in place. However, once they (or any comedian who’s died, and whose family wishes to see them resurrected as a wisecracking ghost) are part of the lineup, they’ll be given four to five minutes apiece to relive some of their classic gigs on the Jamestown stage. Then it’s back to oblivion for you, Jokey.


For those who might attend the National Comedy Center and not leave fully horrified by these cackling specters from beyond, Benson says he’s also reached out to the nearby town of Celoron, to see about giving a new home to its terrifying statue of Lucille Ball. All together, this should provide young visitors with enough traumatic experience to create the funny people of tomorrow.

[via New York Times]