Back in 2016, we reported that George Carlin’s daughter Kelly Carlin had donated his “archives” to the National Comedy Center in New York for a “museum experience” that was still in the works at the time. Now, that museum experience has grown into an actual museum, and the National Comedy Center is preparing to open it up to the public on August 1. That comes from The Hollywood Reporter, which says the museum has collected artifacts from Bob Hope, Phyllis Diller, Charlie Chaplin, Mary Tyler Moore, Richard Pryor, Lily Tomlin, Rodney Dangerfield, and Johnny Carson (in addition to Carlin), and it will also have items from classic comedy shows and movies like Seinfeld, Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, Ghostbusters, Friends, and more. Plus, THR says there are “eight more individuals” who are in talks to donate items—so if your favorite older comedian isn’t on that list, there’s still a chance you’ll get to see their notebooks or whatever.
The museum is located in Jamestown, the birthplace of Lucille Ball, and her daughter Lucie Arnaz tells THR that her mother would be “over the moon with joy” that they decided to honor “the healing power of love and laughter” with this museum rather than “erecting some passive monument to her”—cough, cough. She notes that the Comedy Center will “celebrate” and “study” humor, and “find out how to make sure there is always more of it.”
The Comedy Center will launch the museum with a “five-day celebration” in August featuring Amy Poehler, Lily Tomlin, and an SNL reunion featuring Dan Aykroyd, Laraine Newman, Garrett Morris, and Alan Zweibel.