Schumer Headlines As Comedy Center Grand Opening Nears

Amy Schumer is set to headline the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival on Friday. Schumer’s appearance will be important in that it will take place during the grand opening of the National Comedy Center in Jamestown. P-J photo by Jordan W. Patterson

By challenging gender roles, Amy Schumer’s edgy comedy pushes the boundaries, and at times may make people feel uncomfortable.

That’s the point.

According to her website, amyschumer.com, Amy “has killed her way to the top with an unapologetic and unabashed brand of humor. Virtually no topic is off-limits in her comedy–nor, as it turns out, in her real life.”

The National Comedy Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson agreed.

“I would say that as an award-winning comedian across stand-up, television and film, it’s important and appropriate to have a headliner of the National Comedy Center grand opening like Amy Schumer.”

Schumer and friends Bridget Everett, Rachel Feinstein, and Mia Jackson will perform Friday at The Northwest Arena at 7 and 9:30 p.m.

Schumer received a Peabody Award for her Comedy Central Show “Inside Amy Schumer,” and has also received a Prime Time Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series.

Gunderson added that some of her sketches on her show really presents a viewpoint of what is like to be a woman in a America of which there has been a void on TV. “That perspective came through in her sketches and I think resonated with a lot of people. Her material is edgy, but it’s very thoughtful. It can be explicit or profane, but it is thoughtful, and presents a strong and relevant point of view. You can’t say she not fearless or that she’s not brave.”

Gunderson added that for the Chautauqua County audience, it is an opportunity to see someone who will be remembered as one of the most successful comedians of this time period — commemorating the grand opening of the National Comedy Center.

Featuring more than 50 immersive and interactive exhibits, the 37,000 square foot visitor experience tells the story of comedy from its origins through the present and is the first non-profit cultural institution and national-scale attraction dedicated to the art of comedy. Guests will be encouraged to engage with many of the exhibits, and each visitor will experience a personalized trip through the Center as exhibits respond to one’s personal comedic sensibilities via use of an RFID chip worn throughout the stay. The museum will also feature an adults-only “Blue Room,” which will explore the art form’s more mature subject matter.

The experience is also annotated with artifact displays of props, costumes and screen-used items from television and film, putting a visitor in the presence of some of the most legendary comedy DNA dating back to vaudeville. Outside the museum, which repurposes the structure of Jamestown’s original 1930 art-deco Gateway Train Station, a waterfront community green space is provided with Comedy Center Park.

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