Lucille Ball Comedy Festival going virtual this year


JAMESTOWN, N.Y. (WIVB) — Like many other events this year, the National Comedy Center will help provide laughs in a virtual setting throughout the second half of August.

The virtual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival will run from August 14-30. It’s set to feature a number of big names, including Jimmy Fallon, Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Tiffany Haddish, Jay Leno, Kenan Thompson, Howie Mandel, Aidy Bryant, Margaret Cho and Roy Wood Jr.

The festival will also recognize National Comedy Center Advisory Board Member Carl Reiner, who passed away this past June. There will be an interview with previously unseen “footage from the archives.”

“The mission of the National Comedy Center is to provide education on the comedic arts in the form of commentary and contextualization of its bodies of work, telling the vital story of comedy in America across all eras and genres of the art form,” National Comedy Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson says. “As a non-profit cultural institution, the museum celebrates comedy’s great minds and unique voices, while providing an examination of the time-honed creative processes that have elevated comedy to an art. I can’t think of a better way to tell the story of comedy than via these artists’ voices, at a time when we all need laughter more than ever.”

To stream the festival, watch at this site or on Facebook.

Here is the full schedule of events:

Friday August 14th:
o 8pm ET – Jay Leno: Hosted by Stephen J. Morrison (Part 1)– Legendary
comedian Jay Leno discusses his extensive career in stand-up, writing and latenight television in a conversation with Stephen J. Morrison, Executive Producer
of Exhibit Media for the National Comedy Center.
o 9pm ET – Roy Wood Jr. – Hosted by Wayne Federman – Roy Wood Jr.
speaks about his multifaceted comedy career, including his experiences as a
correspondent on The Daily Show, in a conversation hosted by comedian Wayne
Federman for the National Comedy Center.
o 10pm ET – Margaret Cho – Hosted by Judy Gold – Margaret Cho candidly
discusses her craft and comedy’s vital role in issues of social justice and equality
with comedian Judy Gold in this National Comedy Center Conversation.
Saturday, August 15th:
o 8pm ET – Jay Leno: Hosted by Stephen J. Morrison (Part 2)
o 9pm ET – Sam Jay: Hosted by Harrison Greenbaum – Sam Jay, stand-up
comedian and Emmy-nominated writer for “Saturday Night Live,” discusses her
creative process and new Netflix special, “3 In The Morning,” with comedian
Harrison Greenbaum in a National Comedy Center Conversation.
Sunday, August 16th:
8pm ET – Mad Magazine: Hosted by Harrison Greenbaum – Legendary
creative team members from Mad Magazine, including John Ficarra (former
Editor-in-Chief), Joe Raiola (former Senior editor) and Sam Viviano (former Art
Director) join in a National Comedy Center conversation with comedian
Harrison Greenbaum to talk about the impact of comics, comedy for print, and
the transition to becoming a digital humor magazine.
Friday, August 21st
o 8pm ET – Bill Engvall: Hosted by Rutledge Wood – Comedian Bill Engvall
discusses finding his unique comedic voice and the phenomenon of the Blue
Collar Comedy Tour in a National Comedy Center Conversation hosted by Floor
is Lava’s Rutledge Wood.
o 9pm ET – Howie Mandel: Hosted by Harrison Greenbaum – Comedian,
host and producer Howie Mandel discusses his vast career and his “say yes”
philosophy with comedian Harrison Greenbaum in an exclusive National
Comedy Center Conversation.
o 10pm ET – Dulcé Sloan: Hosted by Charles McBee – Join stand-up
comedian Dulcé Sloan as she discusses her career and the importance of Black
artistry in a National Comedy Center conversation with her former comedy
collaborator, Charles McBee.
Saturday August 22nd :
o 8pm ET – Tiffany Haddish: Hosted by Flame Monroe – Actress, comedian,
author, Emmy Award-winner, and two-time 2020 Emmy-nominee Tiffany
Haddish discusses her work and process with comedian Flame Monroe on the
Emmy-nominated Netflix variety special Tiffany Haddish Presents; They Ready,
“Flame Monroe” as well as her personal nomination for Outstanding Variety
Special for Netflix special Tiffany Haddish: Black Mitzvah.
o 9pm ET – Kenan Thompson: Hosted by Stephen J. Morrison – SNL’s Kenan
Thompson, the longest-tenured cast member in SNL history and 2020 Emmynominee discusses comedy with Stephen J. Morrison, Executive Producer of
Exhibit Media for the National Comedy Center.
o 10pm ET – Judy Gold: Hosted by Frank DeCaro – Judy Gold discusses her
craft and the importance of comedy during these trying times with comedian
and author Frank DeCaro in a conversation for the National Comedy Center.
Sunday, August 23rd :
o 8pm ET – Alan Zweibel: Hosted by Kelly Carlin – Original SNL writer Alan
Zweibel discussed his new memoir, Laugh Lines: My Life Helping Funny People
Be Funnier, and his nearly five decades as an award-winning comedy writer
with writer/producer/actress/radio host Kelly Carlin, the daughter of George
Friday, August 28th :
o 8pm ET – Mark Russell: Hosted by Lewis Black – Legendary political satirist
and comedian Mark Russell takes on current events for the National Comedy
Center with a performance of new musical parodies, plus a discussion of his
career and legacy.
o 9pm ET – Aidy Bryant & Lolly Adefope: Hosted by Anna Drezen – Actress,
comedian and SNL cast member Aidy Bryant and her “Shrill” co-star Lolly
Adefope in conversation with comedian, actor and SNL writer Anna Drezen.
o 10pm ET – Gilbert Gottfried with special guest Penn Jillette: Hosted by
Harrison Greenbaum – Voice actor and stand-up comedian Gilbert Gottfried
sits down virtually with comedian Harrison Greenbaum to talk about his unique
voice, crude humor, and the many aspects that go into telling a joke in this
National Comedy Center Conversation. Special guest Penn Jillette joins the
Saturday, August 29th :
o 8pm ET – “Weird Al” Yankovic: Hosted by Jimmy Fallon and Lin-Manuel
Miranda – Singer/songwriter/producer “Weird Al” in conversation about his
work, creative process and influences with The Tonight Show host and
comedian Jimmy Fallon and composer/lyricist/producer/playwright/actor,
Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.
o 9pm ET – Kate Flannery: Hosted by Ophira Eisenberg – Comedic actress
Kate Flannery, best known for her work on The Office, reflects on her acting
career and the 15th anniversary of the popular TV series in a National Comedy
Center Conversation with comedian and NPR host Ophira Eisenberg.
Sunday, August 30th:
• 8pm ET – Carl Reiner Interview from the Archives: Hosted by Paula
Poundstone and Stephen J. Morrison – An interview with comedy legend
and founding National Comedy Center Advisory Board Member Carl Reiner from
the Comedy Center Archives, featuring never-before-seen interview footage,
plus a discussion about Carl Reiner’s genius with comedian Paula Poundstone
and producer Stephen J. Morrison.

Information provided by the National Comedy Center

Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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