The National Comedy Center was named the “Best New Museum” in the country by USA Today as part of the 2020 USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards. The win was announced today, and followed a multi-week voting campaign.
The National Comedy Center was one of 20 new museums nominated for the award by a panel of nationally-recognized travel journalists, tourism experts and USA Today editors for this USA Today travel award series, which celebrates outstanding destinations, attractions and experiences. All of the nominees were museums that opened over the past two years, including art galleries, science museums and children’s museums in cities across the United States and Canada, including Dallas, New Orleans, St. Louis, Seattle, New York City, St. Petersburg, FL, St. Paul, MN and Edmonton, Alberta.
The Comedy Center was selected as the #1 museum in the “Best New Museum” category by popular vote four weeks of voting which ran from January 20 through February 17, 2020. The Comedy Center was an early favorite, and consistently stayed atop the leaderboard throughout the voting period.
“We are tremendously proud to be named the Best New Museum in the United States and Canada,” said Journey Gunderson, National Comedy Center Executive Director. “We have reimagined the museum experience with immersive exhibit design and unprecedented personalization. This distinction is a testament to the significance of comedy, and talented comedic artists, to our culture and our daily lives.”
“Our visitors — from all 50 states and 18 countries — already know what a must-see destination the Comedy Center is,” added Gunderson. “We look forward to welcoming thousands more comedy fans from across the country and around the world to the Best New Museum, here in Jamestown, New York.”
The National Comedy Center is the nation’s official cultural institution and state-of-the-art museum dedicated to comedy as an art form and is not only the world’s most comprehensive archive of comedy history, it’s also brilliant fun, and a mandatory destination for all comedy fans.
The museum design continues to stand out among museums everywhere, inspiring a guaranteed jaw dropping experience for both new and returning visitors. It’s well worth the trek, drive, flight, train or any combination of the above.
The new award joins a growing list of accolades: last summer the National Comedy Center was named by TIME magazine as one of the “World’s Greatest Places” and People magazine selected it as one of its “100 Reasons to Love America.” And of course The Interrobang named the design team on its list of the top “Innovators Who Changed Comedy” in 2018.
In early 2019, the National Comedy Center was nominated for the USA Today Readers’ Choice “Best New Attraction” award, where it was voted #2 out of 20 new attractions by USA Today readers and chosen as the #1 museum and #1 ticketed attraction in the USA Today poll.
The National Comedy Center has been embraced by the entertainment industry; exhibition partners include the Kelly Carlin and the George Carlin estate, George Shapiro and Jerry Seinfeld, Carl Reiner, Dan Aykroyd, Alan and Robin Zweibel, Joan Dangerfield, The Lenny Bruce Memorial Foundation, Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner, The Harold Ramis Family, The Garry Shandling Estate, George Schlatter, The Smothers Brothers, Bill Marx and the Harpo Marx Family, the Ernie Kovacs and Edie Adams estate, Desilu Too, NBC Universal, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Corporate Archive, and many more.
Now in its 30th year, the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in the center’s hometown of Jamestown has showcased comedy’s greatest stars and rising young comedians, including Jerry Seinfeld, Ellen DeGeneres, Trevor Noah, Lily Tomlin, Jay Leno, Amy Schumer, Brian Regan, Lewis Black, W. Kamau Bell, Jim Gaffigan, Paula Poundstone, Dan Aykroyd, Joan Rivers, Bob Newhart, the Smothers Brothers and more than one hundred other comedic artists. The 2019 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, presented by the National Comedy Center last August, was headlined by Sebastian Maniscalco and John Mulaney. The 2020 festival will feature Jeff Foxworthy and Legends of SNL David Spade, Rob Schneider and Kevin Nealon.