Lucille Ball Comedy Festival Returns to Jamestown, NY August 1-4, 2013

Jamestown, New York is the hometown of the First Lady of Comedy, Lucille Ball, and the Lucy-Desi Museum celebrates both her and Lucy’s husband and co-star Desi Arnaz.  The Western NY museum also strives to maintain Lucille Ball’s legacy of humor with an annual comedy festival showcasing established as well as “up and coming” comics.  The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival returns to Jamestown August 1-4, 2013.  Continue reading for lineup details and schedule.


Lucille Ball Comedy Festival

From Lucy-Desi Center for Comedy’s Press Release

The Lucy Desi Center for Comedy has announced that Bill Engvall, Kathleen Madigan, and a “Comics to Watch” showcase of upcoming comedians presented by Pandora will headline the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, August 1-4, 2013.

Additionally, the leads from the touring stage show hit I Love Lucy: Live on Stage, late-night comedy in the Tropicana Room, Lucille Ball’s former personal secretary Wanda Clark, the GI’s of Comedy, Summer Wind Cruises, and Gregg Oppenheimer’s Live Lucy Radio Play will all be a part of the four-day festival.

I Love Lucy: Live on Stage

"I Love Lucy: Live on Stage" Sirena Irwin & Bill Mendieta. Photo by Ed Krieger.


Bill Engvall, performing on August 3rd, is a headlining member of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour.  Touring alongside the likes of Jeff Foxworthy, Ron White, and Larry the Cable Guy, Engvall’s Blue Collar Comedy movies have sold more than 9 million units and are among some of the most watched specials in Comedy Central History.

Bill Engvall

Kathleen Madigan, who will be performing on August 2nd, has never been hotter in her 25 year career.  She is a frequent performer on Leno, Letterman, Conan, Ferguson and nearly every other late night talk show.  Her stand-up show has been featured in 3 hour-long specials on HBO, Showtime, and Comedy Central; and she has also performed for American soldiers overseas on multiple tours with the likes of Robin Williams and Lewis Black.

Kathleen Madigan

On the evening of August 1st, The Lucy Desi Center for Comedy and Pandora will be teaming up to present the stand-up showcase, “Comics to Watch.”  Additionally, Pandora and the Lucy Desi Center are working together to develop an interactive exhibit with data from Pandora’s Comedy Genome Project TM.  The exhibit will be located at the Jamestown Gateway Train Station during the festival.

“Pandora is very excited to be working with the Lucy Desi Center on this first-of-its kind comedy attraction,” said Kelly Anneken, comedy curator at Pandora.  “Helping Jamestown visitors learn more about America’s rich humorous history is perfectly aligned with Pandora’s mission to connect our listeners to comedy they love.  We’re also thrilled to carry on the legacy of one of American comedy’s greatest stars by presenting a showcase at this year’s Lucille Ball Comedy Festival.”

Pandora launched Comedy in May of 2011, and currently features more than 20,000 comedy tracks in its catalog from more than 1,500 comedians.

The lead actors that portray Lucy and Ricky Ricardo in the hit, I Love Lucy: Live on Stage, will also be visiting Jamestown during the festival.  They will be giving an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at what goes in to making their hit show.  In addition to this show, I Love Lucy: Live on Stage will be performing at Shea’s Performing Arts Center from September 17 – October 13.

By popular demand, Gregg Oppenheimer, son of I Love Lucy creator Jess Oppenheimer, returns to Jamestown to direct more radio comedy onstage at the Crown Theatre.  Gregg’s live radio shows at previous festivals have been featured on SIRIUS-XM Radio.  This year’s show will feature two episodes, Baby Snooks and Liz Changes her Mind, and will be performed in the style of old-time radio.

Rooftop Comedy, who has co-produced late-night comedy shows in the Tropicana Room in previous years, will be recording a live comedy album for this year’s late-night shows.  Rooftop Comedy produces original event programming, from local comedy festivals to national comedy events and tours.  Past year’s performers include Harrison Greenbaum, Adam Newman, Joe Machi, Phoebe Robinson, Kyle Grooms and more.

In addition to announcing this year’s festival line-up, The Lucy Desi Center for Comedy revealed they are in the master-planning stage of developing a national center for comedy in Lucille Ball’s hometown of Jamestown, NY.  Jack Rouse Associates, named by The Wall Street Journal as “one of the world’s more prominent design firms,” has recently been contracted to develop a master plan for a national comedy center which could be based at the Jamestown Gateway Train Station.

Lucy Desi Center for Comedy

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About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.