JAMESTOWN – The National Comedy Center is presenting its Lucille Ball Comedy Festival virtually this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The previously scheduled summer lineup was postponed to next summer due to gathering restrictions.
In the meantime, center officials plan to offer a taste of comedy this coming weekend, starting this Friday, August 14, and streaming over three weekends throughout the month.
Over 30 artists from stand-up, theater, television and film will be featured in all-new, candid, in-depth conversations about their work, careers, influences and the art of comedy, including Lolly Adefope, Lewis Black, Aidy Bryant, Kelly Carlin, Margaret Cho, Frank DeCaro, Anna Drezen, Ophira Eisenberg, Bill Engvall, Jimmy Fallon, Kate Flannery, Wayne Federman, Judy Gold, Gilbert Gottfried, Harrison Greenbaum, Tiffany Haddish, Sam Jay, Penn Jillette, Jay Leno, Howie Mandel, Charles McBee, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Flame Monroe, Paula Poundstone, Mark Russell, Dulce Sloan, Kenan Thompson, Roy Wood, Jr., Rutledge Wood, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Alan Zweibel, and legendary creative team members from Mad Magazine.
The virtual festival will also recognize founding National Comedy Center Advisory Board Member and comedy legend Carl Reiner, who passed away just six weeks ago, by featuring a long-form interview with exclusive, never-before-seen footage with Reiner directly from the Comedy Center Archives.
All programs will be available free online via live stream at the National Comedy Center’s new online platform, National Comedy Center Anywhere, at ComedyCenter.org/Festival as well as via Facebook Live on the National Comedy Center’s Facebook page: Facebook.com/NationalComedyCenter.
Following each live stream, these programs will remain available for free, on-demand viewing on the National Comedy Center Anywhere platform.
Full Schedule and list of talent participating includes:
Friday August 14th:
• 8pm ET – Jay Leno: Hosted by Stephen J. Morrison (Part 1)– Legendary comedian Jay Leno discusses his extensive career in stand-up, writing and late-night television in a conversation with Stephen J. Morrison, Executive Producer of Exhibit Media for the National Comedy Center.
• 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.
• 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:
• 8pm ET – Jay Leno: Hosted by Stephen J. Morrison (Part 2)
• 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
• 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.
• 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.
• 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 :
• 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.
• 9pm ET – Kenan Thompson: Hosted by Stephen J. Morrison – SNL’s Kenan Thompson, the longest-tenured cast member in SNL history and 2020 Emmy-nominee discusses comedy with Stephen J. Morrison, Executive Producer of Exhibit Media for the National Comedy Center.
• 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 :
• 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 Carlin.
Friday, August 28th :
• 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.
• 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.
• 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 conversation.
Saturday, August 29th :
• 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.
• 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.