National Comedy Center99% of Guests Feel Safe and Recommend Visiting the Museum

Jamestown, NY – The National Comedy Center, the nation’s official cultural institution and non-profit museum dedicated to comedy, has surveyed guests who have visited the Comedy Center since it reopened its doors nearly four weeks ago and the results are in. Visitors are giving the Comedy Center high marks for LaughSafe, its new, state-of-the-art health and safety program, which has transformed one of the most interactive museums in the country and revamped the experience with new health and safety protocols specifically designed for the COVID era. The post-visit research results confirm that National Comedy Center guests feel comfortable and safe during their visit, and report that their museum experience has been worry-free, stress-free and touch-free.

Key findings for surveys conducted with visitors in recent weeks indicate that an overwhelming majority would recommend a visit to the National Comedy Center to friends and family during the current COVID-19 situation, and do not feel that the new health and safety protocols negatively impact their visitor experience.

Specific results include:

- 99% of visitors feel “safe” or “very safe.”

- 99% of visitors would recommend a visit to the National Comedy Center to friends and family during the current COVID-19 situation.

- 100% of visitors rate the National Comedy Center as “clean” or “very clean”

- 93% of visitors indicated that the new health and safety protocols did not negatively impact their museum experience.

- The National Comedy Center’s Net Promoter Score® is holding steady with an extremely strong 80 (a score above 50 is considered “excellent” and a score above 70 is considered “world-class”). The Net Promoter Score measures customer satisfaction, loyalty and word-of-mouth referrals among some of the largest brands in the world including Apple, Amazon and Nike.

The National Comedy Center developed its multifaceted and comprehensive health and safety program, entitled LaughSafe, in consultation with health professionals and epidemiologists at UPMC Chautauqua and Pittsburgh. LaughSafe was implemented upon the National Comedy Center’s reopening to ensure the health and safety of all guests and staff. In much the same way that the Comedy Center redefined the museum visitor experience with state of the art personalization and interactive technology when it first opened in 2018, the LaughSafe program has reimagined health and safety protocols in order to ensure a safe, worry-free and touch-free experience for all visitors to the National Comedy Center and Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum.

The centerpiece to the LaughSafe program is the LaughSafe Kit provided to each visitor in order to ensures that their museum experience is touch-free. The kit features a disposable stylus, disposable earbuds and a new “LaughCard” with an RFID chip for personalized comedy.

Visitor feedback via open-ended post-visit survey questions resulted in extremely high positive sentiment for their museum experience. Comments include:

“I honestly don't know how I would improve the LaughSafe Health & Safety Program! The National Comedy Museum is one of the best and most fun museums I have ever been to!” – Guest from Williamsville, NY

“I felt great planning went into making it a “touch less” experience during this time of a pandemic. Hand sanitizer very available as well.” – Guest from Buffalo, NY

“The National Comedy Center museum was very safe, because everyone had to wear masks, everyone had to touch the screens with their own personal stylist pen, and everyone had to use hand- sanitizer before and after they touched something with gloves on. How much more safe could you be? I felt extremely safe!” – Guest from Williamsville, NY

“Everything was planned exceedingly well to maintain social distancing and non-contact with museum exhibits.” – Guest from Lakeview, NY

“All the precautions in place gave you peace of mind and the staff were great in helping you and explaining everything.” – Guest from Jermyn, PA

“The thought given to safety precautions re: the coronavirus was outstanding! Everything was so well planned, and we felt very taken care of.” – Guest from Forestville, NY

“Social distancing, mask wearing, and spotlessly clean facilities gave me the highest confidence that visiting the museum was completely safe.” – Guest from Williamsville, NY

“You did an incredible job! Above and beyond what I expected!” – Guest from Marilla, NY

“Protocols are perfect for what we are going through.” – Guest from Buffalo, NY

“Comedy legend Milton Berle once said that ‘laughter is an instant vacation.’ We’re pleased that the National Comedy Center can provide a mini-vacation for anyone who needs laughter right now,” stated Journey Gunderson, National Comedy Center Executive Director. “The survey results are telling us everything we had hoped and planned for -- our visitors feel safe and quite comfortable as they spend their day with us, allowing them to laugh freely throughout our museum as they enjoy some of the greatest comedy of all time.”

New York State Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who visited the National Comedy Center this afternoon to host a roundtable of local tourism leaders and encourage all New Yorkers to take a “staycation” and visit the many attractions within Chautauqua County, NY stated, “We can all use laughter in our lives after the sacrifices we’ve made the past several months. New Yorkers deserve it and the National Comedy Center offers just that. The Comedy Center has taken health and safety protocols to a very high level – and they’ve been very creative with how they’ve transformed their interactive exhibits to keep everyone safe.”

The National Comedy Center and Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum reopened on Friday, July 3, 2020, following New York State officials’ authorization of Phase 4 of its New York Forward reopening plan for the Western New York region. Both museums had been temporarily closed since March 16, 2020 as a precaution due to COVID-19, just two weeks after the National Comedy Center was named the “Best New Museum” in the country by USA Today.

With its expansive 37,000 square feet of space, non-linear, free-flow design, and self-guided, self-paced tour experience, coupled with new reduced capacity to 25%, timed-entry ticketing and touch-free protocols, the National Comedy Center is uniquely suited to enable a safe, socially-distant and worry-free visitor experience. The Center’s rural Chautauqua County, NY home, where relatively few cases of COVID-19 cases have been reported, makes a day trip or overnight visit to Jamestown a perfect family get-away or a “staycation” for those who live close by.

The LaughSafe health and safety program features include:

· “Touch-Free”: All exhibits and screens are now touch-free with the use of a disposable stylus, disposable earbuds and a new “LaughCard” featuring an RFID chip for personalized comedy.

· Temperature checks are required for all guests and staff members upon entry, as well as a daily health screening for staff members.

· Masks are required to be worn by staff and guests (including children age 2 and above) at all times.

· Museum capacity has been reduced to 25% and timed guest entry protocols have been implemented.

· Certain exhibit experiences in contained spaces are limited to small groups consisting of members of same household.

· Advanced online reservations are strongly recommended to ensure entry.

· Social distancing markers and signage have been placed throughout the museum to ensure proper physical distance between guests.

· Hand-sanitizing stations are located throughout the museum.

· Touch-free, contactless payment options are now available.

· Museum staff have been trained extensively for new health and safety protocols.

· State-of-the-art, deep cleaning and disinfecting techniques have been implemented, including frequent disinfecting throughout the day.

· Real-time monitoring of the guest experience and guest feedback to optimize health and safety protocols.

For more on LaughSafe, visit

In addition to consultation with local UPMC Chautauqua health professionals, the National Comedy Center sourced local Chautauqua County companies for many of its LaughSafe initiatives, including The Resource Center and Team Jock Shop for face masks, Jamestown Soap & Solvent for cleaning and disinfecting supplies and 360 Graphics for signage.

The National Comedy Center and Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum is operating on a reduced schedule during this reopening phase, with opening hours as follows:

National Comedy Center:

Open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, 10 am to 5 pm.

Closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum:

Open Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday, 10 am to 5 pm.

Open Sunday, 11 am to 4 pm.

Closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.

About the National Comedy Center

The National Comedy Center is the United States’ official cultural institution and museum dedicated to presenting the vital story of comedy and preserving its heritage for future generations, as formally designated by the U.S. Congress in 2019. Opened in August 2018 in Jamestown, New York, the museum complex offers an unprecedented visitor experience using state-of-the-art technology, interactivity and personalization to create the first true 21st Century museum environment.

USA Today named the National Comedy Center the “Best New Museum in the Country” in 2020 while TIME magazine named it one of its “World’s Greatest Places,” ¾ one of only “100 new and newly noteworthy destinations to experience right now” and one of only nine attractions to visit in the United States. Condé Nast Traveler called the National Comedy Center “One of the best museums in the country,” and People magazine named it one of “100 Reasons to Love America.” The National Comedy Center was also voted a “Best New Attraction” in the county, ranking #2 out of 20 new attractions by USA Today readers, and chosen as the #1 museum and #1 ticketed attraction. Comedy industry authority The Interrobang named the design team second on its list of “Innovators Who Changed Comedy” in 2018. Visitors from all 50 states and nine countries have given the Center a rare 5/5 raring on TripAdvisor, ranking among the highest in the attraction and tourism industry.

Based on the vision of Jamestown native Lucille Ball for her hometown to become a destination for comedy, the National Comedy Center showcases comedy’s great minds and unique voices in ways that engage, inspire, educate and entertain. As a non-profit institution, the National Comedy Center was funded by a mix of federal, state and private philanthropic support, including partnerships with I LOVE NY, Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York State’s Empire State Development.

Design for the National Comedy Center was led by the most prominent cultural and interactive design firms in the world, whose portfolios collectively include the award-winning 9/11 Memorial Museum, The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, SNL: The Experience, and more.

The National Comedy Center has been embraced by artists and industry, with archival material provided by many of the most revered names in comedy. The Comedy Center recently announced a major initiative to preserve Carl Reiner’s personal “Dick Van Dyke Show” script archive. Exhibition partners include the Kelly Carlin and the George Carlin estate, George Shapiro and Jerry Seinfeld, 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, 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.

The National Comedy Center also operates the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum, which explores the lives, careers and legacy of the “First Couple of Comedy,” and the incredible impact they had on the world.

The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, produced and presented by the National Comedy Center in Jamestown, NY, was last headlined by John Mulaney and Sebastian Maniscalco, and 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, Joan Rivers, Bob Newhart, the Smothers Brothers and more than one hundred other comedic artists. The 30th Lucille Ball Comedy Festival will take place August 4-8, 2021.

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