Melissa Rivers, Kelly Carlin & family of Harold Ramis hold comedy roundtable
JAMESTOWN, NY – July 23, 2015 –The National Comedy Center has announced that Melissa Rivers, Kelly Carlin, Violet Stiel & Julian Ramis will take part in a special event during the 2015 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, “Comedy Legacies: Rivers, Ramis & Carlin.” The comedy roundtable will take place on July 31st in Lucille Ball’s hometown of Jamestown, NY, and will celebrate the legacies of Joan Rivers, George Carlin & Harold Ramis as the National Comedy Center prepares to break ground.
“I feel that, in a lot of ways, my dad was kind of a bridge between the generations in comedy,” said Violet Stiel, daughter of Harold Ramis, in a recent interview with the Jamestown Post-Journal. “He grew up watching black-and-white films with people like the Marx Brothers, and was at the forefront of this new style of comedy that we now see people like Judd Apatow making.”
The discussion will be moderated by Kelly Carlin and recorded for broadcast on her SiriusXM radio program “The Kelly Carlin Show.” The event will kick off with an interview of Violet Stiel and Julian Ramis about the legacy of their father, the late Harold Ramis. Ramis is widely-considered one of the most influential comedy writer-directors of all-time, with credits including “Stripes,” “Caddyshack,” “Animal House,” “Vacation,” “Ghostbusters,” “Groundhog Day” and “Analyze This.”
The evening will continue with Carlin interviewing Melissa Rivers. The executive producer and co-host of “Fashion Police” authored the recently released book, “The Book of Joan,” about her mother. Joan Rivers, who passed in 2014 (as did Ramis), is regarded as an entertainment pioneer and glass ceiling-shatterer in comedy. The Emmy- and Grammy-winning comedian made her national stand-up debut on Ed Sullivan in 1966 and performed her often controversial material until the day before she died.
“When Joan performed in Jamestown, she could not have been more gracious, hard-working and hilarious. She and Harold Ramis are among the rare contributors to comedy whose work is appreciated across generations. Kelly Carlin is a deft interviewer with the uniquely shared perspective of having grown up with a comedy legend as a parent. I can’t think of a better program to present on the eve of the National Comedy Center breaking ground,” said Executive Director Journey Gunderson.
In addition to moderating the discussion, Kelly Carlin will be bringing her renowned one woman show, “A Carlin Home Companion: Growing Up With George,” to Jamestown on Saturday, August 1st. “A Carlin Home Companion” is a funny, touching, intimate look inside the life of one of the most brilliant comedy minds the world has ever known from the perspective of a young woman trying to find her own voice.
Ticket information for “Comedy Legacies: Rivers, Ramis & Carlin,”and all events during the 2015 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival can be found at www.lucycomedyfest.com, or by calling the box office at 716.484.0800.
The National Comedy Center is a new $40 million attraction that will celebrate comedy: the craft and its greatest contributors. The groundbreaking ceremony takes place Saturday, August 1st in Jamestown, New York. The weekend includes Jerry Seinfeld, Nick Offerman, critically-acclaimed kids comedy troupe Story Pirates, showcases including Joe Machi, Andy Hendrickson, Michelle Wolf, Michael Palascak, Jon Rineman, Paul Morrissey, and a recently announced event in which Regis Philbin will moderate a panel of producers, writers and crew from David Letterman’s Late Show and Late Night.
In celebration of the National Comedy Center groundbreaking,“David Letterman – Behind The Scenes Of Late Night’s Longest Running Broadcaster” will be the first time since David Letterman’s retirement that the group will discuss how they helped craft Letterman’s shows for the last 33 years. The panelists for the July 30 evening are: Barbara Gaines (Executive Producer/Associate Producer Late Show/Late Night), Jerry Foley (Director/Supervising Producer/Technical Director Late Show/Late Night), Steve O’Donnell (Head Writer/Writer Late Night/Late Show), Steve Young (Head Monologue Writer/Writer Late Show/Late Night), and Biff Henderson (Stage Manager Late Show/Late Night). Gaines and Foley each received a nomination for the 2015 Emmy Awards last week.
About the National Comedy Center
The 501(c)(3) non-profit National Comedy Center visitor experience is being designed by world-renown creative firm, Jack Rouse Associates. Project feasibility and economic forecasting was provided by AECOM.
In December, the National Comedy Center project in Jamestown, NY was awarded $1.5 million by New York State Empire State Development and Governor Andrew Cuomo, making it a partner of the I Love New York campaign. The public-private partnership of funds will help complete Lucille Ball’s vision for the first national attraction dedicated to the art of comedy in the United States. For more information visit www.NationalComedyCenter.org.
About the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival
America’s premier comedian, Jerry Seinfeld, will be performing his signature stand-up routine during the 2015 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival on Saturday, August 1, 2015 at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena. Past festival headliners have included Jay Leno, Joan Rivers, Bob Newhart, Lewis Black, Ray Romano, Ellen Degeneres and more.
Nick Offerman will be performing his show for mature audiences during the festival on July 31st (Reg Lenna Center for the Arts). Offerman is an actor, writer, humorist and woodworker, best known for the role of Ron Swanson on NBC’s hit comedy series “Parks & Recreation.” For his work on the show, Offerman won a Television Critics Association Award for Achievement in Comedy in 2011, having earned his first nomination in 2010. He also received two Critics’ Choice Television Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. In 2013, Offerman released his New York Times Bestselling book, Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man’s Fundamentals for Delicious Living. His second book is due out this year.
The opening night of the festival, July 30th, will see the return of the popular Stand-Up Showcase. Comedians Beth Stelling, Pete Lee, and Pat McGann will perform during this show. Past festivals have featured then-rising comedians such as Ellen DeGeneres, Ray Romano, and Lewis Black, and this showcase aims to catch comics on a similar rise to the top. In keeping with the Center’s mission-based emphasis on the healing power of comedy, this show is free to attend for all U.S. military past and present.
The critically-acclaimed Story Pirates will perform in Jamestown on August 1st. The kids-comedy troupe, lauded by comedian Jon Stewart, have been seen on CNN’s Larry King, NBC’s Today, and live on stage with Conan O’Brien. This non-profit creative writing organization made up of professional actors and comedians performs a show based on stories written by children.
The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival is proudly sponsored by Northwest Savings Bank, Southern Tier Builders Association, Seneca Gaming, Buffamante Whipple Buttafaro P.C., Shults Auto Group, Key Bank and many more at www.lucycomedyfest.com. Time Warner Cable News is a television media sponsor.