April 20, 2013

2013 Lucille Ball Comedy Fest Headliners

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 1st-4th.

Additionally, the leads from the touring stage show hit I Love Lucy® Live on Stage, three nights of late-night comedy in the Tropicana Room that will be co-produced by Rooftop Comedy and recorded as a live comedy album, 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 be a part of the four-day festival.

Tickets for the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival will go on sale on April 24th, and can be purchased by visiting www.lucycomedyfest.com or calling (716)484-0800.  Committed partners and museum members receive access to a Pre-Sale period beginning April 17.

Bill Engvall, who will be performing at the Reg Lenna Civic Center 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.

Kathleen Madigan, who will be performing at the Reg Lenna 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. She’s a regular on SIRIUS-XM Radio, and recently won the listener determined “SIRIUS Challenge Cup,” deeming her the number one favorite comedian played on SIRIUS-XM radio.

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 (JRA), 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.

JRA has produced museum attractions for clients including Universal Studios, the Kennedy Space Center, LEGOLAND California, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the NCAA Hall of Champions, Warner Brothers, Ripley’s Believe It or Not in London, Curious George Goes to Town, and countless other museums and theme park attractions around the globe.


The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, or “Lucy Fest,” embodies Ball’s vision for her hometown legacy: a celebration of the comedic arts held annually on the weekend closest to her birth date, August 6th. The 2013 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival will take place August 1st-4th, and feature performances by Bill Engvall, Kathleen Madigan, a showcase of rising comedians presented by Pandora internet radio, the GIs of Comedy, I Love Lucy® Live on Stage, Live Lucy Radio Plays and much more. Visit www.LucyComedyFest.com for more information.

The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival is the first pillar in a four-pillar Legacy of Laughter vision for the organization, including a comedic arts education program, comedy film festival and the establishment of the first national center for comedy.

The mission of the Lucy Desi Center for Comedy, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is to preserve the legacy of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz and enrich the world through the healing powers of love and laughter through its commitment to the development of the comedic arts.

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