dead comedians

In a first of its kind project, Hologram USA and the National Comedy Center in Jamestown, NY announced today that they will partner on a comedy club staffed entirely by holograms. The apparitions will entertain audiences at the new center–which breaks ground in August as part of the Lucy and Desi Arnez Comedy Museum–in the classic comedy club atmosphere the comics built their careers in.

“Of all the amazing things we’ve done with hologram technology, this is one of the most exciting ones,” said Alki David, CEO of Hologram USA. “As a permanent home for this advanced form of entertainment, the NCC couldn’t be better. And I can’t think of a better way to experience America’s comedy greats than in the live setting they thrived in at their peaks.”

The possibilities are endless–and knowing that Hologram USA always works closely with the estates of deceased artists to make sure everything is as authentic and respectful of their legacy as possible, the range of potential comedians to include is vast from Andy Kaufman to George Carlin to Joan Rivers. The club will also be capable of staging live shows of top comedians from distant locations–someone like Chris Rock or Jerry Seinfeld could appear from a remote location thousands of miles away and still interact with the audience. Living comedians could also interact with legends of the past.

Hologram USA is known for its projects “resurrecting” Liberace and Buddy Holly for stage shows. It also recently beamed Jimmy Kimmel to the Country Music Awards in Nashville from his late night TV show in Hollywood. Hologram USA uses the same technology that created the first famous “celebrity resurrection” hologram of Tupac Shakur hologram at Coachella and the massive hologram town hall campaign that made Narendra Modi Prime Minister of India.

The National Comedy Center will honor and celebrate comedy and its contributors across all time lines and media types with its world class interactive and personally-customized exhibit experience, celebrate the best of contemporary comedy with its year-round programming and provide support for new and up-and-coming artists through professional development and educational opportunities. The National Comedy Center is the embodiment of the vision that Lucille Ball had for her hometown of Jamestown, NY, which was that her legacy be celebrated in the form of living, breathing comedy. In addition to the Hologram Comedy Club, visitors to the NCC will be immersed in many other unique “only here” interactive and participatory experiences throughout its 35,000 feet of attraction space.

The NCC was recently awarded a $1.5 million grant by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo who praised it as the first national comedy attraction and embraced it as a key component of the long term tourism strategy of New York and the I LOVE NY campaign. The NCC is a division of the National Comedy Center, Inc., a not for profit 501 (c)(3) organization that also owns and operates the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum in Jamestown and produces the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival every summer. It will be housed in a state of the art adaptive reuse of historic properties in Jamestown, including the recently renovated Gateway Train Station. The master plan and detailed designs for the components for the National Comedy Center were developed by the leading attraction design firm of Jack Rouse Associates in collaboration with the interactive consulting firm of Local Projects, Inc. who recently completed the 9/11 Museum Project in New York.

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