National Comedy Center Celebrates Comedy Legend
Immersive Multimedia Theater to be Named in Honor of
George and Jolene Schlatter
Los Angeles, CA – October 23, 2022 – The National Comedy Center, the United States’ official cultural institution dedicated to the art form of comedy, honored legendary comedy producer, director and writer George Schlatter and his wife Jolene Schlatter at a star-studded reception at The Comedy Store in West Hollywood this afternoon, which featured Lily Tomlin, Goldie Hawn, Bill Maher and many other artists who have worked with or been inspired by Schlatter over his six-decade career in comedy and entertainment.
Journey Gunderson, National Comedy Center executive director, announced at the event that the National Comedy Center’s new immersive multimedia theater within the museum will be named in honor of the Schlatters. The George and Jolene Schlatter Theater will immerse museum visitors in exhibit experiences showcasing comedy’s significant artists and bodies of work, including a new retrospective on George Schlatter’s career and indelible legacy in comedy opening in 2023.
The National Comedy Center’s non-profit mission is to present the vital story of comedy and preserve its heritage for future generations. The museum in Jamestown, NY—the hometown of Lucille Ball—is one of the most interactive, and technologically-advanced in the world, showcasing comedy’s great minds and unique voices with immersive exhibits and exclusive collections that engage, inspire, educate, engage and entertain. It was named the “Best New Museum” in the country by USA Today and one of the “World’s Greatest Places” by TIME magazine.
“The National Comedy Center is an American treasure,” stated George Schlatter. “Jolene and I are so grateful to be honored to by this vital cultural institution, which embodies our belief in the importance and impact of comedy as a true art form. This has been the focus of my life’s work, so we are thrilled that the National Comedy Center will continue to present and preserve comedy’s greatest legacies for future generations as well as serve as a resource for new and upcoming comedic artists.”
“The National Comedy Center doesn’t merely enshrine artists like George; it celebrates their contributions to a vital and ever-evolving art form,” stated National Comedy Center executive director Journey Gunderson. “So, today we are here to ensure that we’ll always recognize and remember—for generations to come—the impact of George Schlatter’s work. Laugh-In shifted the orbit of the art form and sent it in new directions. The show awakened the nation and created an entirely new comic sensibility, whose impacts are still felt in comedy being created today. The American Comedy Awards was George’s clearest expression of his career-long commitment to discovering and nurturing comedy’s greatest talents. The Awards were an unprecedented opportunity for comedians to come together in mutual celebration of their craft—and to do so on a grand scale that respected the art form’s rigor and import,” added Gunderson.
Schlatter is also a founding Advisory Board member of the National Comedy Center.
Jolene Brand Schlatter’s acting career included her work with Ernie Kovacs, becoming a regular on the comedy innovator’s TV shows in 1961, in addition to numerous appearances on many of television’s classic western and detective series. She is credited as the creative force who came up with the catchphrase “Sock It To Me” for Laugh-In and joins husband George on the National Comedy Center’s Advisory Board.
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