Friday, December 11, 2015

Jamestown, New York: National Comedy Center

You could argue that this is a replica of one of the most famous kitchens in America in the 1950s.

It's a recreation of the kitchen from the television program, "I Love Lucy," which has been shown every day in some part of the world for almost 60 years.

The set is part of the National Comedy Center, which has become a major tourist attraction in Jamestown.  Lucille Ball was born there, and in the last several years the town has embraced the connection.

The Comedy Center has two parts to it. There's the Lucy Desi Museum, which has a variety of items connected to Lucy and show co-star Desi Arnaz. The family donated several personal items, including clothes, letters and scripts.

Right next door is the Desilu Studios, which has replicas of three of the sets from the show. The other two are the living room in New York City, and the hotel room from California. It all comes back pretty quickly when you see it. Ball's Emmy awards are there (six in all), plus other displays about the program. I have no idea why the two parts of the center weren't connected into one big museum when it was built. But you pay for them both at once, walk through one, and then head outside for a short walk to the other entrance. Naturally, there are souvenir stores in both places.You can rent a device to hear Lucy Arnaz, Ms. Ball's daughter, describe the contents of the museum.

It takes about 90 minutes to go through it all, even if you don't stop at some of the videos, and it's certainly a loving tribute.

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