22 January 2019 // Announcements

National Comedy Center Ranks 2nd on USA Today “Best New Attractions” List

The National Comedy Center in Jamestown, NY, the country’s first museum and cultural institution devoted to comedy as an art form, placed 2nd in the final ranking of the 20 “Best New Attractions” in the USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest, it was announced today by USA Today.

The National Comedy Center ranked as the top ticketed attraction in the USA Today contest as well as the top museum.

The National Comedy Center was one of 20 new attractions throughout the country nominated in December by a panel of nationally-recognized travel experts for the 10Best Award series, which celebrates outstanding destinations, attractions and experiences.

Throughout the highly-competitive, 28-day public voting period, the National Comedy Center and Tulsa, Oklahoma’s “Gathering Place” $465 million, 100-acre, multi-attraction public park were frequently trading first and second place positions, outranking major new attractions throughout the country, including Chicago’s new Architecture Center and St. Louis’ new Gateway Arch Museum. Ultimately the Tulsa attraction, one of the largest parks in the U.S., funded by the largest private donation to a public park in U.S. history, took the top position.

National Comedy Center USA Today Best New Attraction

The National Comedy Center features exclusive collections and world-class exhibits that give comedy fans an unprecedented, behind-the-scenes look at the time-honed creative processes that have elevated comedy entertainment to an art form. Over 50 innovative exhibitions across 37,000 square feet of space enable visitors to take an interactive journey through comedy history, from early vaudeville to the latest viral memes. Cutting-edge personalization technology makes the entire experience unique. Throughout the experience, visitors gain a profound appreciation for comedy icons and innovators, as well as for the tremendous influence of humor on how we think, live and laugh.

JRA provided master planning, writing and content development, exhibit design, executive media production, graphic design, art direction, and project management for the National Comedy Center.

National Comedy Center USA Today Best New Attraction


“We are tremendously proud to be named the #2 “Best New Attraction” in the country, especially given such strong competition from attractions in major metro areas including Chicago, Orlando, New York City, St. Louis and Tulsa,” said Journey Gunderson, National Comedy Center Executive Director. “The outpouring of support from the regional community, from the comedy and entertainment community, and from comedy fans nationwide, has made this experience incredibly special for everyone who has been a part of this project. USA Today readers and tourists throughout the country now know what our recent visitors have already discovered — the National Comedy Center is one of the very best new attractions in the country and well worth a visit.”

National Comedy Center USA Today Best New Attraction

“Nine years ago, we established the goal of creating a national scope attraction dedicated to the art form of comedy in Jamestown, New York,” said Tom Benson, National Comedy Center Chairman. “As a result of the hard work, vision and support of many individuals and organizations, we were able to open the National Comedy Center on August 1, 2018. Reviews from guests have been outstanding and to finish so highly in such a prestigious competition is incredible reinforcement, regionally and from across the country, that we hit our mark,” he added.

National Comedy Center museum exhibit designer

Condé Nast Traveler has called the National Comedy Center “one of the best museums in the country.” Visitors from 49 states and nine countries have given the Comedy Center a rare 5/5 rating on TripAdvisor.

Published reviews from USA Today voters about the National Comedy Center included the following:

“The National Comedy Center could be the best new attraction of the decade. You could spend days there. There is something for everyone…”

“BEST place EVER — the technology is fantastic and there are so many things to see. I will keep coming back again and again. However, the coolest thing is hearing people laugh all around you…”

“Coolest ‘museum’ ever. A different experience every time you visit… Wish I lived next door.”

“We went twice so far, the first for three hours, the second time for 5 hours. It is so much fun, we didn’t want to leave. Haven’t laughed so much…”

For a photographic tour of the National Comedy Center, click here.