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National Comedy Center Acquires Archives of George Carlin


The National Comedy Center has acquired the archives of George Carlin. The acquisition was announced by the comedian’s daughter, Kelly Carlin, at a private event in New York hosted by the Comedy Center. The contents of the Carlin archive contain material saved by the comedian over his 50-plus-year career, and will be utilized in the Center’s forthcoming museum experience — scheduled to open in Jamestown in 2017.

The event, Satire and Democracy: Empowering the Citizenry with Comedy, was held at The Paley Center for Media, and featured a panel discussion with Lewis Black, Robert Klein, Larry Wilmore and Lizz Winstead recorded for the Comedy Center’s archives. The panel was held in tribute to George Carlin, who passed away in 2008.

Kliph Nesteroff, author of “The Comedians: Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels and the History of American Comedy,” moderated the discussion and was announced as the Chief Curator of the Comedy Center’s forthcoming museum experience.

The Carlin archive includes his extensive creative files, annotated set lists, handwritten journals, scrapbooks, awards, letters, clothing, arrest records and countless hours of video and audio recordings containing both released and unreleased material. Archive images and an audio sample can be found

“There comes a time in one’s life when it’s time to let go of our parent’s stuff. For me this has been a literal process. Through the writing of my memoir and touring my solo show, I’ve gotten to be with my father in many ways, and let go of, honor and transform our past together,” said Kelly Carlin in a statement. “I am truly excited that there will be a place for my dad’s stuff—permanently. The folks at the National Comedy Center are thoughtful, respectful and excited about the art of comedy. I can think of no other place for my dad’s legacy to be permanently honored, archived and preserved for future generations.”

Journey Gunderson, Executive Director of the National Comedy Center, added, “George Carlin helped redefine the art form of stand-up comedy and we are honored to help steward his legacy in this way. With this incredible archive we can provide a window into his creative process for generations to come.”

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