Sold Out: Jay Leno Show Sets Lucy Fest Record With Rapid Sales

It will be a night to remember Saturday, Aug. 9, when Jay Leno performs in front of a packed house at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena.

Tickets went on sale to the general public April 18. Less than three weeks later, the Lucy Desi Museum and Center for Comedy announced the show had sold out early Thursday morning.

It’s the fastest headline show to sell out in Lucille Ball Comedy Festival history.

“We are very excited about this unprecedented move from on sale to sold out,” Journey Gunderson, Lucy Desi Museum and Center for Comedy executive director, told The Post-Journal. “We’re thrilled because the venue has 2,200 seats.”

The arena has nearly 1,000 more seats than the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts – which traditionally hosts the festival’s headliners. Residents of 20 states will fill the arena Aug. 9.

“What was interesting was we looked at the ticket buyers. We were right down the middle,” Gunderson said. “Fifty percent of the ticket buyers are from within Chautauqua County, and 50 percent are from outside of the county.”

Leno recently stepped down after two decades as host of “The Tonight Show.” He is also known for his stand-up comedy and as a best-selling children’s book author.

Lucie Arnaz will join him as the featured musical guest. Arnaz has had a diverse career spanning over 45 years in show business, and has achieved success wearing the hats of producer, singer, actor and director. In 2012, Arnaz performed at the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival as a musical guest during the “Comics to Watch” showcase.

Leno’s performance, scheduled for 8 p.m., will feature a pre-show and post-show party outside the arena with bands, beer, wine, classic cars and more.

Although tickets to the Aug. 9 show have sold out, seats remain for over 50 other events taking place during the festival Aug. 6-10.

Gunderson said the Thursday and Friday night shows, as well as the rest of the festival, have received an excellent amount of interest thus far.

“Another related positive impact of having a headliner like Jay Leno is we’re ahead of where we normally are at this point,” Gunderson said.

Tom Cotter, who recently became the first comedian to reach the finals of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” will perform Friday, Aug. 8, at the Reg Lenna.

Cotter won the Seattle International Comedy Competition and the grand prize at the Boston Comedy Festival. The Las Vegas Comedy Festival voted him “Best Stand-Up.”

Tickets for Cotter’s 8 p.m. performance start at $15.50.

Thursday, Aug. 7, the Lucy Desi Center will bring the Stand-Up Showcase back to the Reg Lenna, featuring what the center calls “some of the hottest rising comedians in the industry.” Caroline Rhea, who starred in “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” and hosted “The Biggest Loser,” will host and perform during the showcase.

Tickets for the 8 p.m. showcase start at $15, but veterans will not be charged.

To purchase festival tickets, contact the Lucy Desi Museum box office at 484-0800 or visit