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Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jimmy Fallon, and more will also participate.


The National Comedy Center, the nation's official non-profit cultural institution dedicated to comedy - recently named the "Best New Museum" in the country by USA Today - has added a program with Emmy Award-winning actress Debra Messing to its lineup for the final week of its Lucille Ball Virtual Comedy Festival. The final weekend will feature Jimmy Fallon, Lin-Manuel Miranda, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Aidy Bryant, Gilbert Gottfried, Lolly Adefope, Kate Flannery, Paula Poundstone, Lewis Black and more, in a festival that has featured Tiffany Haddish, Jay Leno, Margaret Cho and many others. Programs stream online from Friday, August 28 through Sunday, August 30. The Debra Messing conversation will stream on Thursday, September 3rd at 8 pm ET.

Hosted by author comedian, actor and journalist Frank DeCaro, the National Comedy Center conversation with Debra Messing will explore her work in comedy and discuss comedy legend Lucille Ball, who was a major influence on Messing's career. One of the last episodes of Will & Grace this past April was a tribute to I Love Lucy entitled "We Love Lucy," in which Messing portrayed beloved I Love Lucy characters Lucy Ricardo, Ethel Mertz and Fred Mertz. The episode was recently nominated for three Emmy Awards.

Best known for her role as Grace in NBC's Emmy Award-winning comedy Will & Grace, Messing captivated television audiences worldwide for Eleven seasons spanning 22 years with her comedic brilliance as Grace Adler, an interior designer whose best friend and soul mate is Will Truman, played by Eric McCormack. For her work on the popular sitcom, which ended its three-season return engagement this past May, Messing won the 2003 Emmy Award, has earned a total of seven Golden Globe nominations, seven Screen Actors Guild nominations, winning the ensemble award in 2001, five additional Emmy nominations, two American Comedy Award nominations and one individual People's Choice Award nomination. She also received TV Guide's Actress of the Year in a Comedy Series honor in 2001.

The Sunday night, August 30, the virtual festival will also recognize founding National Comedy Center Advisory Board Member and comedy legend Carl Reiner, who passed away just eight weeks ago, by featuring a long-form interview with exclusive, never-before-seen footage with Reiner directly from the Comedy Center Archives. The program will be hosted by fellow National Comedy Center Advisory Board Member Paula Poundstone and executive producer of exhibit media for the National Comedy Center, Stephen J. Morrison.

For the past two weeks, the National Comedy Center's Lucille Ball Virtual Comedy Festival has featured over 30 artists in all-new, candid, in-depth conversations about their work, careers, influences and the art of comedy, including Lolly Adefope, Lewis Black, Aidy Bryant, Kelly Carlin, Margaret Cho, Frank DeCaro, Anna Drezen, Ophira Eisenberg, Bill Engvall, Jimmy Fallon, Kate Flannery, Wayne Federman, Judy Gold, Gilbert Gottfried, Harrison Greenbaum, Tiffany Haddish, Sam Jay, Penn Jillette, Jay Leno, Howie Mandel, Charles McBee, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Flame Monroe, Paula Poundstone, Mark Russell, Dulce Sloan, Kenan Thompson, Roy Wood, Jr., Rutledge Wood, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Alan Zweibel, and legendary creative team members from Mad Magazine.

All programs will be available free online via live stream at the National Comedy Center's new online platform, National Comedy Center Anywhere, at as well as on the National Comedy Center's Facebook page: Following each live stream, these programs will remain available for free, on-demand viewing on the National Comedy Center Anywhere platform.

The non-profit National Comedy Center encourages donations to support the museum and the Center's mission of presenting the vital story of comedy in America, preserving its heritage for future generations. Visit

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