Once again, I step into my alter ego role as Mr. Perspective to unravel a story a huge number of media outlets mis-reported last week. In most cases, the headline read something like “Dead Comedians To Perform Classic Standup As Holograms.”
Not quite. It’s true that a guy who runs an annual Lucille Ball festival in Jamestown, New York (her hometown) announced that his “National Comedy Center” — which at this point is nothing more than an artists’ rendering — wants to do with dead comics what other venues have done with Michael Jackson and Tupac Shakur (i.e. hologram performances).
But there’s one important phrase that, while right there in the story, was ignored by the headline writers and editors who carried it in their publications:
The comedy club hopes to produce 10 to 12 routines of approximately four minutes apiece from legendary comics. While Benson tossed out George Carlin, Bob Hope, Milton Berle and Rodney Dangerfield as some of the comedians they hope to recreate, the center has yet to agree to terms with any comics’ estates yet.
In other words, there’s no deal to do holograms of those comedians — or any other. All you have is a guy with an idea, not a venue with executed contracts. Besides, if you want to see four minutes of a routine by any famous comedian, you don’t have to go to Jamestown, New York. Just search YouTube.