Laura LaPlaca, PhD
Laura is a pop culture historian, archivist, and curator with over ten years of experience leading cultural heritage projects with museums, libraries, private clients, and universities. She holds a PhD from Northwestern University and is a member of the Academy of Certified Archivists.
Laura is Director of the National Comedy Center's Carl Reiner Department of Archives & Preservation, the United States' congressionally-designated repository for comedy history and the first cultural institution dedicated to preserving the vital story of comedy.
She oversees acquisition, conservation, research, and exhibition of the National Comedy Center's archival collections and has collaborated with dozens of artists and estates to preserve materials that represent comedy's great contributions to our culture: from Charlie Chaplin’s cane, Lucille Ball’s polka-dotted dress, and Lenny Bruce’s court transcripts to Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show monologues, scripts from the Saturday Night Live writers’ room, and George Carlin’s 27,000-piece archive of creative papers.
The National Comedy Center was recently named the Best New Museum in the country by USA Today, one of Time magazine’s World’s Greatest Places, and one of People magazine’s Reasons to Love America. Since opening in August 2018, the Comedy Center has welcomed over 100,000 visitors from all 50 states to experience its 37,000-square-feet of gallery space and cutting-edge interactive exhibits.