Carnival to Hold First-Ever Comedy Competition Show at Sea

In partnership with web-media publisher, Thrillist, Carnival Cruise Line announced the launch of a new, mobile-first series called “Island Hoppers”—the world’s first-ever comedy competition show filmed at sea. Its aim is to find the cruise line’s next star comedian to add to Carnival’s roster of performers for its shipboard Punchliner Comedy Clubs.

The web series was filmed during a recent Caribbean cruise aboard Carnival Horizon and is hosted by award-winning actor James Van Der Beek. Over the course of seven episodes, three up-and-coming comedians compete in entertaining challenges, judged by longtime Punchliner Comedy Club veterans Billy D. Washington, Jodi White and William Lee Martin.

Challenges take place both on board and ashore. Contestants must perform their comedy acts while demonstrating creative cocktail-making skills at Carnival Horizon’s Alchemy Bar and deliver their best one-liners as they traverse the heart-racing Mystic Mountain bobsled ride during a call in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.

Van Der Beek commented, “As a writer and actor, I have a huge appreciation for what it takes to get up in front of a room full of strangers and make people laugh, so it was a joy to jump in and play with a group this talented and hilarious. Plus, we all got to be on the Carnival Horizon, which just made everything fun.”

Carnival’s onboard Punchliner Comedy Clubs host more comedy performances than any land-based comedy club in the world, entertaining five million guests with 27,000 shows annually across its 26-ship fleet. The Clubs feature a lineup of top-notch talent who perform 30-minute shows—including family-friendly and adults-only sets with multiple showtimes available throughout each voyage. And, of course, all performances are offered to guest audiences on a complimentary basis.

“Our guests love fun—comedy is part of our DNA—so we’re particularly thrilled that we are able to showcase incredible talent on every sailing,” said Chris Nelson, Carnival’s vice president of entertainment.

Island Hoppers will air June 11, 2019, via Thrillist’s Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter channels.

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