Carnival Cruise Line, Thrillist Create Comedy Competition at Sea

Carnival Horizon
Carnival Horizon

Carnival Cruise Line and Thrillist are collaborating to launch “Island Hoppers,” a comedy competition at sea. The purpose of the show is to discover an upcoming comedian to perform at the shipboard Punchliner Comedy Clubs.

The mobile-first series is hosted by award-winning actor James Van Der Beek and was filmed during a recent Caribbean cruise aboard Carnival Horizon. Van Der Beek showcases three budding comedians competing in challenges over the course of seven episodes. The competition is judged by longtime Punchliner Comedy Club veterans Billy D. Washington, Jodi White and William Lee Martin. “Island Hoppers” is airing on June 11, on Thrillist’s Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter channels.

In one activity, challengers perform comedy while making cocktails at Carnival Horizon’s Alchemy Bar. In another, they give their best one-liners as they traverse the Mystic Mountain Jamaican bobsled ride during a call in Ocho Rios.


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Carnival says its Punchliner Comedy Clubs are the largest purveyors of comedy in the world with 27,000 shows annually across the line’s 26-ship fleet. Shows are 30-minutes long and include family-friendly and adults-only sets, multiple times each voyage. All performances are offered on a complimentary basis.

In other Carnival news, the company is no longer permitted to sail to Cuba due to recently enacted regulations banning leisure travel. Itineraries to the island are being changed.

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