Carnival, Thrillist Partner To Create Comedy Competition Show

Carnival Cruise Line And Thrillist Partner To Create “Island Hoppers,” The First-Ever Comedy Competition Show At Sea, Hosted By Award-Winning Actor James Van Der Beek

Carnival Cruise Line and Thrillist have teamed up to launch “Island Hoppers,” a comedy competition show at sea, aiming to find the cruise line’s next comedy star to perform at its shipboard Punchliner Comedy Clubs, according to a press release. 

The mobile-first series is hosted by actor James Van Der Beek and was filmed during a recent Caribbean cruise aboard the new Carnival Horizon.

Over the course of seven episodes, Van Der Beek takes viewers on a journey as 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. “Island Hoppers” will air June 11, on Thrillist’s Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter channels.

Challengers must demonstrate creative cocktail-making skills at Carnival Horizon’s Alchemy Bar while having to perform a comedic act and offer their best one-liners as they traverse the Mystic Mountain Jamaican bobsled ride during a call in Ocho Rios.

“I’m not really a host, and I’m definitely not a standup,” said Van Der Beek. “But this show is so unique I feel like that worked in our favor. 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.”

“Entertaining 5 million guests across 26 ships is not an easy job. We’re always looking for top talent to add to our roster, so finding the perfect comedian is quite the task,” said Chris Nelson, Carnival’s vice president of entertainment. “That’s why we’re really excited to partner with Thrillist on this new and creative way to bring new comedians to our comedy club roster. 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."

“Travel and fun is at the heart of what we cover every single day at Thrillist and ‘Island Hoppers’ is a perfect extension of that. We’re excited to bring this new series to our audience and offer them an entertaining and unique view of all of the fun that can be had aboard a Carnival ship,” said Thrillist President Ocean MacAdams.

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