Can George Lopez save the reputation of cruise ship comedy acts?

By | October 5, 2011 at 1:55 pm | 9 comments | News | Tags: , , ,

Cruise ships are where stand-up comedy goes to die. Usually. The comics that work the floating laugh venues are condescendingly referred to as ‘boat acts’ for their pandering or more hack style that’s necessary to appeal to the general vacationing public. But cruise industry giant Carnival is hoping to change that stigma. They hired George Lopez as their new Director of Comedy. Yes. That’s a real title.

“We do comedy,” Carnival senior vice president Mark Tamis said, “but (we thought) how can we do comedy better?” Their answer is to rebrand every Punchliner Comedy Club, found on each Carnival cruise ship, to Punchliner Comedy Clubs Presented by George Lopez. Lopez will be active in securing top and up-and-coming talent for the venues, serve as the introduction voice to the clubs in pre-recorded messages and have his act available to watch on in-ship televisions.

At a press conference in New York, Lopez admitted to never having been on a cruise, but that he plans to board one later this year. “I’m excited about my partnership with Carnival,” Lopez said, “People will laugh like they’ve never laughed before.”

After recently having his TBS talk show cancelled, Lopez hopes this partnership will be a success and can count on strong support from Carnival towards ramping up their comedy department. Just last year, we reported that Punchliner Comedy Clubs were being added to Carnival’s entire fleet, offering 35-minute shows on multiple nights of each voyage with at least two comedians performing every night. Carnival claims it hosts more people at its comedy shows than any land-based comedy chain in the USA.

The first Punchliner Comedy Club Presented by George Lopez will debut on the near three thousand-passenger Carnival Liberty later this month, with the clubs being fleet wide by next year. Lopez is a huge name in the comedy world, and if he does well in securing solid line-ups for the ships, he could do a lot to reshape the negative connotations attached to performing comedy out at sea. Or he could phone it in and just have his name slapped on a sign.

What do you think? Can George Lopez change the comedy world’s perception of cruise-ship comedy acts?

About the Author

Erik Gavilanes

Erik's love of comedy was formed at a much-too-early age when he would tape hours of stand-up even though he didn't get many of the jokes. Today when not writing for Laughspin, he checks his Twitter feed and is a getter of jokes and eater of pizza.

  • ZC

    Recent known failure to revitalize successful comedy circuit?  Sounds like a winner to me! George Lopez is a sinking ship.

  • Blastmasta

    As a Comic who wouldn’t mind working a cruise ship…. at lease now I know who’s dick I have to suck to work them

    • Kim Harrison

      It won’t help.

  • Blastmasta

    As a Comic who wouldn’t mind working a cruise ship…. at least I know who’s dick I have to suck to do it now

  • Onefunnybastid

    I can’t even begin to tell you how utterly offensive this article is. As a working comic for 23 years two of which for Carnival, I do not as do many others I have worked with on the ships consider myself a hack. There are so many good, funny and original comics that are under the radar that have found a home on Carnival and they have booked good acts consitantly. I have only worked with one act that made me cringe, as that happens. But to make such a broad generalization is not only inaccurate , but highly offensive. Go fuck a duck.

  • Derrick Eason

    As a comedian… On Carnival!… this article sucks!!!… comedians WANT the ship gigs, and if you can’t entertain an 8 to 80 audience, or youre a hack, or only have a showcase set you WILL die at sea… Erik Gavilanes needs to cruise, get educated, updated, and then write something REAL… No joke!

  • http://twitter.com/farazq Faraz Qureshi

    Entertainment on cruise ships have consistently gotten better the last few years.  Admittedly, it was pretty bland in the past. The blue man group and Chicago broadway show are some of the recent additions by rival cruise lines and it was time Carnival matched them.  This is a good move for Carnival and fits their brand.

    Faraz
    http://meetoncruise.com

  • http://twitter.com/farazq Faraz Qureshi

    Entertainment on cruise ships have consistently gotten better the last few years.  Admittedly, it was pretty bland in the past. The blue man group and Chicago broadway show are some of the recent additions by rival cruise lines and it was time Carnival matched them.  This is a good move for Carnival and fits their brand.

    Faraz
    http://meetoncruise.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Genis-Benis/100000911110304 Genis Benis

    It makes sense that Carnival would hire a circus monkey. Listen plenty of people have been fired off of a TBS late night talk show and then went on to do great things. It’d be awsome if it tanks miserabley though, and everyones like remember that guy, he had that awsome gig and then Conan kicked him out of his time slot and now he’s the face of those pathetic cruise ship comedy clubs that people go too when they are seasick but can’t vomit. with all that said, im available to be booked, I’m happy to follow the cruise ship code of honor and do a set that is exclusively other peoples material and you can find my info on roblowmancomedy.yolasite.com