2014 Update: Carnival Punchliner Comedy Club

Punchliner Comedy Club - Carnival Cruise Lines

In 2011 we wrote about Carnival’s new Punchliner Comedy Club presented by George Lopez, saying it was a great idea with faulty execution. Having recently sailed on the Carnival Magic over the 4th of July, we’re excited to report that Carnival has improved the experience of this popular evening choice.

Instead of having one show a night, Carnival now has 4-5 shows every night. That’s not to say that they don’t fill up, but hundreds weren’t being turned away from their entertainment of choice like they were a few years ago. They typically would have 2 ‘family friendly’ comedy shows and then 2 ‘adults only’ comedy shows split between two comedians. Halfway through the cruise, two new comedians come on board to keep the talent fresh.

To avoid seat-squatters and savers from staying back to back shows, the lounge is emptied, and those wishing to attend the next show get in a line that winds through the increasingly depressing piano bar. (Side note: This has less to do with uninterested cruisers than it does the grumpy pianist)

We were able to see three of the four comedians perform and overall they were quite good – you should definitely check out the comedy shows on your next Carnival Cruise.

Comedy Review:

John Caponera (Grade: N/A) – We didn’t catch John’s act, but he does have a link to a “printable 8×10” under his head shot on his homepage, so he must be hilarious.

James Johann (Grade: C+) We caught James’s ‘adults only’ act. If you think dropping the f-bomb is inherently funny, you’ll think James his hysterical. Many people did, in fact. We didn’t.

James Sibley (Grade: B+) We thought this James was following the path of first-half-of-the-cruise-James, but a couple minutes in his style grew on us. Stand-up comedy sittin’ down with some genuine country-boy story-telling. We liked second-half-of-the-cruise-James a lot better.

Tommy Drake (Grade: A) The only reason we didn’t give Tommy an A+ is because we wouldn’t want it to go to his head. We don’t want that, because we really liked him just the way he was. The Carnival Magic is a large ship, but while in Cozumel we were docked near the mega Royal Caribbean ship, Allure of the Seas. “I thought Magic was a big ship until we parked in the shadow of the Allure…when you see a ship like that you start to wonder about all the amazing things on board – their comedians are probably famous.”

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