Apparently there was a ping-pong table set up next to his piano, and he hated when people played during his set.
So day after day the passengers would arrive at the table and find the paddles missing.
Then there was the crew – the grunts mostly Filipino and Indian, the officers and the captain, who loved making unintelligible announcements at random junctures, Italian.
There was a running joke among the ship’s crew about the captain: “Knock, Knock” “Who’s there? ” “.” Americans were conspicuously absent from the crew, replaced by a bunch of people who were all probably really good at soccer.
They complained and more were conjured up from storage.
This happened several times and before long, there were absolutely no more paddles left on the boat, so the staff looked at security camera footage to find out what might’ve happened to them. On the early-evening shows I utilized bits I’d stopped reciting years ago – scraps, anything that wouldn’t rock the boat, so to speak.
“Plus,” he added, “very few of them could fit through the door of the crew cabins.” Above deck were magic shows and slot machines, but below deck was like an urbanized honeycomb of the crew’s cabins, some turned into bodegas with anything you’d want from booze to DVDs to socks.After I got off stage, a drunk Texan approached me and said, “I got one for you. But it wasn’t until the last few days of the cruise that things got really crazy. Finally, the captain used the phrase “you’re not in trouble” – which always means that you are in trouble. After about 25 minutes of announcements, the captain ordered all the passengers back to their cabins until this missing woman was found. I waited in the hall because there was barely room for both of us, then went back inside when he finished. In response, the other one sighed wearily and said, “Here we go again.” Soon the captain announced that the search had ended; there had been an unfortunate accident, we could now leave our cabins, and please keep the Jameson family in our thoughts.I woke up to a strange announcement from the captain, asking a lady who I’ll refer to as Sally Jameson, to report to the front of the ship. A couple hours later I popped my head out and eavesdropped on two crewmembers. As we docked into Mexico and investigators came aboard, I couldn’t stop thinking about what had just happened. There had been a gap in the time between when the she disappeared and when it was reported.Single.” Even though following that guy was like following Springsteen in Jersey, I managed to book one gig. “I guess I’m gon’ be your orientation.” “Where’s the venue? It was also freezing, with no way to turn down the air conditioner. My act had to be completely rearranged into three different half hours, one child-friendly, each one repeated once, plus a different “welcome aboard” show, not to be repeated.It was with a cruise line that, as a professional courtesy, I’ll call “Circus Cruises.” It had the collective ambience of a floating Red Lobster. I flew into Texas where the ship, headed to Mexico, would be taking off. My act is essentially a low-budget indie film about my life in New York with neighborhood characters like “heroin dude” and “check-cashing place lady with beard eating an LGBTBLT.” I’d also been warned that if passengers complained about a performer, that performer could be helicoptered off of the ship. Cruise ships are one of the last refuges for veteran comedians to make a living doing what they do.