Shoreline comedy cruise debuts Friday - Chicago Tribune

What do you get when you cross stand-up comedy and an architecture cruise? Heck if we know, but Shoreline Sightseeing and Zanies are going to find out this weekend when they debut the Friday Evening Comedy Cruises. Standup comics and Zanies regulars Pat McGann and Bill Bunker will each do 45-minute sets aboard a Shoreline boat, departing from Navy Pier and cruising the Chicago river for a 90-minute excursion.

If a little open-air comedy sounds nice, or if you've ever thought those overly earnest architecture cruises are just begging for a little parody, that's more or less the idea. Although, we should point out, this idea is brand-new and untested.

"They're going to be playing off their environment, it's going to be pretty improvisational," says Zanies executive vice president Bert Haas. McGann and Bunker will be riffing on both the skyline and the crowd. "You've never seen quicker people on their feet."

Shoreline, which has hosted jazz cruises, first approached Zanies about water-born stand-up comedy. A little actual architectural information may even get thrown in, Haas says, and both comics will do more or less clean sets, so folks on the riverwalk are safe too. There will be another Comedy Cruise Sept. 18 headlined by Dobie Maxwell, and if the formula works, maybe more this summer or the next.

Stop this boat if you've heard this ...

8 p.m. Friday; boarding begins 15 minutes before departure from the Shoreline dock at Navy Pier; tickets are $39 per person (21+) and include drink ticket; 312-222-9328 or

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