Acclaimed Late Night Talk Show Host and Comedian Jay Leno Named as ‘Godfather’ to Carnival Venezia
Carnival Cruise Line today announced that acclaimed late night talk show host and comedian Jay Leno will serve as its first ever godfather to one of its ships, Carnival Venezia™, at a celebratory event on June 14, 2023 when the ship is blessed and enters service from New York City.
The ship is the first to incorporate “Carnival Fun Italian Style” that adds Carnival’s signature fun to the beautiful Italian theming of the vessel. In addition to serving as the Godfather, Leno will perform a special comedy show exclusively for Carnival’s event guests, in partnership with Carnival® World Mastercard®.
“Carnival Venezia originally entered service for our Italian sister brand Costa Cruises and was christened in 2019, so she already has a godmother. With Carnival Venezia joining the fleet and sailing from New York, we wanted to ensure a proper welcome for the ship and decided having a godfather would be both fun and appropriate,” said Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy. “And when we thought of someone who would make a FUN godfather with Italian heritage, we knew Jay Leno would be the perfect godfather! And he’s already a member of the Carnival family – he entertained guests a few years ago as part of our Carnival LIVE entertainment series.”
“I am truly honored to be named the godfather of Carnival Venezia. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse,” said Leno. “Carnival’s focus on FUN combined with the Italian theming of this ship is something that is truly unique. I’m also excited to have my very own cruise ship, although I think I’ll need a bigger garage!”
A native of New Rochelle, NY, Leno is the grandson of immigrants from Flumeri, Campania, Italy. He began his entertainment career in stand-up comedy, which led to the nearly two-decades-long role he is best known for as host of The Tonight Show, from which he retired in 2014. During most of his tenure, Leno’s The Tonight Show was the top-ranked talk show on late night, and he earned the reputation as being “the hardest working man in show business.”
Leno currently produces and is host of the CNBC primetime series Jay Leno’s Garage that is now in its seventh season and explores the world of cars, never forgetting that it’s the people behind the wheel who provide the real stories. The series debuted in October 2015 and delivered CNBC’s most-watched first season in network history. He remains in demand as a stand-up performer, corporate speaker and the host of the game show reboot, You Bet Your Life.
Carnival Venezia celebrates Venice, Italy, and has many spaces on board that are reminiscent of her namesake. When guests enter the ship, they arrive in the Venice-inspired atrium Piazza San Marco, the onboard flavor and flair continues at restaurants like the elegant Marco Polo and Canal Grande Restaurants, along with the new Italian specialty restaurant, “Il Viaggio.” Carnival Playlist Productions shows entertain guests at the Teatro Rosso theater that is reminiscent of Italian opera houses.
Guests will also find many Carnival mainstays they know and love on board, including Guy Fieri’s Guy’s Burger Joint, the steakhouse Fahrenheit 555, Bonsai Sushi & Teppanyaki and the Chef’s Table, along with Lido Marketplace, Seafood Shack and Pizzeria del Capitano, Piano Bar 88 and Heroes Tribute Lounge.
Carnival Venezia is set to arrive to her new home in New York City and begin sailing from the Manhattan Cruise Terminal on June 15, 2023. The ship accommodates more than 5,000 guests and will offer 10 different cruise durations and 22 unique itineraries featuring visits to 25 ports across 14 countries.
Carnival Venezia’s celebratory event will be livestreamed.