Colin Jost, Pete Davidson seek city’s help in turning ferry into comedy club

The team behind the purchased hopes to broker a deal with the city's Economic Development Corporation

National Weekend Edition /
Jan.January 29, 2022 12:35 PM

The Staten Island Ferryboat JFK in 2020, while it was still in service. (Getty)

Will it be a comedy sensation — or a comedy of errors?

Saturday Night Live regulars Colin Jost and Pete Davidson are now reaching out to the city to get help converting the old Staten Island Ferry boat they bought on a whim into a floating comedy club, the New York Post reported.

Paul Italia, a comedy club owner who has partnered with the two Staten Island-born comics in the purchase of the ferry, told the newspaper the trio had reached out to the city’s Economic Development Corporation for help finding and reviving a local pier where the big orange boat can eventually dock and open to customers.

“The dream would be to work with the city to bring back one of these piers and help out a community,” Italia, who, according to Davidson, is a real person and not a “mafia-themed wrestler,” told the newspaper.

Finding a waterfront home for the John F. Kennedy, a nearly 60-year-old boat that the trio paid $280,000 earlier this month will be one of the many challenges they’ll face if their dream is to become a reality, as most docks along the shores of the city have permanent “No Parking Without Permit” signs posted.

Italia told the newspaper that there could be a landing spot on the Manhattan side of the East River, already home to such floating venues as The Water Club. Its sister floating eatery, The River Cafe, is on the Brooklyn side, as is the chic Pilot bar, near Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The EDC already leases the space for The Water Club, and a similar deal would need to be set up. Mayor Eric Adams cheered the purchase of the ferry shortly after it was announced, tweeting that he loved their plans and offered help in getting the job done.

A spokesman for Adams told the publication he believes the city needs to come up with “creative and efficient ways to revitalize our communities and grow our city’s economy,” and the paper reported a brief discussion about teaming up with the comedians had already taken place.

But it will take more than creative and efficient ideas to get the job done — it will also take time, and a lot of cash.

Getting the new plan off the ground will require a slew of permits, licensees, and other city and state approvals, as well as millions of dollars to retrofit the boat to make it shipshape for taking on customers, including installing emergency exits and a sprinkler system to meet fire codes, according to the report.

[New York Post] — Vince DiMiceli





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