Floating real estate: Colin Jost, Pete Davidson buy Staten Island Ferry boat
Saturday Night Live stars — and Island-born comedians — look to turn it into comedy club
They’re on a boat.
“Saturday Night Live” regulars Colin Jost and Pete Davidson — arguably the two most-famous Staten Island-bred comedians ever — have purchased a decommissioned ferry boat that for years floated them to and from Manhattan.
The more than half-century-old John F. Kennedy, which plied the waters between South Ferry and St. George since 1965, was purchased by the duo — along with comedy club owner Paul Italia — for around $280,000 at auction earlier this week. Their plan: turn the floating real estate into a yuks factory and eatery.
“In a year, it’ll be a comedy club restaurant,” Davidson told the New York Post before telling a passerby “Right now, we’re going to dock it in, I think, Gowanus, and do a bunch of work on it.”
And according to the city, it needs some fixing if the boys intend to take it for a spin around the kidney-shaped Rock — its condition was listed as “poor” due to the state of “mechanical issues … on the propulsion end.” Thankfully, its hull is in good condition, the Post reported.
The newspaper caught Davidson, a Staten Island resident who lives a stone’s throw from where the ferry docks, admiring his new purchase from a pier outside his home.
“It’s crazy,” Davidson said. “We used to take that ferry to do stand-up, all the time.”
Jost, meanwhile, took a bus, the ferry and the subway to and from Regis High School on the Upper East Side of Manhattan every day as a teen — an hour-and-a-half commute documented in his best-selling memoir “A Very Punchable Face.”
“If it sounds glamorous to arrive to arrive in Manhattan every morning via ship, let me assure you it was not,” he wrote. “Even my immigrant ancestors arriving at Ellis Island would have seen me on the ferry and thought, ‘There has to be a better way.’”
But that didn’t stop them from making the purchase — nor did the history of other Staten Island Ferries that were sold for anything other than scrap.
The ferry boat Mary Murray could be seen for years by drivers on the New Jersey Turnpike rotting in the waters of the Raritan River, where it sat since 1976 as it’s owner hoped to turn it into a restaurant. It ended up being scrapped in 2008.
And the Herbery H. Lehman, one of two JFK sister ships, ended up being scrapped after getting towed to a dock near Newburgh, New York, where it sprung a leak, listed, and had to be dismantled.
Well, as they say, the two happiest days in a boat owner’s life are the day they purchase the boat — and the day they sell it.
[New York Post] — Vince DiMiceli