NEW YORK — “Saturday Night Live” comedians Colin Jost and Pete Davidson have bought a disused Staten Island ferry for $280,100 with plans to turn it into New York’s hottest club.
Jost and Davidson teamed up with comedy club owner Paul Italia on Wednesday for the winning bid for the John F. Kennedy, a 277-foot (84-meter) vessel that shuttled between the New York neighborhoods of Manhattan and Staten Island from 1965 until it was decommissioned last August.
“The Staten Island Ferry is definitely something iconic,” Italia, a real estate investor and co-owner of The Stand restaurant and comedy club, said Friday. “We wanted to find a way to save it and make it something special.”
Italia said transforming the 2,109-ton ferry into an entertainment venue would cost millions of dollars and wouldn’t happen anytime soon.
“It’s really just the beginning here,” he said. “You have a great idea and you’re working on it and the first step is acquiring the boat, and I think that’s the story right now. We’ve been successful in acquiring the boat and getting that ‘it doesn’t go to scrap like the two previous ones.
Messages seeking comment have been sent to reps for Jost and Davidson, who both grew up on Staten Island and often joke about their home borough and its most well-known mode of transportation.
Named after the 35th President of the United States, the John F. Kennedy was the oldest ferry in the fleet when it was decommissioned last summer.
The new owners have 10 working days to reserve a place to moor the vessel and tow it. “We’re working on that,” Italia said.
The boat was auctioned off by the New York City Department of Administrative Services, and other city departments will need to approve its operation as a floating nightclub.
It might help that the city’s new mayor is on board. “I love this idea. What a great way to give a New York icon a second life,” Mayor Eric Adams tweeted Friday.
Adams, who took office on Jan. 1 and was portrayed by Chris Redd on “Saturday Night Live” on Jan. 15, added, “Let us know how we can help and we’ll be there for the maiden voyage.”