Pete Davidson and Colin Jost already have one high-profile patron for their planned "live entertainment space" aboard the decommissioned Staten Island Ferryboat they recently purchased: Noted clubber and New York City Mayor Eric Adams.
The ferryboat, named for John F. Kennedy, was auctioned off this week after decades of shuttling people across New York Harbor. The nearly 60-year-old vessel was purchased for $280,100 on Wednesday by a mysterious bidder, who was only identified by the handle "Pitalia211." The identity was revealed Thursday night by Vulture: The Stand co-owner Paul Italia, and SNL stars Colin Jost and Pete Davidson. And the three plan to convert the ferry "into a live entertainment event space, with comedy, music, art, et cetera,” according to a report in the New York Post.
"Pete, @ColinJost: I love this idea," Adams tweeted Friday. "What a great way to give an NYC icon a second life. Let us know how we can help and we’ll be there for the maiden voyage."
Italia told the Post, "We’re in the early stages, but everybody involved had the same ambition — not to see this thing go to the scrapyard."
Of course, it won't be simple: the boat was removed from service in August 2021, and was listed as being in "poor" condition because of mechanical issues. For now, the boat will be towed by tugboat to a local shipyard while the three men try to negotiate for a more permanent location for it, and the attendant upgrades it will need. City Hall, at least, won't be standing in their way.
Altogether, the 277 foot, 4.2 million pound vessel, which was built in 1965, has the capacity to hold around 5,200 people.
Jost and Davidson are both Staten Island natives: Jost grew up in Grymes Hill, and partnered with Meals on Wheels (see above) to announce his marriage to Scarlett Johansson and raise money for charity. Davidson grew up in Great Kills, taking the ferry into the city for his early comedy gigs, and still lives in the borough. We've reached out to reps for all three buyers, and will update if we hear back.
Earlier this week, WNYC/Gothamist spoke to one of the ferryboat's former pilots, Acting Senior Port Captain Kenneth Meurer, about piloting the boat: "It was almost a nostalgic feeling running it, honestly, because of how old it was. It was a nice old, warm boat, it was open and had a lot of space for everyone."