The Saturday Night Live stars, both of who are from Staten Island, teamed up with real estate agent and comedy club owner Paul Italia to purchase the boat after it went up for auction, according to The New York Post.
While speaking to The Post, Italia, the co-owner of The Stand comedy club in Manhattan, said that the trio have “grand plans” for the retired ferry, which include turning the vessel into a “live entertainment event space, with comedy, music, art, et cetera”.
“We’re in the early stages, but everybody involved had the same ambition – not to see this thing go to the scrapyard,” he said of the boat, named the John F Kennedy.
The New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services put the boat up for auction on 12 January – with bidding starting at $125,000 – after it was decommissioned due to mechanical issues, The Post reports, with the boat sold to the comedic trio on Wednesday.
According to New York 1, the vessel, which was built in 1965, has the capacity to carry more than 3,000 passengers.
The purchase doesn’t just mean access to a floating venue, however, as Jost, Davidson and Italia are first required to move the 277-foot boat from its current location in the St George Ferry Terminal, according to the outlet, with NBC News reporting the new owners have 10 days from Wednesday to do so.
According to Italia, the tentative plan is to move the ferry to a shipyard for the time being, with the comedy club owner telling The Post that they have been “talking to a lot of shipyards in the area”.
While the ferry purchase may seem odd, Staten Island makes up a significant portion of Davidson’s identity, as the comedian previously starred in the film The King of Staten Island, loosely based on his upbringing, and owns a condo in the borough. Jost also frequently references his childhood home on SNL.