By: Scott Way
Say what you will about Pete Davidson, but the self-deprecating comedian will win favour with the boating crowd with his latest purchase.
Davidson, along with fellow Saturday Night Live alum Colin Jost and New York real estate broker Paul Italia, have purchased the decommissioned Manhattan ferry John F. Kennedy. The trio plans to convert it into a floating comedy club. The ferry has been shuttling passengers between Manhattan and the mainland since 1965, but it finally reached the end of its serviceable life this past August. In true NYC fashion, the ferry was run into the ground after seven decades of constant overuse and negligible maintenance. It is described as being in "poor" condition by the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (wow, what a bureaucratic name), and it's currently dead in the water with no running motor. The comics scooped it up at a public auction for $280,000 USD. Since I'm not familiar with the market for used ferries, I'm undecided if that's a steal by Davidson or a robbery by the bureaucrats of NYC. I'm leaning towards the latter.
In any case, in an interview with the New York Post Italia said, "The idea is to turn the space 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.”
The clock is ticking, though. The group has 10 days to get the boat out of St. George Ferry Terminal where it's currently docked. Since the boat doesn't have any power, it will require a tugboat to pull it to a local shipyard.
Towing it won't be easy, either. The MV John F. Kennedy is 277 feet long (84 m), with a 69 foot beam (21 m), and weighs 2100 tonnes. Even when she was running she had a meager top speed of 13 mph (21 km/h), so she's not exactly a speedster. But she can hold 3500 passengers and 40 cars, so that should be enough to host the Kardashian family.
Even NYC Mayor Eric Adams supports the new venture.
I can't wait to see what they name it. Staten Island is often referred to as 'Shaolin' (thanks to the Wu-Tang Clan, who hail from the Island), so you have to believe that's the frontrunner. Shaolin refers to various schools of martial arts, specifically Shaolin Kung Fu, which was developed by Buddhist monks in the Shaolin Temple in China. I'm not sure how you combine SNL comedians, New York City, Buddhist monks, and rusty old boats, but there's got to be a good joke in there somewhere.
Let's hear your suggestions.