Stephen Colbert’s first NYC apartment was on a seminary campus, comedian says

He said he lived at a Christian religious education center.

Sometimes you have to get a bit creative to find real estate in New York City — something late-night host Stephen Colbert knows all too well.

Colbert, who lived in NYC for 20 years, revealed that his first Manhattan apartment was on holy ground in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, published on Thursday. 

The comedian said he rented housing on the campus of the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church in Chelsea. The Christian religious education center, founded in 1817, provides one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments for students preparing to become pastors.

A seminary representative said the campus only provides rental housing to full-time students, but it seems Colbert found a way around those rules. 

“They would rent rooms, if they had rooms left over, to people who worked in nonprofits, essentially,” Colbert said. “And when I was a young actor, I was definitely a nonprofit. That was my first apartment in New York.”

The seminary has, in fact, opened their rental units to the public in the past. 

In 2004, three townhouses initially intended for faculty use were offered to renters outside of the seminary in an attempt to help raise funds to pay for campus renovations, according to the New York Times. The three-bedroom rentals started at $8,200 per month, for two-year-leases.

“The rentals are expected to pay for the renovation, and once that is paid for, they will return to faculty housing,” said Maureen Burnley, the seminary’s vice president for finance and operations. 

Both student and faculty housing is located in a garden area of the campus between Ninth and 10th Avenues, known as the “Close.” 

It’s unclear when, or for how long, Colbert lived on the campus. He now lives in Montclair, New Jersey, with his wife and children. 

Meghan Giannotta