Entries in Uncle Frank (2)


Jimmy Kimmel Pays Tearful Tribute to Uncle Frank

ABC/MICHAEL DESMOND(LOS ANGELES) -- There were more tears than laughter on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live Tuesday night, as the late-night host paid tribute to his late uncle, Frank Potenza, a security guard and frequent participant on the show in routines like “Uncle Frank and Aunt Chippy’s Adventures.”

Potenza, a retired New York City police officer and former security guard at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, died on Aug. 23 at age 77.  The cause, according to Kimmel, was “a few different kinds of cancer,” though doctors weren’t sure which of them killed him.

Kimmel choked up almost immediately when he began talking about his uncle and frequent comic foil.

“Listen, I’m gonna try to do this without crying, but I’m probably gonna fail,” he told his audience.  “But just turn away or something, because it’s embarrassing.  It really is.”

Potenza’s role often called for him to play the befuddled uncle.  While interviewing Meryl Streep, he told her she had a great future ahead of her.

According to Kimmel, Potenza’s plan “was to live to 103.  He wanted to be the oldest living retired police officer in New York City, not because he wanted to set a record or be in the paper; he just wanted to stick them for another 25 years of pension checks.”

“Uncle Frank loved being a part of this show,” Kimmel said through tears.  “And I wanna say thanks to my co-workers who talked to him and visited him and picked him up 12 hours early for work.  He loved you.  And thanks to all of you who came to the show and watched, for indulging me and letting me put my crazy uncle on television.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Jimmy Kimmel's 'Uncle Frank' Dead at 77

ABC/MICHAEL DESMOND(NEW YORK) -- Jimmy Kimmel's "Uncle Frank" died early Tuesday at the age of 77.

Frank Potenza, a former New York City police officer, joined his real-life nephew's ABC late-night program in 2003 as a security guard, and frequently made appearances in comedy segments.  A cause of death has not been released.

A statement released by Jimmy Kimmel Live! says Potenza's "kindness and humor will be missed by everyone he touched."  The show is on hiatus until Sept. 6.

Kimmel wrote on Twitter to his followers, "Thank you for your kind words about a very kind man -- my Uncle Frank -- who passed away this morning."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio