It's August 9, 2017, and Killer Joe and his band play Potenza into the studio. All of a sudden P is holding a microphone. What happened? When was the last time you saw him holding a microphone, he wants to know? Whatever, the show must go on - you have to work with what you've got, but I don't notice the microphone for the rest of the night. P handled it like a pro.
Potenza's monologue covers his summer vacation visits along the Jersey Shore points and the most watched TV shows according to TV Guide, but tonight's episode of the show dedicated to the memory of friend and gentleman Frankie Waters. Waters was the host of a CTV show called 'The Frankie Waters Music and Variety Hour', and was the first to interview Potenza and his former band NYB and put them on TV. Thank you, Frankie, for forging a path for Potenza and all who he brings through those studio doors. Salute!
Potenza stops to speak with Killer Joe and the band. Turns out their drummer broke down on the highway earlier and almost didn't make it; they called Potenza and asked if he could bring his drums, which was logistically impossible. Luckily, Slammin' Sammy made it to the show with his kit, and after Potenza introduced the rest of the band members, they kick out some great rock and roll as always. Potenza gets his turn to play the drums for "Land of 1,000 Dances". You gotta know how to pony like Bony Maroney!
Tonight's first guest is Nick Ferraro, also known as 'The Philly Elvis'. Before he sits down to talk to P, Ferraro performs "Blue Suede Shoes" with Killer Joe. Ferraro is completely Elvised out in an awesome powder blue, rhinestone-studded jumpsuit, and Potenza wants to know where he got it. Turns out there's a guy in the midwest who is actually licensed to make authentic Elvis costumes, he purchased it about 20 years ago, and it still looks brand-new!
"So, how did this whole Elvis thing start?", you're probably wondering. Ferraro had entered a local talent show with a couple of friends a number of years ago, and they did an Elvis tribute. They won the contest, and since people were asking them where they could see them perform, they just kept it going. Tonight, Ferraro proved just how worthy he is of wearing that cape.
He's also a huge Bruce Springsteen fan. He brought a sign with him to the concert that said "Can the King Sing With the Boss?", and when Springsteen started playing "All Shook Up", he invited Ferraro to come onstage and sing with him. After finishing up "Blue Suede Shoes", he thanked "The Philly Elvis", and the name stuck. His story was also featured in a documentary about Springsteen, so if you've seen it, he is that guy on the bench with his wife telling the story.
Ferraro has always wanted to be an actor, and he just finished up his first feature film, "Backfire", which is about the Philly mob. He says he doesn't want to give too much away about the movie, but it doesn't work out very well for his character. Hey, it's a mob movie. None of the characters ever do well.
Mike Marino, New Jersey's Bad Boy of Comedy, is Potenza's next act. He has been inducted into the New Jersey Comedy Hall of Fame - an honor he shares with the likes of Lou Costello and Jerry Lewis - and also received the Bob Hope award for entertaining our troops overseas.
Marino says he's not a comedian and that he's here for community service; the audience was so busy hooting and hollering "P! P! P!" that the joke went right over their heads. He's so glad he paid that $15 to come over the bridge!
Selective Hearing Alert: bring up smoking a joint and going to WalMart for entertainment, the audience is all ears. He likes to pull up a chair, take in the sights, and think how his life isn't as bad as all that - unless you're at the self check-out and scanning your own groceries only to realize what you're doing, and that you're not getting an employee discount…
So, Marino reminds us that he ran for president, and that his slogan was"Make America Italian Again". You can also find more info on that tour at www.mikemarino.net.
Follow him on Instagram and Twitter at @mikemarinolive
Potenza's final guest this evening is actor Lou Martini, Jr. I agree with Martini 100% that P needs to do a "Behind the Scenes", because what goes on getting this show together and started is hilarious. It's one of the reasons I love working on this show. It's all about what it takes to get this show filmed. We all have great times on the set! He compared Potenza to Ed Sullivan, barking orders at people. Hey, job's gotta be done! He's the producer! Just get it done so we can start the show, yeah?
Martini is proud to say that he learned how to swim on Staten Island, and that the actress Rose Marie taught him how to swim. She had a house on Staten Island, and apparently his dad was having a little something something with her. Don't come into the house wet, kid! As a matter of fact, don't come into the house at all!
Aaaand more microphone problems. This time, Martini's mic somehow comes off. Will it work if you hold it? Sounds like a personal question!
Martini is also in the new HBO series "The Deuce", which also features Late Night guest Garry Pastore. He has been on the show with P several times. Ask Garry which episodes of "The Deuce" he's in. He loves that question.
He's also in Steve Stanulis's show about Staten Island mobsters called "The Fifth Boro" which is being shopped around right now; Netflix has shown an interest, and I’m looking forward to watching both of these shows.
Martini also did some commercial work. Johnny has a surprise - a video of a commercial where Martini plays a slice of pizza. Nice, P. I wish I could find it now. I'd totally post it here. You'll have to enjoy the photo below instead for now.
Martini also talks about a screenplay that he wrote called "Honor", which is about a family of dysfunctional police officers. They will be shooting in the spring, and have talked to Sylvester Stallone about playing the father. That should be fun. He is also shooting a pilot in Boston for a show called "Sober", which is also a police-related series in the spirit of Barney Miller. Potenza wants to play a drunk guy passed out on the floor. They can do that.
Learn more about Dirty Martini at LouMartiniJr.com, and follow him on social media @LouMartiniJr
That's all for tonight; see you all at the next taping in October!
Cathleen is a photographer, graphic designer, and bona-fide.
"Late Night With Johnny P" blogs prior to May 2016 can be found on the "TODAY ON THE SCENE" tab