Wednesday is the new Thursday, and oh what a night it is.
It's a new night of taping the Late Night With Johnny P show, and the atmosphere is great. We get some Killer Joe to start the show, and Johnny Potenza begins episode #109 by announcing that going forward, the show will be filmed on the second Wednesday of every month at the Spectrum Cable studios on Staten Island instead of the monthly Thursday night gig we've all been used to attending. I keep telling everyone it's always a fun time, and this month was no exception.
Again, tonight's house band is the energetic Killer Joe and the Late Night Band, a.k.a. Killer Joe and the Lido Soul Revue. The band often features different musicians since they all travel separately around the world to play in other bands, and lead singer "Killer Joe" Ferraro has several backups for 'each position', as he puts it, comparing the band to a team. Someone is always willing to jump in and take a spot when one of his regulars is on tour elsewhere. They rumbled out Shake, Rattle, and Roll, Soul Man, and a tribute to Clarence Clemons with the Asbury Park sound of 'Raise Your Hand", featuring legendary saxophonist Joey Stann of Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, bringing down he house as usual! You can find more info on the band and tour dates at http://www.killerjoe66.com/ . Guaranteed good time!
Back to Potenza, who is now at the desk, and after recommending William Forsythe's "The Bronx Bull", a new movie about Jake LaMotta but with a different angle than "Raging Bull", reads us the TV Guide top five shows for the week. Yes, TV Guide still exists, but it's quite a bit thicker these days. Potenza gives us his thoughts on Judge Judy's requested syndication salary, and then runs a clip featuring Elvis narrated by actor Joe Bereta. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2561414/ In this video, Bereta does a fun spot on the history of Ed Sullivan and the first time Elvis was on the show. Did you know that Ed wasn't even on he first episode of his show? I didn't. Potenza did, though. All this is leading up to our special musical guest.
But first, Potenza introduces host of 'The Carlucci Show', none other than Gregg Carlucci. Carlucci is a big fan of The King of All Media, Howard Stern, and his plan is to be the next Howard Stern, but without ripping Stern off because it's cliché radio to copy him. But no one can *be* Stern, so he does his own thing which tends to be a little dirty and crazy too, but we like it that way. People refer to him as "The Italian Howard Stern" (Sternucci?Sterno?), and he kind of likes that because he really admires Stern; as a matter of fact, he's he reason Carlucci wanted to get into the industry. Carlucci calls Stern "The Best Interviewer In The World. Period", and his goal is to be "the next Howard Stern" - if and when Stern ever retires from radio. Wow, I used "Stern" ten times in this paragraph, including that last one there. Baba-booey.
Carlucci has a Ustream tv/ radio show that can be found at www.thecarluccishow.com , and streams his show live every Thursday night from 8-10pm on both Ustream and Facebook Live. There is also a link to over 200 clips of the show from the past seven years on his site, so there's a lot of comedy to be found there!
He and Potenza discuss his days at the infamous Columbia Broadcasting Company, the past guests on his show (including Potenza), and the late Mike Caracciolo, whom most of you all know as The Kid From Brooklyn. Caracciolo was on Carlucci's show quite often, and he would go on like a wind-up toy on those rants you were used to seeing him go off on regularly on You Tube until his untimely passing in late 2014. We all miss The Big Guy, as he liked to call himself. He and Potenza also had a discussion about "Joanne from Bensonhurst", who has been on both of their shows several times. Potenza wants her to come back to be on his show; he thinks she's great, and so does Carlucci. Joanne, return Potenza's calls!
Up next: comedian John Conte, who has opened for such comedians as George Carlin and Gilbert Gottfried, and played such venues as Vinny Brand's Stress Factory, among many others. Conte begins with explaining Italian martial arts, talks about what we Italians call the 'summer kitchen', and his dad's expression that doesn't exactly mean "Do you think money grown on trees?" He voices his displeasure with handicapped people using his parking spots at The Pervert Mall, talks about being a poor neglected house husband, and about skiing in a Michelin Man suit. What a mogul!
Now it's time for Potenza's special guest - Dylan Flynn, who is an eight-year old guitarist making his TV debut on the Late Night with Johnny P show and a huge fan of Elvis Presley. Dylan wants to be a professional entertainer like Elvis, and loves performing and playing his guitar. Dylan also says he's also a really good artist; he likes to draw characters from Five Nights at Freddy's and Pokémon. Then Potenza showed him (and us) a clip of Presley from his debut on The Ed Sullivan Show; Sullivan calls him a real, decent, fine, polite boy, which is exactly what Dylan Flynn is.
Dylan says he will definitely be a big singer like Elvis, and of course will never forget how Potenza gave him his start when he's famous. Potenza gives him an Elvis collectible figure, and a big book of Elvis sheet music and tells him to learn some more songs and come back again.
Potenza's featured guest is Farrah Krenek, who has appeared on several shows, including "Orange is the New Black". Potenza welcomes her to Staten Island; Krenek says she finds it very quiet peaceful here, and she likes it. Krenek is an activist, and by that she means is that she's active in communicating with people, and encourages others to do the same.
She goes on to say that people think being a celebrity is all about the glitz, glamour, and fame, but the point is if you have all this fame and all this acknowledgement, what can you do with it? Stay humble, no mater how glamorous or small your house is because whether you're rich or poor, hunger and loneliness feel the same.
The word 'celebrity' can also refer to someone who can use their status to help better the lives of others - even if it's just in your own community. If you have the gift of being acknowledged, you can be a celebrity to your town or your neighbor by volunteering; it's the only way you can live on forever. Sometimes just sitting down and listening is all you need to do to help, or visiting someone to say hello.
What can you do to be an activist? Just be you. The best gift you can give to someone is to listen; give of yourself. Give the best of you no matter what you do in your life. Be nice, be kind, don't ever think you're not heard or insignificant.
Her message to today's youth is they should not neglect to surround themselves with the real people around them, or else in the end they're really just alone, and that's no way to go through life.
Thanks again to Nucci's and Seguine Bagels for the usual delicious spread, and we'll see you again next month!
We all miss ya, big guy!
"Late Night With Johnny P" blogs prior to May 2016 can be found on the "TODAY ON THE SCENE" tab
Late Night With Johnny P
There's a lot of excitement in the studio tonight. Even though the evening is bittersweet, there is this energy of the bigger and better things to come, and Potenza is the man with a plan. The final episode of the "Late Night With Johnny P" show is filming tonight, and the place is packed.