There is only one show left to be taped after this one before the Late Night With Johnny P name is retired and everyone - especially Johnny Potenza - gets a break after ten years straight of producing this show.
Tonight is the Christmas show, and I've been put in charge of bringing the decorations for the desk. Potenza brought in a nice little combination Christmas tree/lamp decoration with a nice bow on it, and I brought some evergreen bough, a wreath, my Abominable Snowman figurine with articulating joints, a matching Santa and reindeer, and my Gene Simmons Christmas ornament that hangs from a cabinet knob in the kitchen year-round. I made a mess of the ficus tree that had been relocated to the other side of the desk while trying to weave some garland around it, but it looked festive enough.
Potenza comes from behind the curtains for the monologue. Thanksgiving is over, and it's time to let out the suits for the rest of the holidays.
What's that sleighbell-like sound? Here comes special guest Lilo Grunwald; she said she had to come in to visit Potenza. She is an actor and his former co-host and came to hang out with him for a while. Grunwald announces tonight's guests: Jeff 'Fat Rat Bastard' Pirrami, Miss USA International 2017 Stephanie Ellen Almeida, radio personality and actor 'Goumba Johnny' Sialiano, and Hip Hop artist Rapper P Kash.
Potenza runs us a clip featuring Lilo from Feb 2012 where she interviewed recurring guest Robert Clohessy from Blue Bloods. Grunwald points out that the desk is different and that this one was beautiful; he said a friend made it for him. No wonder he balked at my idea of him going rock-and-roll on it with a sledgehammer when he films the last show.
Grunwald was the co-host the night that they had Joe Franklin and Big Ang on the show. He said it was the "packedest" that the audience has ever been. They can't believe they are both gone now, but happy to have had the privilege of interviewing them both. The Late Night With Johnny P show won two Nova awards for that show.
So, it's time to address the elephant in the room: the hair. Grunwald wants to know what's up with that. As mentioned in previous blogs, P is filming a movie called "The Irishman" and they asked him to keep his hair a certain way. Instead of his usual front flip, he had to wear it more to the time period in which the movie is being filmed. Pirrami yells out "PLUGS!!" (which is the fifth heckle so far. I'm keeping track), and Potenza said he wishes. So, how did Potenza get the part? He got lucky with an agent who saw the show and gave him some principal background work. Grunwald is in the movie as well. The movie is being directed by Martin Sorcese and start Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci, which we're told is NOTHING TO SNEEZE AT. Now he has the acting bug and feels like God finally threw him a bone. Here, Johnny, catch. Go act.
Our comedian is tonight's prolific heckler Jeff "Fat Rat Bastard" Pirrami. He talks about big-men store shirts, how the Titanic could have easily been a shorter film, and the life expectancies of soda drinkers. For Christmas, he wants a chocolate fountain alarm clock! I think it sounds like a plan. Pirrami reminds us when you should remove your fit-bit bracelets and how he reached two of his goals at the same time while wearing it. He tells us about a post-op scrotal check he received from his nurse, and how he got his nickname. Pirrami is quick-witted and pretty blue, and we like it that way. You'll have to watch the show to get the jokes because I’m not giving away any of his secrets.
Miss USA International Stephanie Ellen Almeida likes my abominable snowman. He has a little Santa hat on, and is perched at the edge of the desk. Potenza had done many takes trying to say her last name properly, finally gave up, and introduced her as Stephanie Ellen. It works. I really hope they put together a blooper reel of all the mispronunciations. It will go on for hours. He still can't say my name right, either, and I've been doing this every month for two years lol.
Almeida talks about how she got into the pageant world. She said basically all it takes is one person or one audition to change your life; someone saw her and knew she'd be great for a beauty pageant. She'd never done the pageant circuit - she's no a pageant girl - and now she's Miss USA International! For the next eight months, she was overseas and traveling everywhere; she spoke at schools, explained to students that you don’t have to be rich or live in a big city to be famous; she's living proof of that. Almeida came from a small town where she was a big fish in a small pond, and always wanted more than that life. She came to New York, and said it was humbling. She did not know anyone, and it was really hard work, but she can share her journey and have others be inspired by it. I have to say that Almeida is very down-to-earth, and has a terrific sense of humor. She even laughs at some of Pirrami's shout-out jokes that were aimed at her, and I was impressed that she would find them funny. Which they were. But they were totally inappropriate. You'll hear him yelling out a few things at Almeida. Funny guy.
Almeida tells us all about the pageant world - the pampering they receive, which she says is the best part, as well as the less-than-glamorous side. Everywhere they go they do charity work; they took them out to the farms in the mountains having no idea what they were going or what they were going to be doing there, and it started raining. Now she's wearing yellow boots with her dress and harvesting carrots and other vegetables in the rain to sell for charity; she thought it was great. They sold them in the market the next day, and made a nice chunk of change for their charity. She does environmental work and fundraising, and on the path to what she will do with this for the rest of her life. Almeida is going to Africa, Australia, Zimbabwe, and Tunisia to do more charity work under heir current reign, and Potenza promises to bring her back in the fall to tell us about her upcoming travels.
Potenza's featured guest tonight is Johnny Sialiano, who you may also know as radio personality "Goumba Johnny". Sialiano was born in The Bronx, moved to Yonkers, graduated with associates degree in marketing, then went to a university to become a teacher. and found he didn't like it. Filled out science core and liked being a bio major, so he got his bachelors degree. Didn't do anything with it, but so what now because there is always value in education; it teaches you how to explore new horizons and enhances your personality. I could not agree more wholeheartedly. When he was done with college he became a free agent with the Jets and the following year with Giants. When his 'extremely short' career was over, he got into bodyguarding people like Malcolm Forbes, Sam Kinison, Tom Jones, and Smokey Robinson before began doing comedy.
Sialiano points out the decorations on the set, and tells Potenza he did good at the dollar store. Potenza tells him that his photographer, Cathleen Gillahan, decorated it really nice. Lets give her a hand! So, I get some applause from the audience while I give them the Queen's Wave, and get back to shooting. BTW, it's GILLINGHAM. It's pronounced exactly the way it's spelled, P, lol.
Sialiano tells us how funny Potenza really is off the show; he's unpredictable and likes to goof around and always coming up with a million ideas, but he's subdued here because there's so much going on. If he had the crew to take care of a lot of the things he does for the show and just had to just show up and do his job he'd be crazy on the show too, but he's exhausted by the time the show starts; while he should be studying cue cards and drinking coffee he's running around getting the show ready. Sialiano thinks he does a great job.
Sialiano talks about his comedy tour with Vinny Pastore (Big Pussy from "The Sopranos"), his favorite comedians like John Mulrooney, Dice, Colin Quinn, Kevin Hart, Redd Foxx, Richard Pryor, and Sebastian Maniscalco, who is also in "The Irishman"; Maniscalco is the first Italian comedian first since Pat Cooper - the godfather of italian comedy - to break out in a long time.
Potenza and Sialiano discuss the comedy book he was asked to write, and when he looks back at this great accomplishment that he never thought he could achieve he thinks wow, the things you end up doing that you just never think you could do, but you do; he's blessed because every good that happened to him was more or less an accident, and everything bad that happened was because of his own choices and the company he chose to keep; like his dad said, If you're the smartest person in the room, you've got to get out of it. Sialiano is a genuine human being, and I really enjoyed being in the same room with him. It was a lot of fun.
Tonight's musical guest is Rapper P Kash, who performs his song "So Fly". Potenza has been trying to get him on the show for a year, but they were never able to hook up because of their schedules. ; He was nominated five times for a New England Urban Award, but he didn't care about winning - he was just happy to see his name is on the screen, and get to tour with and work with artists that he's admired for years. I love P Kash's energy, he's electric, and very well-spoken and gentlemanly.
P Kash does a lot of behind-the-scenes work on his music; he's very hands-on with everything he does. He started his own digital marketing company and his own entertainment group. A lot of people are requesting marketing for entertainment purposes and wants to be the best rapper ever to do it, and I bet he will. He's very ambitious.
So the time has come again to say goodnight, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays. I can't believe that I only have one more blog to write for this season! Thanks again to Nucci's for delicious catering as always, so get home safe, good night!
"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.