Johnny Potenza Bio 2016-17
Somehow it feels "right" that jack-of-all-trades Johnny Potenza grew up the son of a firefighter-slash-old-time plasterer. After all, this Brooklyn-born and Staten Island- raised Renaissance Man has spent his life pursuing multiple paths, too, logging time as a musician, a TV producer and an on-camera performer. And, as if that wasn’t enough, along the way he carried on the family tradition of plastering – as his on-again, off-again “survival” job. Indeed, Johnny Potenza is nothing if not a survivor.
An accomplished drummer from the age of twelve, Johnny studied under multiple professional drummers, including the great Frank Bellucci and Jim Chapin, father of famed '70s singer-songwriter Harry Chapin. And the lessons paid off – Potenza was out playing the bar scene before his 16th birthday, like a Bada Bing-style Justin Bieber.
Johnny kicked off those early bar playing days with the group The Same, hooking on later with another New York-based band, Barrage. From there, and to this day, Johnny plays with NYB "None of Your Business," which has served as the opening act for members of such iconic bands as KISS, Guns ‘n’ Roses and Twisted Sister.
Always at home behind the drums, twenty years ago Johnny found another home for himself, this one at Staten Island Community Television, where he has worked steadily – both behind and in front of the camera – for nearly two decades. He got his start at CTV working on a show that is absolutely classic Johnny P: The Gangsters of Rock. That program – think Wayne's World meets Goodfellas – compiled rock-and-roll footage from both local and national acts and mixed it with scenes from iconic mob movies like The Godfather, A Bronx Tale and Donnie Brasco. In fact, it was on Gangsters of Rock that Johnny earned his first industry nickname – "The Wiseguy of Rock and Roll" – as well as two NOVA Awards.
Over the years, Johnny also managed to carve out a niche for himself as a character actor in independent film. He appeared in Fish (Hoboken Film Festival) and Jersey Shore Massacre, which landed at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival and at the Melbourne Film Festival, winning Best Horror Thriller. But the role he was born to play came as host of his NOVA AWARD-winning talk show, Late Night with Johnny P. Now in his 9th season as producer, editor and host, Johnny has interviewed, among countless others, legendary TV personality JOE FRANKLIN, Sopranos regular VINCENT "Big Pussy" PASTORE and the late, great "Big Ang" of Mob Wives.
Behind the mic and in front of the camera, the Johnny P persona resides somewhere in the sweet spot of lovable goodfella and a local sort of Regis. Glass-is-half-full and chock full of the funny – even when he doesn't mean to be, especially then – his is a relentless, off-beat brand of charismatic naiveté; an odd blend of edgy good guy and unvarnished everyman. And it seems to be working – in January of 2016, Potenza and his Late Night with Johnny P. crew celebrated their 100th episode.
Watchable, root-able and undeniably charismatic, the best part of Johnny Potenza may actually be something he lacks – an edit button. Yes, what you see is – hysterically and always – what you get. Despite those years of struggle and hard work, this talented survivor has only just begun. He's ready for what comes next; ready to put his face, and his show, into the homes of the American public. Johnny Potenza has become a household name in his neck of the woods; now it's damn well time he branched out!
Staten Island's very own hardest-working man in show business. Heeeere's Johnny P.
CONTACT: The Late Night With Johnny P Show (718) 227-0565
2017 Potenza Entertainment