'Uncle Frank' Potenza, of 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' fame, dies at 77


Image Credit: Mitch Haddad/ABC

Frank Potenza, the former New York policeman known as “Uncle Frank” in his comedy appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, passed away today. He was 77.

Potenza was a Korean War veteran as well as a former NYPD officer and Las Vegas security guard. Called “Uncle Frank” on the show, Potenza was Kimmel’s real-life uncle; Kimmel asked Potenza to join his talk show as a security guard and on-air contributor when it began its run in 2003. Potenza moved to Los Angeles to participate in his nephew’s show.

“Uncle Frank” was best known for his appearances alongside other show staffers — most notably, his recurring comic bits with fellow security guards Guillermo Rodriguez and Veatrice Rice. Potenza and his ex-wife Concetta, known as Aunt Chippy on the show, also frequently appeared in guest segments in which Kimmel sent them out to run bizarre errands or embark on unusual adventures like planking, being a lunch lady and giving televised reviews of the MTV’s Jersey Shore.

According to a statement from the show, Uncle Frank was “beloved by his co-workers and considered an uncle to all. ”

He is survived by three daughters and a baby granddaughter.

Comments (33 total) Add your comment
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  • Lise

    I’ll miss you Uncle Frank. You were a wonderful straight man for Jimmy’s jokes and always made me laugh. RIP!

    • What?

      I resent him for being involved with Cousin Sal

  • LoveBug68

    RIP Uncle Frank! I adored you and have been worried about you for some time. I will miss you and Aunt Chippy’s adventure.

  • Ripley

    RIP Uncle Frank. JKL just won’t be the same without you.

  • Dave

    RIP Uncle Frank. I’ll you miss you.

  • Damon

    RIP Uncle Frank and thank you for your service also.

  • eyeheartnyc

    RIP Uncle Frank. You were a sweet, sweet man and will be greatly missed.

  • DetroitpowerKush

    A true television original, we will miss Dr. Uncle Frank’s advice. Veatrice and Uncle Frank were two of the best parts of the early JKL show. Bests wishes and prayers two Jimmy and the rest of the JKL family.

  • jmag

    he was the man…R.I.P

  • Dee Jones

    Awww…. So sorry to hear this. First Veatrice Rice now Uncle Frank. RIP Uncle Frank.

  • Hal


  • samueladawg

    Sorry to hear. Wondered where he was now know-heaven. Will miss him.

  • Justin

    Aww I loved him :(

  • Deborah Rumsey

    Darn it! Loved that old man on the show.

  • sv

    RIP Uncle Frank! This is so sad.

  • Zeke

    Always liked Uncle Frank and Guillermo but hated Cousin Sal and still do.

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