Sad news for fans of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”. Frequent guest comedian Uncle Frank Potenza — Kimmel’s real uncle — passed away early Tuesday morning (August 23) at age 77.
Fans expressed their condolences to Kimmel, who thanked them for reaching out via Twitter. “thank you for your kind words about a very kind man – my Uncle Frank – who passed away this morning,” he wrote.
He then spent some time re-tweeting fans’ memories of Potenza, including one fan who received the “funniest letter ever,” from Uncle Frank, and another who once rode a subway with him. “RIP Uncle Frank, his comic timing took a lifetime to earn. Today I eat cake for him,” said another.
ABC released a statement honoring Potenza as “beloved by his co-workers and considered an uncle to all.” The show returns Sept. 6.
Born in Brookly, Potenza was a Korean War vet and a police officer. Later, worked as a guard in Las Vegas and Manhattan before moving to Los Angeles to work with Kimmel. He is survived by three daughters and a newborn granddaughter.