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Filmmaker Raises Money for Documentary on Staten Island Talk Show Host

By Nicholas Rizzi | November 15, 2013 9:55am
Late Night with Johnny P
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KT Cappellini

GREAT KILLS — A Brooklyn filmmaker has taken to the internet to raise money for a documentary about a late night Staten Island talk show host.

KT Cappellini started a Kickstarter project last week to raise $50,000 for a documentary on Johnny "P" Potenza, a plasterer by day who hosts a monthly public access talk show "Late Night with Johnny P."

"It's the perfect American Dream story," Cappellini said. "He's living the dream no matter what. He plasters by day, by night he's practicing his monologues."

Once a month Potenza, who also drums in the band NYB, goes into the public access studio and hosts the variety talk show and music show for an hour.

"I would love to be the next Jay Leno, the next David Letterman some day," Potenza says in the trailer for the documentary.

And while he might not be a household name yet, Cappellini said he's developed a cult following around the borough and is a local celebrity in Great Kills where he lives.

"He's got this following," he said. "He walks in places and people yell out to him. People yell at him from their cars."

Cappellini met Potenza when he was doing plaster work on a property Cappellini owns in Staten Island and the two got to talking about television.

He said he was drawn in by his personality, which is reminiscent of "a 'Goodfellas' character," and his ability to score some pretty well known actors and personalities to be a guest on his show.

The show has had actor Vincent Pastore from "The Sopranos," Larry Romano for "King of Queens," and cast members from the "Jersey Shore" and "Mob Wives."

Cappellini said most of them ask to be on the show.

"A lot of them seek him out," he said. "His shows are booked for the entire seasons in advance. It's not like he's begging people to come on."

While Cappellini already shot some footage of Potenza and behind-the-scenes of his show, he doesn't have anywhere near enough footage for a full-length documentary, he said.

If he raises the money, he would be able to rent better equipment to film with and plans to be able to have a full-length out in a year.

So far, the money has been coming in slow, with only $150 raised.

"I won't be deterred by that," said Cappellini.