Jimmy Kimmel gives emotional goodbye to Uncle Frank

On Tuesday, Jimmy Kimmel returned to late night with a tearful goodbye. The host took a moment to honor his former security guard and real life uncle, Frank Potenza.

During Jimmy Kimmel Live’s summer hiatus, Kimmel’s uncle and on air contributor Frank Potenza passed away. According to the host, he was surrounded by family and close friends during his final days.

Jimmy Kimmel and Uncle Frank

Potenza was known to the world as Uncle Frank, a former police officer, security guard and husband to Kimmel’s Aunt Chippy. Potenza died on Aug. 23 at the age of 77. Kimmel said that he suffered from “a few different kinds of cancer” but his doctors aren’t sure which one caused his death.

During the show, Kimmel honored Potenza with a video tribute that came with an emotional warning. “Listen, I’m gonna try to do this without crying, but I’m probably gonna fail,” he told viewers. “But just turn away or something, because it’s embarrassing. It really is.”

Eonline notes that Kimmel also shared stories and old photos of Potenza with the audience. The host was in rare form last night. He showed plenty of vulnerability but somehow maintained his witty exterior. We think Uncle Frank would be proud.

R.I.P. Uncle Frank, you’ll be missed.


Image courtesy of Michael Ansell/ABC