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A Saultite takes on the Evil Gingivitis

Recognize this guy? Of course you do! He's the doofus inside the Big Fighting Yellow Toothbrush costume who tangles with the Evil Gingivitis in the Listerine commercials. He's also the "let's get naked" guy in the Tostitos ad.
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ChristianPotenza

Recognize this guy?

Of course you do!

He's the doofus inside the Big Fighting Yellow Toothbrush costume who tangles with the Evil Gingivitis in the Listerine commercials.

He's also the "let's get naked" guy in the Tostitos ad.

And he's the golfer who's too hoarse to holler "fore" in the Hall's commercial.

His name his Christian Potenza and he used to live in Sault Ste. Marie.

Potenza's face is known across Canada, but until now his name has hardly been a household word.

That might be about to change.

Potenza's latest role, hockey dad 'Doug' on the CBC comedy series The Tournament, has been getting lots of attention and now he's getting written up by people like the Toronto Star's Rita Zekas.

Dad was local bank manager

Zekas discloses the Sault Ste. Marie connection in an article published today.

"My dad's a bank manager and they stuck him in steel-mill towns to fix troubled banks," Potezna tells her. "I'm like an air force brat moving every three years but we were in the financial army."

Potenza was born in Ottawa, but his father's career took him to other places including Sudbury, Tweed and Trenton.

He studied at George Brown Theatre School in Toronto, dropped out in the third year, and started a career whose highlights have included roles in film (The Tuxedo, The Jimi Hendrix Story, King's Ransom) and television (Riverdale, Leap Years, The Famous Jett Jackson, The Newsroom Movie.)

"Every time I step out of the house, I am greeted with smiles, handshakes, hugs," Potenza told an interviewer from Ottawa's Weekly Journal newspaper.

Getting beat up in bars

But fame is rarely unaccompanied by problems, and Potenza has had to give up late-night visits to bars.

"There are certain people, their life hasn't ended up quite like they expected and they yell at their TV a lot," he says.

"I've stopped going to bars around last call. It's closing time but it's also fightin' time. These guys are like, 'I could go for punching somebody out.' And if I'm right there, I've had guys come up to me and say, 'Hey you're that (@%$ from the commercials, right?' And I'm like, 'Yeah, I guess.' And I just back away. I've been in fights, I've been hit in exactly that situation."

Potenza now lives in Port Credit, Ontario with his model-girlfriend Becky and a seven-month-old daughter named Teagan.