Johnny DiLoretto is returning to the stage.

Johnny DiLoretto is returning to the stage.

The former personality on WSYX-TV (channel 6) and affiliate WTTE-TV (channel 28) plans to launch the Not So Late Show with Johnny DiLoretto on March 31 at Shadowbox Live.

"I miss television," DiLoretto said. "I miss being on front of a camera."

DiLoretto, known for his irreverent sense of humor, promises his own brand of off-the-wall comedy stylings, interesting personalities and a mix of zany, unpredictable antics.

"I want to create a live event," DiLoretto said.

"Here I don't have any rules. There will be swearing."

The first show is slated for 8 p.m. at the Backstage Bistro, 503 S. Front St. Admission is $5. For reservations, call 614-917-1171.

DiLoretto, director of communications at the Gateway Film Center, has been a fixture at Shadowbox over the years, hosting a variety show and being part of Mooch and Pinsky, a mockumentary about two comedians.

The other half of the duo is Jimmy Mak, DiLoretto's childhood friend and head writer at Shadowbox.

"I love being here," DiLoretto said of Shadowbox.

"It's warm. It's like a home, a creative home, for me."

His first show will include an interview with Dino Tripodis, a local comedian, filmmaker, radio personality and former private investigator.

Also among his guests will be Ohio State University astrophysicist Paul Sutter, also chief of science at the Center of Science and Industry.

Sutter is producing an upcoming dance show choreographed to the birth, life and death of a star.

Byron Stripling, a jazz trumpeter, and pianist Bobby Floyd will make an appearance at DiLoretto's debut.

Following that, the house band will be MojoFlo.

DiLoretto, 47, of Upper Arlington said audience participation will be folded into the shows.

"I plan to throw the audience curve balls," he said.

Additional interviews have been planned for April 28 and May 26. DiLoretto said he plans to turn the show into a monthly event and take it to different venues in the future.

Mak said DiLoretto is very natural onstage.

"Since I've known him he's been very funny," Mak said. "He's a really good writer, very silly.

"He said he wants to not just so strict interviews but also sketches and make it a variety show, not just a typical interview show."