Fired Anchor: Letterman Roasts Obscenity-Prone AJ Clemente Sympathetically

Image: Fired Anchor: Letterman Roasts Obscenity-Prone AJ Clemente Sympathetically Former TV news anchor A.J. Clemente.

Thursday, 25 Apr 2013 08:44 AM

By Michael Mullins

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A.J. Clemente, the rookie TV news anchor from North Dakota who was fired for uttering an obscenity in the first 15 seconds of his maiden broadcast, basked in his 15-plus minutes of fame on Wednesday by appearing on "the Late Show with David Letterman" and NBC's "Today" show.

Although the CBS late night host sympathized with Clemente for losing his job at NBC News affiliate KFYR-TV in Bismarck, Letterman also made him the punch lines on his "top ten signs your first day as a news anchor did not go well," including:

#8 "Weatherman tells you to expect an 80 percent chance of unemployment"
#4 "Last story of the broadcast announced a job opening for news anchor"
#2 "Kept dropping your pants and yelling 'this just in!'"
#1 "Aspired to be the next Ernie Anastos"

Letterman followed with a clip of Ernie Anastos, a former New York City Fox 5 newscaster, who once told the show's weatherman: "Takes a tough man to make a tender forecast Nick . . . Keep f-- that chicken."

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Clemente told Letterman that after he blurted out the obscenity he "went home, crawled into bed and called my parents."

Letterman asked Clemente if he thought he would get his old job back at KFYR-TV.

"What about these goons in Bismarck," Letterman asked, "are they going to give you the job back?"

Letterman told Clemente that he’s “better than” the local news in North Dakota and "they should apologize to you."

Clemente corrected Letterman saying "They aren't goons."

Asked by Letterman if he would accept his old job back if it was offered, Clemente said, "I’ve thought about it, but if, you know, ESPN comes knocking."

"Look, I’m trying to get you the job back in Bismarck," said Letterman. "Forget about ESPN, that ain’t gonna happen! You're going back to Bismarck!"

Clemente also appeared on the "Today" show where he told co-hosts Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie, "It's inexcusable, first, to even say those words,'' adding, "[a] fireball shot came right out of my mouth."

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"Today" weatherman Al Roker was sympathetic to Clemente, calling the Bismarck incident an "accident" and saying that Clemente deserved a second chance.

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