BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota news anchorman who was fired after a profanity-laced debut joked with David Letterman that he would like a job with ESPN.
A.J. Clemente appeared on Letterman’s talk show Wednesday, chatting with the host about uttering two obscenities just as cameras began to roll during the 10 p.m. Sunday newscast. He was first suspended and then fired on Monday by KFYR-TV in Bismarck.
Clemente has since gained national notoriety and appeared on national talk shows.
When Letterman asked him if he wanted his job back, Clemente replied, “I’ve thought about it, but if, you know, ESPN comes knocking … “
Letterman said, “that ain’t gonna happen,” and told Clemente that he was trying to get him his job back in Bismarck.
“There should be an offer, and they should apologize to you,” Letterman told Clemente. “And you should go back because you’re man enough to face the music.”
Dick Heidt, general manager of KFYR-TV, declined comment on that prospect, telling The Associated Press that he can’t discuss Clemente’s firing because it is a personnel matter.
Clemente has said he swore on the air because he became frustrated while practicing pronouncing the name of the London Marathon winner and didn’t realize his microphone was on.
On Letterman, Clemente said he “crawled in bed and called my parents” after the gaffe.
“But the next day, you know, you’ve got to pick yourself up, you’ve got to laugh at yourself and, you know, keep going,” he said.
Letterman credited Clemente with providing “a great lesson” with that statement before joking around again, asking Clemente, “Now, what about these goons in Bismarck? Are they going to give you the job back?”
Clemente laughed, then said, “they aren’t goons.”