NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Last Sunday, A.J. Clemente was a news anchor on a small television station in North Dakota.
Today, he’s an Internet sensation.
Clemente was fired Monday after he opened his first-ever broadcast Sunday night with two obscenities.
He said he wasn’t wearing an ear piece and didn’t hear that the broadcast was beginning 30 seconds early, causing him to utter those choice words while trying to rehearse the name of the London Marathon winner.
Video of the incident has gone viral turning Clemente into an overnight celebrity.
“I was frustrated, I couldn’t get the name, it was my second story,” Clemente told David Letterman on Wednesday night during an appearance on “The Late Show.”
Clemente said it took him a while to realize the profanities made it on air.
“About the third break my news director walks in, she says you need to apologize, we all say ‘For what?’ and obviously I apologized and I’m still apologizing,” Clemente said. “I shouldn’t have said the words to begin with but it was a perfect storm of a whole bunch of mistakes.”
Clemente said he thought his life was over after the incident.
“I went home, crawled in bed and called my parents,” Clemente said. “But the next day, you gotta pick yourself up, you gotta laugh at yourself and keep going.”
Letterman gave the West Virginia University graduate some encouraging words.
“This is nothing, people who have been in the business for decades have had this happen to them, some even knowing they were on camera have done things like this, you my friend, have nothing to worry about,” Letterman said.
Clemente is not giving up on his broadcast career. He said he’d consider returning to the Bismark station if they offered him his job back, but is hoping that “ESPN comes knocking.”
Clemente has gotten at least one job offer since being fired.
On “Live with Kelly and Michael,” Clemente accepted an offer from hosts Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan to interview celebrities on the red carpet at the premiere of Pierce Brosnan’s new movie.
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