Fired anchor A.J. Clemente became a small datapoint in viral vid history this week when he opened a new gig with two memorable words: “f***ing s**t.”
The internet buzzed immediately, and, if you didn’t know the name A.J. Clemente before his unfortunate slip of the tongue, you probably do at least in passing now.
As we learned later, Clemente was almost immediately axed for his mistake.
And while the sucky circumstance was probably unavoidable, it’s still hard not to totally identify with cracking under the pressure of a new job and messing up — and for most of us, our newbie mistakes are not instantly uploaded to YouTube to provide schadenfreude-based enjoyment for years to come.
After the whole thing blew over a bit, the fired anchor appeared on Today to discuss the ordeal with Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie, saying he didn’t hold the decision against the network higher ups:
“I fully expected that they would fire me … I even called my news director after and apologized again. No animosity at all.”
Class act, dude. Clemente also appeared on Late Night With David Letterman and said that he had indeed been bummed at first:
“I went home, crawled in bed and called my parents. But the next day, you gotta pick yourself up, you gotta laugh at yourself and keep going.”
A.J. Clemente’s mea culpa tour also landed him on Kelly Ripa’s show — and the morning show diva was sympathetic to the fired anchor, saying:
“A.J., you know, I’ve got to tell you, that this clip of you has captivated all of us … It’s taken us on a wild ride. What exactly was going on in your head when that happened? Were you aware that you were on the air?”
Clemente joked back: “Wait. Are we live?”
Michael Strahan told the young broadcaster:
“One thing about New Yorkers, we believe in giving second chances, man. Yesterday, we called for you. You came here today. So, we have a challenge for you if you’re willing to accept it.”
He continued: “We’re going to send you to cover the star-studded red-carpet premiere of Pierce Brosnan’s new movie, Love Is All You Need.”
Ripa added: “Now, should you choose to accept this mission, your job is to interview all the celebrities that you can and bring the tape back to us here tomorrow. Are you up for it? What do you think?”
Clemente accepted the one-night gig.