David Letterman Fires Cue Card Guy Tony Mendez After Violent Encounter
Tony Mendez, who has been doing the cue cards for David Letterman ever since the talk show host was back at NBC in 1993, was fired last week after calling his boss a “motherf*cker” and shoving longtime “Late Show” writer Bill Scheft against a wall.
On October 8, Mendez and Letterman were going over things in the host’s dressing room when Scheft interrupted, prompting the cue card guy to snap back at the writer, “I know what I’m doing. Get off my back.” Letterman then interjected, “Tony, your sour disposition isn’t helping,” to which Mendez shot back, “You’re the one who has the sour disposition, motherf*cker.”
After a full night of stewing over Scheft’s butting in, Mendez admits he came into work the next day, grabbed the writer by the shirt, and shoved him up against a wall. “He was cowering, his eyes were real big, he probably peed a little bit on his pants,” says Mendez, who was then fired.
Speaking to the New York Post, the 69-year-old Mendez acknowledges,“I know I shouldn’t have put my hands on him.” He adds, however, the hostility toward Scheft “has been coming for a long time” because he feels the writer “encroaches on my work” and “tells me what to do.” “Bill was always undermining me, making himself out as Dave’s No. 1,” Mendez tells the paper, claiming Scheft would do “passive-aggressive things” such as often “trying to pretend that I wasn’t even in the room.”
Mendez, who often appeared on “Late Show,” says calling Letterman a “motherf*cker” was how the two would often banter, and he doesn’t blame his former boss. “Dave had nothing to do with this at all… Dave has never let me down,” says Mendez, adding, “He is the best, the most generous boss I have ever had.”
Indeed, Letterman seems to be incredibly generous. Mendez, who also hosts his own comedy show on YouTube, is reportedly being paid his full salary and will continue to receive his health insurance until May when Letterman leaves the show.