One huge Late Show news story broke this week whilst I was away on holiday in New York – cue card “boy” Tony Mendez was fired from the Late Show With David Letterman.
69 year old ‘Inky’ Mendez has been the Late Show for 21 years, and regularly appears on-screen including in his own internet series on the Late Show website called The Tony Mendez Show (a candid behind-the-scenes look at the show containing his own wacky stunts and segments).
According to various reports, Tony got into a scuffle with long-time Late Show writer Bill Scheft over changes being made to the cue cards he holds up.
The New York Post reports “the altercation between on-air favorite Mendez and 15-time Emmy nominee Scheft erupted on Oct. 9 before the show’s Thursday taping, but it was triggered by a verbal dustup the day before in Letterman’s dressing room, Mendez said”.
Variety reports “they were discussing the changes in Letterman’s dressing room” and “Scheft reportedly interrupted Mendez” who shouted “I know what I’m doing! Get off my back… Letterman then accused Mendez of having a sour disposition, which Mendez did not take well to”, to which Mendez is said to have responded “you’re the one who has the sour disposition, motherf***er”.
Mendez told The New York Post “I know I shouldn’t have put my hands on him… but this has been coming for a long time… Bill was always undermining me – making himself out as Dave’s No. 1… trying to pretend that I wasn’t even in the room… little passive-aggressive things”.
Tony said “I just grabbed him by the shirt… he was very surprised. He didn’t say a word. He was cowering, his eyes were real big, he probably peed a little bit on his pants”.
He’ll continue to get paid by the programme until it ends its run next year – it’s rumoured the final episode may air in May 2015.
There’s currently been no response from Dave about the firing of Mendez as it’s been a ‘dark week’ on the Late Show this week (no new tapings).
Showbiz news programme Extra caught up with Mendez to get his reaction – click here.