Tony Mendez, the longtime Late Show cue card guy who you may know as the only cue card guy you are possibly familiar with, won't be making it for Letterman's impending final show. According to the New York Post, Mendez has been fired from the production after assaulting staff writer Bill Scheft.
Mendez--who, like many of Letterman's faithful crew, has appeared and been mildly ridiculed in countless asides and sketches--has admitted to the incident and acknowledged his fault, but he did not seem particularly remorseful as he recounted it to the paper.
"I'm the first one to say I should have never put my hands on him, but I never hit him. I just grabbed him and got my face in his face," Mendez 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."
Despite the presumed victory in sending Scheft home to change pants, it was Mendez who would first end up sent home. He was immediately escorted from the premises and, on Monday, fired by executive producer Rob Burnett.
Mendez blames his actions on what he feels was persistent "undermining" and "little passive-aggressive things" by Scheft that came to a head when Letterman seemed to take the writer's side in a recent, mild dispute. Still, Mendez doesn't blame Letterman, saying, "Dave has never let me down. He is the best, the most generous boss I have ever had. Dave would never do anything to harm me."
The Late Show, likewise, isn't really doing anything to harm him: sources say they're going to extend his salary and benefits to whenever Letterman quits next year, giving Mendez a nice buffer for finding another job for a 69-year-old cue card boy. Now hopefully we can just make it to 2015 without Rupert Jee stabbing someone.