A.J. Clemente went from serving up the news to serving up booze.
The 24-year old former news anchor, who became an Internet sensation after dropping the F-bomb during his first broadcast at a North Dakota television station, has left the news business behind this summer and taken up residence behind the bar of a Delaware restaurant.
"This is what I’m doing for now — I definitely need to make money for bills.”Clemente told the gossip website RumorFix.com about his new gig at the Table and Taproom in Dewey Beach, Delaware. The former newsman now makes $2.23 an hour plus tips for his service as barkeep.
During an April 21 broadcast of the evening news, Clemente didn’t realize that his microphone was live and blurted out an expletive as he tried to pronounce the name of the London Marathon winner (Tsegaye Kebede). He then fumbled through an introduction as his co-anchor tried to help him recover from the mishap.
Clemente was fired from North Dakota’s KFYR-TV less than 24 hours later.
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"It's inexcusable, first, to even say those words,'' Clemente told the “Today” show two days after he was fired. "Fireball shot came right out of my mouth."
After his on-air gaff last month, Clemente made the rounds on the talk show circuit where he appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, “Live With Kelly and Michael” and Good Morning America. Despite the free career promotion from the major networks, no new job offers came calling (except for reality TV) and Clemente was forced to take up a summer job.
Fortunately for him, nobody ever informed the Delaware restaurant that his fifteen minutes of fame were up when they hired him top bartend over the summer.
To play off Clemente’s dwindling celebrity status, the Table and Taproom even posted a message on the restaurant’s marquee saying, “AJ Clemente, Straight From Letterman, Tonight Behind The Bar.”
“Why wouldn’t we do it, it’s good promotion,” the restaurant’s assistant manager Billy Moss told Fox News Latino.
Clemente hasn’t let his newfound fame get to his head, Moss added.
“He’s excellent,” he said. “He’s got a great personality and he’s a hard worker.”
The West Virginia University graduate has so far turned down a number of offers from reality TV programs and instead decided to keep his gig as mixologist for the summer. He told RumorFix.com that once summer is over he will start applying for newsroom jobs once again.
When asked about his language at the bar, Moss said that so far Clemente hasn’t got into any trouble.
“So far he’s been great,” Moss said. “We don’t promote that type of language here.”
Follow Andrew O'Reilly on Twitter @aoreilly84.