‘Late Show With David Letterman’ Cue Card Writer Fired After Assault

The Late Show With David Letterman
Image Courtesy of CBS

A longtime “Late Show With David Letterman” cue card writer has been fired after physically assaulting a staff writer and insulting Letterman, according to the New York Post.

Tony Mendez, 69, whom regular viewers may recognize from the occasional shot on the show, had an argument with Letterman and staff writer and 15-time Emmy nominee Bill Scheft on Oct. 8 over changes to cue cards.

As they were discussing the changes in Letterman’s dressing room, Scheft reportedly interrupted Mendez, who yelled, “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.

“You’re the one who has the sour disposition, motherfucker,” he responded.

Mendez, who had worked on the show for 21 years, went home overnight following the argument. When he came back the next day, however, he grabbed Scheft by his shirt and pushed him against a wall.

“I know I shouldn’t have put my hands on him,” Mendez told the Post. “But this has been coming for a long time.”

Mendez was kicked out of the theater and notified on Monday that he had been officially terminated.

A rep for Worldwide Pants, which produces the show, said the company “cannot comment on a confidential personnel matter.”

Mendez, who also worked for “Saturday Night Live” and “The Hollywood Palace,” said despite the firing, he harbors no ill will toward Letterman.

“Dave has never let me down,” he said. “He is the best, the most generous boss I have ever had. Dave would never do anything to harm me.”

Letterman will give the reins of “The Late Show” to Stephen Colbert when he moves into CBS 11:35 p.m. slot next year.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 20

Leave a Reply


Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Goddamn Spammer says:

    You’re the one with the trojan, adware and spyware, motherfucker!

  2. In fact, these so named codes are actually methods to install computer virus, Trojan, adware and spyware and
    spy ware, key loggers along with other such frivolous elements in your system.
    Having web pages that are full of errors is another reason why you may lose ranking with search engines.

    So it is rather like a card to be able to get credit details which you can make use of
    in purchasing stuff on the net.

  3. thobrom says:

    Sounds like he just had a meltdown.
    After 21 years on the job he deserves at least one.
    I’d give him another chance.

  4. Jason McCann says:

    Maybe probably let his temper go after all this time because he assumed he would be losing his job next year when Colbert takes over…

  5. satangov says:

    US Darpa Howard Raymond Says Obama Legalized Bath Salts IN CA . He Sells Jay Leno’s Salts For $2000 A Lb.
    At 72310 Blue Ridge Court, Palm Desert CA 92260 Raymond stated US Obama Darpa Defense uses an illegal ATT cell phone connection to micro and wifi torture you. Covert US Darpa Gov. ATT Cell Phone – Computer Retina Eye Microes – From Virtuagirl.com – Porn – Gov. Sites.

    Hey Leno take me off your Darpa ATT cell micro microwave Obama Torture Satan Obama Club ! I want to put one in your as!

    Darpa Adv. Alien Tech. microing your right eye retina forms an invisible cam and an illegal ATT cell phone connection that can view you at any angle, record, harass or wifi torture you. ATT cell wifi talk to you like a cell phone in your ear live 24 hrs. a day. Howard says Jay Leno gets 100 million a year for Obama Darpa Gov. ATT wifi tower installations, leases and retina eye micro program with Darpa help across CA. and USA – They doing this Global – Land Of The Free!

  6. I guess the pervy didn’t have the same standards when he was riding dirty with all the interns during his frisky years.

  7. MarinDem says:

    What an idiot. Why would you do anything that would put a cake job WRITING CUE CARDS in jeopardy? I wonder how many tens-thousands he was taking home for using a big sharpie on a piece of cardboard? LOL Like I said at the outset = WHAT AN IDIOT !

  8. charcramer says:

    I love Dave. I will miss him so much. Tony Mendez was with him for so long. Sorry to hear this happened.

  9. TheBigBangOf20thCenturyPopCulture says:

    Letterman is a redneck and the cue card guy was probably treated like the underling he was for his whole gofer career. It came to a head as curmudgeon Dave overstayed his sour disposition career.

  10. jamiegreco says:

    I think I remember him being fire once before a few years back.

  11. Joe says:

    Damn, so I guess those bits where Tony screamed at Dave were either real or based on real life. I’ve noticed Tony wasn’t there for the last few weeks but just assumed he was on vacation. He just had to hold out for a few more months to tell Bill off, but I guess he couldn’t wait to say his piece. Still shouldn’t have grabbed him though.

  12. The English language is a funny thing. Do you mean “reins” as in the reins to begin guiding the show, or “reigns” as in the new ruler?

  13. Alex says:

    This happened almost two weeks ago and we’re learning about it now?

  14. Fan Since 1982 says:

    So maybe those occasional comedic volatile Spanish outburst bits that Mendez performed on the show weren’t so, um, “comedic” after all. What a doofus. Oh well, just carry on, Mr. Letterman…

  15. Donna Copman says:

    That guy deserves to be fired ! What an idiot.

    I so can’t believe that David is stepping down. Stephen Colbert just doesn’t have the appeal to bring it … I predict sadly that he will not be able to host the show very long. I basically feel that the late night talk show featuring brilliant guys like Johnny Carson and David Letterman has seen its day …. It’s getting to be a dinosaur now because no one could replace Johnny or David, not really.

    • Bob says:

      I think it’s more that times have changed and you haven’t. Fallon is a very fun show that knows how to connect with its audience and has an incredible house band. He’s not a natural like Carson, but the show is still very good.

      Colbert is very good both in and out of character. He’s a ballsy interviewer in line with late-era Letterman and hopefully will be more interactive like Dave used to be before he started phoning it in.

      • Ted says:

        So anybody that remembers higher standards is a clueless oldster huh? Nobody has come close to Carson and but for Leno going to the Station Managers directly Carson would have had another 5 Years. Leno apparently moved heaven and earth to get Political Will Rogers level Jokes. The second Carson was out Leno was making fun of Dwarfs and Special Education Folks.

        Fallon has a nice Band. So did Carson and Letterman. It’s Leno who didn’t.

      • Becky says:

        I agree with David. I can’t stand Fallon’s fawning over the guests. The Streisand interview was so bad I had to change the channel. I’m afraid some funny musical bits and dumb game show skits can’t make up for that.

      • David says:

        I’ll give you that Fallon knows how to connect with his audience-but he’s a professional celebrity ass kisser. He’s the perfect physical manifestation of today’s social media obsessed culture. His servile manner towards any celebrity is the real world equivalent of “liking” a celebrity post on Facebook or Instagram

More TV News from Variety