You Mean You Can’t Say !@#$%^&*???

By now, I assume you’ve see the viral video of news anchor, A.J. Clemente, and his rookie gaffe on day one at KFYR in North Dakota. If you haven’t seen the video, or heard the story, Clemente was starting his first day as a weekend news anchor and didn’t realize the mic was on just prior to starting the newscast, when he uttered the expletive, f*****g s**t.

Here’s a link to the story as reported by the Today Show. Anchor Fired After Video Of His On-Air F-bomb Goes Viral. I share this link because it’s the only one I could find where the expletive is bleeped out. (Since my kids and family read my blog, I try to keep it at least PG-13).

My On-Air Faux Pas

Many voiceover professionals, myself included, got our start behind the mic in radio, and seeing this story brought to mind my grand faux pas on-air in 1987. At the time, I was a disc jockey for 101 The Fox in Kansas City. Being a classic rock station, we ran a program called, Classic Cuts. It was a pre-recorded program featuring a brief interview with a classic artist, followed by a song from that artist. However, the lead in was read l-i-v-e.

On this fateful night, the artist being featured was, Country Joe and the Fish. My program director was constantly trying to get me to talk a little slower on-air, and after this lead in gaffe, I understood why. In my haste of getting ahead of myself, I read the lead-in and stumbled over my own words.

I was supposed to say, “Up next on Classic Cuts, Country Joe and the Fish”. But when you read a little too fast, your words can get mixed together. So, what came out was a combination of the word ‘cuts’ and ‘Country’…

“Up next on Classic Cu*ts…..”

What followed was a brief pause of dead-air before I quickly re-read the intro, correctly and slowly, hoping no one caught on. Wrong! My phone lines lit up like a Christmas tree and I never lived that one down. Oh, you should have heard what I said AFTER the mic was off :)

How about you? Care to share your on-air moment of !@#$%& ???

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  • Derek Chappell

    Hmmm, giving tickets away to friends/family? Never thought of that. ha ha Good story Lori!

  • Lori Berman

    Ha! I was working at a (very) small radio station one summer when I was home from college…..It was a really small town in upstate NY & I was literally the only person in the station from 6-9pm. The station was giving away tickets to something (a movie, a concert?) and while talking to my good friend on the phone, I told him we were giving the tix away and to call in and I’d just make him the winner. Didn’t realize the phone patch was hooked up and streaming live ON THE AIR. Whoops 😉

  • Derek Chappell

    Point taken. Thanks boss :)

  • Derek Chappell

    Guess the local news shows can’t afford to pay the guy to sit there with his finger on the button. Of course they probably don’t assume the anchor is going to drop the f-bomb often either. ha

    Go Ron Burgundy!!

    As for the Cure…I know what they would have said, because I’ve heard them plenty…I think they invented the f-bomb!

  • Ralph Hass

    Where is that 7 second delay button like the sports talk shows have?:)

    One of your favorite bands, Mötley Crüe, was just in Kelowna, BC on the weekend Derek…I can only imagine what they might have said…
    Anyway, remember “No GUTS, no glory.”

  • Marc Scott

    Another time I was working for two stations at the same time. I worked full time 7p-12p at one station and filled in for three weeks from 6a – 10a on another station in a different market.

    Two times one morning I said the wrong station name (force of habit). After the second one, while expecting to get fired, the PD comes busting into the studio with a giant piece of bristol board with “Niagara’s Best Country 1470 C-HOW” written in HUGE letters. He taped it to the wall right in front of me.

    I didn’t mess it up again, for the rest of my tenure. 😛

  • Derek Chappell

    If it were someone else, I probably would have called in too John! :)

  • Derek Chappell

    Always playing dumb worked well for me too Marc! Funny stuff. Great memories!!

  • Marc Scott

    In a weather report once, while, like you, talking to fast, I forecasted “a few furries” which, to this day, my family has not let me forget.

    Also, back in the day, I fell asleep on air once. I was working 7p-12a and then coming back in for morning shows from 6a to 12p. On the weekend we played Casey’s Top 40. The segments would last anywhere from 5 – 20 minutes. So I’d set an alarm and nap during the segments.

    On one particular segment, I forget to set the alarm, fell asleep, and woke up to dead air. It’s amazing how loud silence can be when you known it’s not supposed to be there! Within 30 seconds the engineer was calling asking what was going on. By this time I had already fired the next segment, so I just played dumb and said I had no idea. Everything was fine!

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  • John Lano

    Haha! That’s hilarious, Derek. I’m sorry you made that mistake, but I would have definitely called in too. :)