Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

News

Popular Teacher Suspended For Appearing In Racy 'Tonight Show' Skit

Before you read more...
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your tax-deductible financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

A veteran high school teacher in Orange County was suspended thanks to his appearance on-air in a skit on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."

64-year-old Steve Endemano, who has been teaching at Whittier Christian in La Habra for over 30 years, showed up last week in a video on the show ”in which he acted in a fake movie trailer about a past-his-prime bicyclist training to compete with professionals," reports the OC Register.

The "sizzle reel" was shown after Leno spoke to Endemano in the audience about his love of cycling and his work as a Bible teacher.

According to KTLA, it was the content of the 2.5 minute spoof video that got Endemano in trouble, thanks to its "blue" nature. Endemano appears in a fantasy movie trailer called "Get Some Balls: The Steve Endemano Story" about steroid use in cycling:

Support for LAist comes from
When a younger cyclist in the locker room is revealed to be taking steroids, Endemano tells him he’s “dirty.” The younger cyclists then mocks Endemano’s age, at which point the teacher drops his towel, standing naked while facing the man.

“Oh my God, they’re huge,” the younger athlete exclaims, looking at Endemano’s crotch.

Whittier Christian "is one of Southern California’s leading private high schools, recognized for its Christian commitment," according to the school's website. Teachers are asked to sign a contract that includes a "morality clause." School administrators felt Edemano's TV appearance violated his contract, and he was suspended with pay.

When news broke of Endemano's indefinite suspension, parents and students took to Facebook to express their support for the beloved teacher.

The media attention and the social network support campaign worked, and Thursday night Endemano got his job back:

God has been honored.
Prayers have been answered.
Mr. Endemano has been reinstated into his classroom.
Your voices have been heard.
The Board listened and heard what Mr. Endemano had to say.