For some people, landing that first job is a momentous occasion. For others it’s just a necessary (and humbling) step on the way to something greater. We’re only hours away from the premiere of “Hired,” a new show that pits three contestants against one another in a fight for a single job — so let’s celebrate by remembering five celebrities and their hilarious first gigs (hey, ya gotta start somewhere, even if it’s wayyyy at the bottom). Plus, we’ve got five of the funniest stars-who-got-canned stories. Apparently losing a minimum wage job doesn’t mean you can’t one day make millions!
5 CELEBS’ FIRST JOBS
Back before the internet was born and spammers became the world’s foremost marketers of things no one needs, people used to sell stuff over the telephone. Johnny Depp was one of those people. He peddled ballpoint pens and says he never made a single sale. Depp’s friend Nic Cage eventually suggested he try acting, and apparently that gig worked out better.
Before he was the famous midget-size actor with a pot belly and bald head, Danny DeVito was “Mr. Danny” … the hairstylist. His stint at his sister’s salon didn’t last long, though, as he soon felt the pull of the camera. Too bad he didn’t have a first job more applicable to his later life. You know, like a car waxer.
She wasn’t always the successful comedian (and dancing nun) we know and love. Whoopi Goldberg was once a makeup artist — to the dead! That’s right, Goldberg worked in a mortuary where she applied makeup to expired bodies to make them look, well, more alive. These days she lends the skills she learned in that job to help out her cohost Barbara Walters. (Yep, we had to go there.)
When you’ve got a face like Brad Pitt, you don’t have to do much to make money. But even Pitt’s face didn’t help sell fast food. That’s why his bosses at El Pollo Loco made him cover up his glorious jawline with a chicken suit. That’s right, Brad Pitt used to dance around in fake feathers trying to sell drumsticks.
For most people, selling hot dogs in a mall would be the most embarrassing job they ever held. But Eva Mendes, who was a frank vendor before she she became an actress, was in 2007’s “Ghost Rider,” which makes working as a hot dog vendor seem downright honorable.
5 CELEBS WHO GOT FIRED after the jump!
One day everyone would love her, but when Lucille Ball worked at an ice cream parlor as a teenager she was fired after continually forgetting to put bananas in their splits. Sorry Lucy, but you deserved to get the boot.
Maybe it shouldn’t come as a big surprise, but Mickey Rourke — known for his wildly emotional onscreen performances — was once fired from a job for getting a little too hotheaded. He was working as an usher at a movie theater when a coworker hit him in the head with a flashlight. Rourke promptly beat the crap out of him.
Before she was an official diva, Mariah Carey displayed diva-like behaviors. In fact, her “attitude,” as she puts it, got her fired from such illustrious positions as a hat-checker, waitress and hair sweeper at a salon.
Times Square used to be the seedy playground of hustlers, ne’er-do-wells and a Dunkin’ Donuts employee named Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone. But before she dropped the middle and last names, Madonna got dropped from her job after squirting customers with donut jelly. So wasteful!
Calvin Broadus was once fired from his job as a grocery store bag checker. Not because it was difficult or because he did a bad job, but because, as he says, “I was better at stealing the groceries than I was at bagging them.”
+ Got a first hiring or firing story you want to share? Sound off in the comments!