“You're Fired!" 18 Famous People Fired From Their Jobs

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website or at Facebook.

1. Elvis Presley- movie theater usher

Elvis worked as a movie usher as a teenager. A girl who also worked at the theater liked Elvis and gave him free candy. This was fine until her boyfriend found out about the freebie sweets and he and Elvis tangled.

Because of the fight, Elvis was fired.

2. Walt Disney- Kansas City Star

Disney's editor fired Walt because he said he "lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”

3. Babe Ruth- New York Yankees baseball team

Babe had played for the Yankees for 15 years, but after a mediocre season in 1934 where he hit .288 with just 22 home runs, the Yankees fired the Bambino.

Knowing it would be bad PR to publicly fire the beloved Babe, the Yankees instead fired him covertly, by sending Ruth a contract for $35,000 for the upcoming 1935 season. (His salary had been $80,000 a few years before.)

4. Jerry Seinfeld- actor on a TV sitcom

Ironically, Jerry Seinfeld, who created and starred in possibly the most popular sitcom of all-time (Seinfeld) was actually once fired from a sitcom.

Jerry had been a regular on the 1980's sitcom Benson. All seemed well and good, until Jerry reported for a cast read-through one day and discovered his character had been erased with no explanation given.

5. Kate Walsh- Burger King

“I had a runny nose and the assistant manager didn't like me.”

6. Chico Marx- piano player at a brothel

Chico was employed as a piano player at a house of ill repute. He got fired for "getting a little too familiar with some of the girls.”

7. Thomas Edison- Western Union worker

Edison was fired from Western Union because he spilled some acid that ate through the entire floor.
8. J.K. Rowling- secretary at Amnesty International

J.K. was fired for "daydreaming" too much about a teen wizard named Harry Potter and his potential adventures.

9. Robert Redford- supermarket and oil man

 “I was a failure at everything I tried. I was a box boy at a supermarket and got fired. Then my dad got me a job at Standard Oil- fired again.”

10. Madonna- Dunkin Donuts

Madonna was fired from Dunkin Donuts for squirting the customers with jelly from the jelly donuts.

11. Lucille Ball- soda jerk

Lucy was fired from her stint as a soda jerk because she kept forgetting to put the bananas in the banana splits.

12. Hugh Jackman- 7-11 worker

Got fired because the boss said he talked too much to the customers.

13. Harpo Marx- dog walker

Harpo was a dog walker at a prestigious hotel for their posh clientele. But one day Harpo was walking the dog of a famous actress and the dog got into a fight with another dog and was killed.

Harpo promptly got the axe.

14. Oprah Winfrey- TV news reporter

Oprah was canned from her job as news reporter for station WJZ-TV in Baltimore because she was "unfit for television news.”

15. Snoop Dog- supermarket worker

“I was better at stealing the groceries than I was at bagging them.”

16. Truman Capote- copy boy at The New Yorker magazine

Truman had worked as copy boy at the prestigious magazine, when one day he developed a cold. He was invited to a reading by famed poet Robert Frost, but because of his sickness, he left in the middle of the reading.

This offended Frost, who complained and got Truman fired.

17. Howard Stern- radio announcer

Another ironic one.

Howard was once an announcer on two stations simultaneously- WWDC and WNBC. He was fired from both gigs because of his excessive raunchiness and because he delved too much into religion and sexuality.

18. Bill Hader- movie theater worker

“One night a group of sorority girls came in and were blocking the doors. I asked them to move. They were being really rude to me. So, as I tore the tickets, I said, ‘By the way, the boat sinks at the end, Leo dies. It's great, you think he's sleeping, but he's frozen. Oh, and the old lady throws the jewelry in the ocean. Enjoy the movie.’

“My always-stoned boss came over and said, ‘Did you just tell them the end of Titanic? I have to fire you.’ ”

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That's the great thing about being a union teacher with tenure - it's really hard for them to fire you. I once took a three-month sabbatical to write a book, came back 15 years late, and they still didn't fire me. Not only that, my shop steward got me 15 years of back pay.
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I believe the great Harry Houdini was also fired. He worked for a company that made safes and was fired after purposely locking himself inside one to see if he could escape. The owners panicked when they saw him do it and blew the safe open. Houdini swore he would have been able to get out of it before running out of air. He probably could have. Great article Eddie. By the way, I heard Hader tell that story on Howard Stern.
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