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Top 10 Lousy Jobs Celebrities Had Before They Were Famous

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by William Fletcher Whether you're flipping burgers or folding clothes, everybody's gotta start somewhere. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we're counting down our picks for the top 10 lousy jobs celebrities had before they were famous. For this list, we'll be looking at the mundane, somewhat surprising jobs your favourite celebrities worked before they got their big breaks. Special thanks to our users David Ram or submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by William Fletcher

Top 10 Lousy Jobs Celebrities Had Before They Were Famous


Whether you’re flipping burgers or folding clothes, everybody’s gotta start somewhere. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 lousy jobs celebrities had before they were famous.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the mundane, somewhat surprising jobs your favorite celebrities worked before they got their big breaks.

#10: Slaughterhouse Employee 
Ozzy Osbourne

This one may or may not come as a shock in light of Ozzy’s experiences with bats... That’s right, a pre-fame Ozzy Osbourne paid the bills as a slaughterhouse employee for three years, killing cows and pigs among other things. After dropping out of school at the age of 15, Ozzy worked a number of odd jobs including construction worker, trainee plumber, toolmaker, and car horn tuner. Unfortunately, he also tried his hand at robbery, stealing – and immediately dropping – a TV and some baby clothes. Even so, Ozzy’s robbery “gig” ultimately resulted in a six-week prison stay, because his father used it as a “teachable moment,” by declining to fork over money to pay the fine that would have kept him outta the slammer.

#9: Refrigerator Delivery 
Brad Pitt

After dropping out of journalism school, Brad Pitt moved to LA and made his way by delivering refrigerators. Despite his looks, Pitt had a tough time landing his first acting gig and had a far from glamorous pre-fame career. Apart from the fridge delivery, Pitt also drove limos for a stripper service. And, according to Pitt, it was actually one of the ladies he drove who set him on the right path when she told him about the acting classes she was taking. But we gotta say the icing on the pre-fame cake was when he dressed up as a chicken while working for “El Pollo Loco.” We wish there were video of that…

#8: Gap Employee 
Kanye West

We’re not saying working at the Gap is necessarily a lousy gig, but can you imagine a diva like Kanye folding a pile of shirts or making sure the khakis are hung properly? Kanye rapped about his sales clerk past in his song “Spaceship,” where he admits to shoplifting and later quitting because the job wasn’t helping him. Despite the biting verses against the company, Kanye changed his tune a few years later by expressing interest in collaborating with Gap. He’s publicly stated that he wants to both build a partnership with the clothing outlet and his own brand, in addition to becoming the store’s actual creative director. In fact, in an interview with Style.com, Yeezy said he wants to be “the Steve Jobs of Gap.”

#7: Debt Collector 
Demi Moore

It’s hard to picture Demi Moore as anything other than a movie star, but what she has now didn’t come easy. In fact, Moore grew up in a trailer park with a pretty rough family background before moving out at 16 and heading to L.A. There, she quickly married her first husband who gave her her signature last name, and started working part time as a debt collector. Moore also began modeling, which is perhaps less surprising, posing nude in Oui Magazine before dabbling in acting. By 19, Moore had settled into her acting career, landing a role on “General Hospital” and soon her debt collecting days were nothing but a distant memory. 

#6: Convenience Store Clerk 
Kevin Smith

Before Kevin Smith got his big break, he actually worked at the Quick Stop where his breakout film “Clerks” was shot. But working at a corner store isn’t enough to save the $27,000 he needed to fund his full-length directorial debut: Smith also sold most of his comic book collection, maxed out eight credit cards and even dipped into his college fund. During production, since he was still working during the day and filming at night, he stayed up for nearly the entire 21 days of shooting. Fortunately, the hard work paid off: the movie earned him some well-deserved credibility and landed a theatrical release, and kicked off Smith’s entire View Askewniverse.

#5: Odd Job Worker 
George Clooney

Now, it’s hard to believe there was a time George Clooney didn’t even consider acting as an option. But it’s true. In fact, Clooney instead turned his attention to baseball and even tried out for the Cincinnati Reds. George actually tried his hand at a variety of jobs after dropping out of journalism school: he found himself working in a shoe store, as a door-to-door insurance salesman, and even as a farmhand picking tobacco. His big break in the film industry finally came when he moved to LA and got a gig as an extra in the TV mini-series “Centennial,” which set the future heartthrob’s career off in the right direction.

#4: Porn Star 
Sylvester Stallone

Sylvester Stallone wasn’t exactly a “porn star” in the traditional sense, but “The Party at Kitty and Stud’s” was indeed a porno, and Stallone did indeed star in it as Stud. The actor was sleeping in a bus station when he agreed to star in the low-budget, soft-core film, earning a much-welcomed $200. Stallone later admitted that he was in such dire straights; it was either work in a porno or commit burglary, so the film’s comparatively tiny paycheck gave him a shot at getting back on his feet. Stallone soon rolled the dice for one last shot at the big time, writing and starring in a little film called “Rocky” – a gamble that paid off very well for him in the end. 

#3: Set-Dresser for Porn Films 
Jon Hamm

While not as seedy as Don Draper’s early life, Jon Hamm back-story isn’t all glitz and glamor either. Later referring to it as the most soul-crushing job he’s ever had, Hamm once paid the rent by working in the porn industry...as a set dresser. This career move not only put him on the wrong side of the entertainment industry, but also on the wrong side of the camera. Hamm did make at least one onscreen appearance in the ‘90s, when he and his overly ‘90s haircut appeared on an episode of “The Big Date,” but, somehow, was not picked. 

#2: Chicken Coop Cleaner 
Matthew McConaughey

While enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin, this surfer dude decided to study abroad in Australia. Though it was technically for school, it’s easy to imagine he made the trip at least partially to catch some waves, babes, and sunrays. His parents didn’t fully pay for his journey Down Under, however, and as a result, McConaughey picked up several odd jobs to fund the trip, including one as a dishwasher and another as a chicken coop cleaner. McConaughey says that this period in his life a “lasting impression” on him, and we can only assume it inspired his first big role as perpetual cool guy David Wooderson in “Dazed and Confused.”

But before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- Dunkin’ Donuts Employee
Madonna

- Janitor 
Jim Carrey

- Telemarketer 
Jennifer Aniston

- Janitor 
Jon Bon Jovi

#1: Phone Sex Operator 
Whoopi Goldberg 

The woman once known as Caryn Johnson is one of many talents: actress, comedian, talk show host, and fake nun. Before landing the coveted EGOT (or Emmy, Grammy, Tony and Oscar), it was the one-woman show “Spook Show” that jumpstarted this comedienne’s career, acting landing her breakthrough role in “The Color Purple.” But there was a time when Whoopi Goldberg banked on phone sex to pay the bills. While she has previously taken on some voice acting roles, we’ve rarely heard her husky delivered referred to as “sexy,” so Goldberg’s stint as a phone sex operator is kinda surprising. Sure, her job as a hair and makeup specialist for the dead may’ve also been pretty unexpected, but phone sex operator is one job we never expected to see on this Oscar-winner’s resume.

Do you agree with our list? What other celebs do you know that had crummy jobs before Hollywood? For entertaining top 10s, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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