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Top 10 Celebrities Who Were Fired From Their Jobs

VO: Lisa Yang
Script written by Spencer Sher These celebrities were meant to be in the entertainment industry because they weren’t good at their previous jobs. Madonna used to work at Dunkin’ Donuts where she was fired on her first day on the job when she accidentally got jelly filling on a customer. Bill Hader got fired in the most Bill Hader way possible. One night a group of young women were being extremely rude to him, so as he handed them their tickets for “Titanic” he made sure to reveal the ending of the film in explicit detail. Walt Disney was laid off because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” Let that sink in for a moment!
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Top 10 Celebrities Who Were Fired From Their Jobs

Getting fired might have seemed like a step in the right direction for these celebs! Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Celebrities Who Were Fired From Their Jobs.
For this list, we’ll be looking at celebrities who were fired from all kinds of jobs; not just high profile axings such as Charlie Sheen’s exit from “Two and a Half Men”.

#10: Madonna

It’s hard to imagine this iconic pop singer doing anything other than playing sold out concerts and creating controversy with her videos and lyrics. After dropping out of college in 1978 however and moving to New York City, Madonna took a job at Dunkin’ Donuts to help pay the bills. The gig was hardly a match made in heaven though, as the “Papa Don’t Preach” singer was fired her first day on the job when she squirted jelly filling on a customer. Talk about bad luck!

#9: Babe Ruth

In the pantheon of baseball legends, one man stands above the rest. Babe Ruth was the unparalleled star of his time. He could do it all; from pitching – he finished with a 94-46 win loss record – to his iconic hitting ability – knocking in 714 homers and setting records that remain unbroken to this day. However, time catches up with us all; and in 1934 at the age of 39, the Yankees released him. Ruth was a notorious party animal and in his final season with the team, his health was so poor he could no longer field a ball or run the bases. Amazingly, he was still the highest paid player in the league at the time!

#8: Truman Capote

Getting fired sucks- and getting fired from your dream job by a world-renowned poet is even worse. As a young man, novelist Truman Capote’s dream was to be published in The New Yorker. To get his foot in the door, he worked as a copyboy for the prestigious magazine. However, one day, during a poetry reading by Robert Frost, Capote made an early exit due to a nasty cold. Frost took offence to this and called The New Yorker to have Capote fired. Getting shown the door appears to have been a blessing in disguise, as only a few years later Capote released the first in a long line of successful novels.

#7: Jerry Seinfeld

Long before he became a household name, Jerry Seinfeld was just another young comedian looking for his big break. One of his first TV roles was on the sitcom “Benson”. In 1980, Seinfeld played the role of Frankie, a delivery boy with comedic aspirations. However, his time on the show was short lived, as his constant clashes with producers over how the character should be played got him fired after only a few episodes. If that wasn’t bad enough, the producers neglected to tell Seinfeld that he’d been canned, so he still showed up for an upcoming episode read through. We can only imagine how awkward his conversation with the producers was on that day!

#6: Bill Hader

Bill Hader got his first big break working on “Saturday Night Live” and has since appeared in dozens of films and TV programs. Even as a young man, it was evident that his dream was to work in the movies, as one of his first paid gigs was as an usher in an Arizona movie theatre. The actor was ultimately fired though in the most Bill Hader way possible. One night, a group of young women were being rude to him, so as he handed them their tickets for “Titanic” he made sure to reveal the ending of the film in explicit detail. Suffice to say his comments got him fired.

#5: J. K. Rowling

The early struggles of this author have been well documented. The woman who would pen one of the late 20th century and early 21st century's most beloved and successful book series didn’t do it overnight. In fact, J.K. Rowling at one time worked as a secretary for Amnesty International. Unfortunately, Rowling had a hard time staying focused on the job, often using company time daydreaming and working on her personal writing projects. Rowling soon found herself jobless with very few prospects on the horizon. Of course it didn’t take long for her to turn things around, as “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” was released just a few years later.

#4: Thomas Edison

Arguably the greatest inventor in American history, Thomas Edison’s name is synonymous with a number of things still we still use today. From light bulbs and motion picture cameras to contributions in telecommunications, Edison was a jack-of-all-trades. But his ingenuity lost him a couple of jobs in his early years. When he was 12, he started his own business selling newspapers on trains. But one day his experiments started a fire in one of the compartments and he was promptly fired. He then worked at Western Union, a company from which he was fired when his experiments with batteries caused a sulfuric acid spill that leaked through the floor onto his boss’ desk.

#3: Walt Disney

That’s right- once upon a time the man responsible for making your childhood awesome found himself being shown the door; and you’ll never guess why. One of Walt Disney’s first jobs was working as a cartoonist for the Kansas City Star. Incredibly, Disney was laid off because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” Let that sink in for a moment. Cleary his boss had blinders on, because the man he fired would go on to start a multi-billion dollar empire that has created some of the most iconic and beloved works in entertainment history.

#2: Steve Jobs

The story of Apple’s love/hate relationship with its eccentric and brilliant founder is one we know well. In 1976, Steve Jobs created Apple Computers with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne in the garage of his childhood home. The company was an overnight success; and by 1980 was worth over a billion dollars. But after a couple of missteps, the board of directors wanted change. At first, they dismissed him as head of the Macintosh dvision and then they forced him out of the company completely. Jobs picked himself up immediately, founding the computer and software company NeXT in 1985, which was purchased by, you guessed it, Apple in 1997 for a whopping $429 million. Soon after, he was given the title of CEO; and the rest as they say, is history.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

Hugh Jackman
Fired from 7-Eleven for Talking Too Much

Snoop Dogg
Fired as Bagger from Grocery Store

Lucille Ball
Fired as a Soda Jerk for Forgetting Ingredients


#1: Oprah Winfrey

Oprah has been a household name for over three decades. The queen of talk show television is one of the wealthiest and most influential people on the planet, so it might come as a surprise to learn she was once let go from her job at Baltimore WJZ-TV. The year was 1977 and Winfrey was working as a co-anchor. However, her boss didn’t think she was fit for television and demoted her to what she saw as a lower position at the station. Shows what he knew! Oprah later relocated to Chicago to host the morning talk show “AM Chicago”, which, after enormous success was renamed “The Oprah Winfrey Show”.
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