We have all worked jobs we aren’t exactly proud of; maybe you were a failed paperboy, or maybe you had to earn money as a juggler or a sign-twirling dancer.
The celebrities you know and love are no different. They all had to start somewhere, and that place isn’t always the most dignified.
That’s why I put together a list of the weirdest jobs of celebrities… before they were celebrities. Some of these might make sense considering where they are now; others might just bewilder you. At the very least, you’ll be able to relate with these national icons more as you take orders at Jamba Juice.
Jon Stewart (The Daily Show With Jon Stewart)
>First Job: Puppeteer
You might think puppeteers wouldn’t be able to land a career outside of Sesame Street, but you apparently don’t know much about Jon Stewart. As one of the most well known comedians in the world of fake news shows, it would seem that Stewart must have gotten his start in stand-up.
Actually, he began in sit-down-and-hide (which is what puppeteers have to do).
After he graduated college, he held a number of jobs, and this included performing puppet shows for disabled children in a hospital. It was only after this that he realized that he wanted to make a go at comedy, and the rest is television history. You can even still see his early puppeteering skills show up in The Daily Show as famous figures and politicians often appear as puppets, and guess who is controlling them?
Hugh Jackman (X-Men)
First Job: Party Clown
There’s no possible way that Hugh Jackman has more talents than acting, singing, and general good-lookingness. But it looks like he also made a living at a job that most of us forget used to be very popular: professional clowning.
Before he started acting in Australia, Jackman performed as a clown at children’s parties. We can only assume he wore big shoes and a red nose, and he looked up to such heroes as Bozo the Clown. After that, he moves on to larger stages of entertainment (hopefully, he continues to practice his clowning abilities as a fallback career).
Ellen DeGeneres (The Ellen DeGeneres Show)
First Job: Oyster Shucker
As one of the most popular (and one of my favorite) female comedians today, surely Ellen DeGeneres had no problem finding comedy jobs in her early life. She has starred in a number of sitcoms, was one of the iconic voices in Finding Nemo, and hosted her own show for the past decade.
But would you be surprised to find out that she started out shucking oysters? I know it sounds like a set-up to a comedy routine, but DeGeneres started out in several jobs, including selling vacuums, waiting tables at TGIFriday’s, and shucking oysters in New Orleans.
Jason Lee (My Name Is Earl)
First Job: Professional Skateboarder
Jason Lee is one of those comedic actors you always see in roles and never really remember his name. In addition to his starring role in the titular My Name Is Earl, Lee has popped up in Kevin Smith movies, The Incredibles, and Alvin and the Chipmunks. However, acting wasn’t even his first taste with success – he almost lived a long career as a professional skateboarder.
Starting at the age of 13, Lee skated alongside the likes of legend Tony Hawk. While amassing a wide audience, he started appearing in various music videos, showing off his skills. It’s here that he decided to try acting out. After his first acting audition for one of Kevin Smith’s movies, he began his long movie and TV career.
Christopher Walken (too many roles to cite)
First Job: Lion Tamer
So far, we’ve had a clown, shucker, skateboarder, and puppeteer. There is no way that anyone can top the weirdness of those jobs, right? That’s when Christopher Walken steps up to the plate…
If you don’t know who Walken is, you haven’t watched a movie in the last 40 years. He’s been in so many movies that doing a Christopher Walken impression is something that no one is impressed with anymore. But before he became a caricature of himself, Walken found work in one of the oddest jobs out there: taming lions.
At the age of 15, Walken toured with a traveling circus and took part in the lion taming. Let’s just be thankful that the lion he tamed didn’t have a particular ornery day in his car. After all, who would teach us the value of cowbells if we didn’t have Walken?
As you can see, even famous celebrities had to start somewhere, just like you. Maybe you aren’t taming lions or playing puppeteer to pay your bills, but at least you know it sometime takes awhile to find your true calling.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at myFootPath!
About the Author: Alexander Diedrick is a television writing and production student at Columbia College of Chicago. When he’s not in class or working on his own scripts, Alexander is a writing intern at myFootpath, LLC.