1. Kanye West – GAP Worker
It stretches credibility to believe that Kanye West was ever a normal person. But in another lifetime, before he ruined his career by marrying a Kardashian, West toiled at the GAP, folding clothes that lazy people couldn’t bother to put back. He even rapped that he used to steal from the GAP, but now that he’s rich, maybe he’ll make restitution.
2. Brad Pitt – El Pollo Loco Dancer
Pitt is one of the most powerful actors in Hollywood. But before his heyday, he dropped out of school, and went looking for fame. He was once employed by El Pollo Loco to dance in a chicken suit and wave at people. What a waste of a good-looking face, hiding it under a silly suit.
3. Madonna – Dunkin’ Donuts
Madonna is an icon who made reinvention cool. But before she hit it big, she was an average Jane working at a local Dunkin’ Donuts in New York. She woke up early to make donuts and hobnob with rude customers. You wonder if anyone remembers the gap-toothed girl who turned materialism into an art form.
4. Johnny Depp – Telemarketing
Can you imagine dialing up the pen company at which Depp worked, and hearing his dulcet voice? Depp sold pens, and had to call people who were eating dinner and ask them if they wanted to buy writing implements. The pens were monogrammed, so at least they weren’t your standard Bics.
5. James Lipton – Pimp
Yep, you read that right, the urbane and sophisticated host of “The Actor’s Studio” was a Paris pimp. He claims he ‘ran’ a group of women in the 1950s, and that he made good bank selling flesh for fantasy. Too bad he heeded the call to act, or Lipton might have become the greatest pimp of all time.
6. Angelina Jolie – Undertaker
Ok, Jolie didn’t really work as an undertaker, but she did study to be a mortician, which is pretty darn close to being a professional dead-person handler. Apparently, Jolie was displeased with how a funeral home dealt with her grandfather’s wake, and vowed to learn how to do it better. She never got the chance to pursue her dream, choosing to act instead.
7. Sandra Bullock – Waitress
It seems that every actor and actress waited tables, waiting for their big break. Hope you caught that little pun. You didn’t? Well, you see waiters wait on people, but they’re really waiting to be discovered…forget it. Suffice to say that Bullock was a New York waitress who probably got tons of tips for being so sweet.
8. Ashton Kutcher – Sweeper
Kutcher’s former job is like something out of one of his “Punk’d” episodes. The handsome actor used to sweep the debris left by cereals processed by General Mills at one of its factories. This sounds like one of those stories your Dad tells you about how he used to walk 50 miles in snow to attend school.
9. Harrison Ford – Carpenter
For had told countless stories about his days making custom cabinets and furniture for the rich and famous. Ford made lots of contacts with Hollywood elite during his carpentry days, and eventually landed small acting gigs, including a role in “American Graffiti,” which lead to a film you may have heard of named “Star Wars.”
10. Eva Mendes – Fast Food
Mendes is a movie siren that steals men’s souls with her seductive gaze. The jury is still out on whether she can act, but her beauty is sufficient to keep landing her roles. Before she was famous, Mendes was a waitress at a fast food pizza joint.
11. Jim Carrey – Janitor
Before Carrey broke big, he and his family lived out of his car. Carrey then found a job cleaning factories at night, and doing live comedy shows. Comic legend Rodney Dangerfield was one of Carrey’s early supporters, and helped him get noticed, which lead to his gig on “In Living Color.”
12. Stacey Dash – Benetton
Remember in the 1990s when United Colors of Benetton was the hottest label going? The clothing company had that whole ‘We are all the same’ vibe, with a heavy emphasis on “Can we all just get along?” Dash worked at Benetton, folding clothes and keeping the racks clean. The actress recently lost her mind and went to work for Fox News.
13. Jay-Z – Drug Dealer
Before he had 99 problems, Jay-Z’s major problem was that he sold drugs. The New York rap legend was a street hustler who made money keeping people high. Jay-Z claims that he could have built a drug empire, but that hip-hop was a stronger calling than dealing dope. He and wife Beyonce are worth more than $500 million.
14. Gerard Butler – Lawyer
Butler never struck anyone as a genius, but maybe that’s just his lowbrow roles. In real life, Butler attended law school, and went to work for a law firm. He didn’t make the grade, and was let go soon after. He landed on his feet, however, and stamped his name into movie history with his iconic, “This. Is Sparta!”
15. Charlize Theron – Public Songstress
Theron was a model when she was in her early 20s, but her job before then was much more interesting. Theron would earn money in South Africa by singing in the public square. Can you imagine a young Theron belting out pop tunes and gesturing at her collection box for tips?
16. Halle Berry – Beauty Pageant Contestant
Berry is a perennial top-10 most beautiful actress in Hollywood. So it’s no surprise that she used to compete in beauty pageants before she was famous. Berry undoubtedly won her share of contests before landing her first big break in Hollywood. She has admitted that her success was driven in part by the pain of her father leaving when she was young.
17. Adrien Brody – Party Magician
It’s difficult to keep kids entertained unless you’re a clown or a magician. Oscar winner Brody was the latter, charming kids at parties with his rabbit-out-of-the-hat tricks. Brody is a charming guy so it probably wasn’t that taxing for him to make kids happy, but for mere mortals, facing a bunch of kids who are waiting for you to dazzle them is the definition of stress.
18. Sean Connery – Bodybuilder
Mr. Connery was the best James Bond ever. No. Questions. Asked. Daniel Craig is the second best Bond, and may yet surpass Connery, but the Welshman’s accent and general manliness will never be in doubt, which is why it makes perfect sense that his day job before finding fame was bodybuilding. Connery possessed a natural physique that was free of steroids and HGH, earning him placement in competitions such as Mr. Universe.
19. Suze Orman – Waitress
There’s something about being a food server that attracts people who are about to be famous. Maybe it’s the fact that waiting tables doesn’t require a lot of technical know-how, and that you can work nights and spend your days working to make it big in your real love. Orman was a waitress for years after her restaurant went under, learning valuable lessons on her climb back to the top.
20. Jerry Springer – Mayor
The King of Schlock was a two-term Mayor of Cincinnati. Yeah, it’s difficult to believe that the voters were that stupid, but they elected and re-elected the Doofus of Daytime Talk. Spring even ran for Governor, which is scary, because had he won, he might have ran for President…and won like an another dim-bulb one-time actor named Ronald Reagan.