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Rags to Riches: Celebrities' Jobs Before They Made it Big

Channing Tatum


He’s the real-life Magic Mike; did you know the movies were actually loosely based on his time as a stripper when he was younger? Some of his former fellow strippers have claimed that Tatum stole some of their moves for the movie, but we'd rather see him perform them any day.

(Image via Instagram; Pinterest)

Jerry Springer

Mayor of Cincinnati

Not even joking. Really. We’re sure he conjured up plenty of drama during his two-term reign over Cincinnati from 1971-1974. After that, he ran for governor, and although he lost out on that, NBC noticed him and gave him his own talk show — you know the one.

(Image via Twitter; Wikipedia)

George Clooney

Insurance Salesman

He was definitely salesman of the month, every month. Who wouldn’t want to buy insurance from him? Quite a few people, actually. Clooney admitted on Larry King that he was actually a terrible salesman.

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Patrick Dempsey

Champion Juggler

Before he became Dr. McDreamy, he was a professional McJuggler. Patrick came in second place at the Junior International Juggler’s Competition in 1982 and 1983, but he’ll always be first in our hearts.

(Image via IMDb; Pinterest)

Whoopi Goldberg

Morgue Beautician

We can only imagine that doing your own makeup would never be the same again. Whoopi said that the job actually wasn’t bad because her boss did her best to make the job fun and lighthearted.

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Matthew McConaughey

Chicken Coop Cleaner

The Oscar winner apparently used to travel quite a bit in his younger days, which included cleaning up chicken poop in Australia to make a little extra money.

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Amy Adams

Hooters Girl

Now that's something we’d have to see to believe! Wholesome Amy Adams strutting her stuff and selling mediocre chicken wings. She aspired to be a dancer and thought (at first) there was almost no difference between that kind of attention and this, but she said, “There is a difference, and I learned it."

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Kristen Bell

Froyo Server at TCBY

This adorable, self-described “goody-goody” says one of the worst things she’s ever done is to serve customers froyo that had fruit flies in it.  I’ll bet most of us wish we could say that was the worst thing we’ve ever done.

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Danny DeVito


For corpses, actually. After high school, DeVito trained in his sister’s salon because he had no desire to go to college. And now he has almost no hair left. Oh, the irony.

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Jon Hamm

Teacher/Porn Set Dresser

Back before he became Don Draper, Jon Hamm taught English and designed porn sets on the side. He described his side hustle as "depressing" in an interview with Anderson Cooper.

Fun fact: Ellie Kemper was actually one of his students in an eighth-grade drama class!

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David Letterman


Letterman’s coworkers at one of his first jobs in show business at an Indianapolis news station really missed out if they didn’t call him David Weatherman. Lettermen garnered quite a bit of attention for his unique sense of humor on-air, and the rest is history.

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Ellen Degeneres


Before making it big, she was not only a paralegal, but also an oyster shucker, vacuum cleaner salesperson, bartender, and TGIFridays waitress. She gives a lot of credit to those experiences as they helped her become a successful comedian.

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Christopher Walken

Circus Lion Tamer

And you thought his acting career was exciting. He ran off to join the circus when he was 15, but the stint didn’t last very long. Afterwards, he attended Hosftra University, but dropped out of that after a year as well.

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Nicole Kidman

Massage Therapist

Nicole started working as a massage therapist at 17 to help her family pay the bills after her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Thankfully, her mother survived and is doing well. Also, could Nicole get any more perfect? She’s gorgeous, talented, and can give amazing massages. Keith Urban is one lucky guy!

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Johnny Depp

Pen Salesman

Why yes, before he became Jack Sparrow and Edward Scissorhands, this household name once used his iconic raspy voice to sell ballpoint pens over the phone and belt out tunes like “Detroit Rock City.”

(Image via Reddit; Wikipedia)

Megan Fox

Banana Mascot

On The Ellen Show, Megan said that this was the one job she’s ever had that wasn’t some form of “sitting there and looking pretty.” Instead, she donned a lumpy banana costume and lured customers into a smoothie shop.

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Harrison Ford


Working on machinery isn’t exactly the same thing, but no wonder he could always fix the Millennium Falcon. Harrison turned to carpentry after being rejected by the film industry one too many times, but we’re glad he gave it another shot.

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Gerard Butler


His career in the courtroom didn’t last too long, as he was fired from his first job right after finishing his degree at the University of Glasgow, but we’re not complaining that he had to turn to acting.

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Demi Moore

Debt Collector

After dropping out of high school (and before developing an interest in acting), Demi took up the tedious job of a debt collector. We’re sure that everyone who wanted nothing to do with her in those days would give anything for her to call them now over their unpaid debt.

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Hugh Jackman

P.E. Teacher/Party Clown

Wolverine sure knows how to keep himself and his students in tip-top shape. He also worked as a professional clown, but he admitted that he was a terrible one since he didn’t even know any magic tricks!

(Image via Pinterest; Wikipedia)