18 Weird Jobs Celebrities Had Before They Became Famous

Patrick Dempsey

Photo: ABC

First jobs are anything but glamorous, and certain A-listers can attest to this.We’ve scoured the web looking for the weirdest stints out there, and these celebrities have certainly paid there dues. Megan Fox used to dress up as a banana; Whoopi Goldberg was a phone sex operator; and Brad Pitt was a limo driver for strippers.

The good news is, we know they all made it to stardom. So, no need to feel too sorry for them.

Rod Stewart was a gravedigger

Before Stewart charmed audiences with his British accent, he worked as a gravedigger at Highgate Cemetery in London during his teens.

According to 'Rod Stewart: The New Biography,' he hoped working at the cemetery would rationalize his fear of dying: 'He had suffered from nightmares about death from a very early age and so thought, as an impressionable teenager, that perhaps getting as close as he could to death, actually digging out holes to be filled by real bodies, he could rid himself of that fear.'

Christopher Walken was a lion tamer

At the age of fifteen, Walken joined a travelling circus and was briefly a lion tamer. He's modest about his lion-taming days; he claims Sheba, the lion, was very old and 'really more like a dog.'

Sylvester Stallone was a lion cage cleaner

We're not sure who had it worse: Walken, who tamed a lazy lion, or Stallone, who cleaned up after them. While waiting for his acting career to take off, the Rambo actor cleaned up lion cages at the Central Park Zoo.

Jon Hamm was a set dresser for porn films

Hamm's early off-screen job wasn't as glamorous as the 1960s 'Mad Men' days. Hamm, who stresses that the porn he designed sets for was strictly soft-core, said it was an easy way to earn a few hundred a day.

''Essentially, I had to move furniture around sweaty, naked people. It wasn't a great job but the money was useful,' he said. 'I had to get by--I wanted to be an actor.'

Whoopie Goldberg was a mortuary beautician and phone sex operator

Orlando Bloom was a clay trapper

Bloom's first job was a clay trapper at age 13 at a pigeon shooting range. Clay trappers load and aim clay discs used as targets for shooters.

Hugh Jackman was a party clown

Jackman's natural comedian tendencies would make him the perfect candidate for a party clown. At about $50 per show, he's come a long way.

'I just love making a fool out of myself,' he said. 'I made my living as a clown at kids' parties for about three years. I was Coco the Clown and I had no magic tricks and I remember a six-year-old standing up at a party saying 'Mummy this clown is terrible, he doesn't know any tricks' - and he was right.'

Patrick Dempsey was a professional juggler

One of Dempsey's first jobs was juggling for money. When he was 15, he competed in the International Jugglers' Association and came in second to then eight-year-old Anthony Gatto, who went on to set numerous records and perform in Cirque du Soleil.

Here's a video of him dancing and juggling at 18 years old in a music video. Dempsey also showed off his juggling talents on ABC and Rachel Ray.

Matthew McConaughey was a chicken coop cleaner

Brad Pitt was a chicken mascot and a limo driver for strippers

Pitt may be one of Hollywood's leading men, but once upon a time, he was nothing more than a chicken. His first employer was El Pollo Loco (Crazy Chicken) and he had to dress as a chicken, hand out flyers, and attract customers to the restaurant.

During the same year, as he struggled to become an actor, he chauffeured strippers in a limousine. 'My job was to drive them to bachelor parties and things,' he told People magazine. 'I'd pick them up, and at the gig I'd collect the money, play the bad Prince tapes and catch the girls' clothes.'

Warren Beatty was a rodent catcher

Most famous for his role in Bonnie & Clyde, to say that Beatty got his start in theatre is putting it lightly. When the actor was 17 he got his first job at the National Theatre in Washington--patrolling alleys at night to spot any mice.

Mick Jagger was a porter at a mental hospital

Long before joining the Rolling Stones, this rocker carried around luggage at the Bexley Mental Hospital while he was a student at the London School of Economics. He earned about 90 shillings per week (equivalent to almost 7 U.S dollars--worth roughly $52 during 1961).

Ellen DeGeneres was an oyster shucker

The outspoken talk show host has had her share of menial jobs, including house painter, vacuum salesperson, bartender, waitress, and sales clerk--but the most notable is an oyster shucker. Oyster shucking involves opening the shell of the oyster with a knife.

In 'Ellen: A Biography,' DeGeneres is quoted as saying, 'When you live in New Orleans, you're bound to be an oyster shucker, aren't ya?'

Jon Stewart was a puppeteer

According to the New York Times, 'After graduating from the College of William and Mary in 1984 with a degree in psychology, he returned to New Jersey where he worked for the state, performing puppet shows designed to sensitize schoolchildren to the disabled.'

He also held jobs as a shelf stocker at Woolworth's, a busboy, and a caterer.

Mariah Carey was a hat checker

Channing Tatum was a stripper

Since the release of the film 'Magic Mike,' more is being revealed about Tatum's stripper days. Dropping out of college, he went by the alias of Chan Crawford in Florida.

Perhaps it's no coincidence that Magic Mike's main character is an entrepreneur by day and exotic dancer by night. His former stripper co-workers are coming forward with claims that he stole their stripper moves.

Matt Damon was a breakdancer*

*It is rumoured that, as a student at Harvard, Damon used to breakdance for cash at Harvard Square. Though many sources claim this is true, Damon insists that this is a rumour started by friend Casey Affleck. Affleck abides by his story, and talk show hosts have been asking Damon to spin on his head ever since.

Megan Fox was a banana mascot

One of Hollywood's vixens was once a banana. The actress/model used to wear a banana costume to attract customers to a smoothie shop in Florida.

On the Ellen DeGeneres show, she admitted that it was the only real job she had. As a joke, DeGeneres had a man dressed as a banana sneak up from behind and scare her.

Now for some inspiring stories from famous people:

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