If you’ve ever been fired before you know it’s not always the easiest pill to swallow. Most of us would disagree with an employer when it comes to reasons for being fired, though there are of course situations where it’s warranted. If you steal, do your job poorly, leave early and so on, your dismissal may be wholly justified. And there are a few other reasons that are weird and unpredictable that can lead to losing out on work. It happens to people in Hollywood as well, and some of their firings just boggle the mind.
10. Rick Moranis was Fired From The Breakfast Club For a Russian Accent
The Breakfast Club has become a classic example of ’80s cinema and one of director John Hughes’ most beloved films. The simple tale of a group of five misfits spending a Saturday together in detention seemed to capture not just a zeitgeist, but something that transcended the time and related to audiences even decades later.
Apart from the central cast there are really only two other characters in the film. The chief antagonist is the brilliantly portrayed Principal Vernon and then there’s also the janitor character played by John Kapelos. His character doesn’t do a lot in the movie but he does have a couple of memorable scenes. And the character nearly went to Rick Moranis.
Moranis, best known for movies like Ghostbusters and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, was cast in the role until John Hughes fired him. According to legend, Hughes was stoked to have Moranis on board but for mysterious reasons, Moranis refused to play the character as written. Instead, he portrayed him with an over the top Russian accent. And that wasn’t all.
When Moranis arrived on set, he had gold caps on his teeth and had cut his hair. The studio saw the dailies and hated it. Hughes didn’t want to tell Moranis, but the studio didn’t want to waste time with him so they fired him.
9. David Herman Got Fired on Purpose From MADtv
MADtv never quite hit the heights of SNL but it was one of the longest running competitors of the sketch comedy series and featured several performers who are still big in the comedy scene today.
One performer, David Herman, is maybe best known outside of the show for his work in the movie Office Space, where he plays a character named Michael Bolton who hates the office printer. Herman was locked into a contract with the TV show that prevented him from being in any projects outside of the show and he had a problem with that.
Herman wanted to do other projects, so he needed to void his contract and void it he did. He began to do his table reads for the show by shouting all of his lines. And he kept it up until producers got so sick of him they fired him. Since then he’s gone on to have a fairly successful career as a voice actor.
8. Dan Aykroyd Fired JT Walsh For Being in a Movie About John Belushi
Back in the 1980s and ’90s, character actor JT Walsh appeared in a number of memorable roles in films like A Few Good Men and Sling Blade. While many people enjoyed his body of work, that wasn’t true of everyone. Including, apparently, actor Dan Aykroyd.
In 1990, Aykroyd was making the movie Loose Cannons, an action comedy that also starred Gene Hackman. Walsh was hired to play a cop named Weskit but Aykroyd went out of his way to make sure it never happened. Walsh had recently starred in the movie Wired, a biography of John Belushi. Aykroyd and Belushi were famously close friends and performed as the Blues Brothers together and Wired didn’t always portray Belushi in the kindest light. As a result, Aykroyd was holding a grudge and had Walsh replaced.
7. Chris Hansen Got Fired After Being Caught on Camera Cheating
For a few years, Chris Hansen was remarkably famous for his To Catch a Predator stings, where he would work with law enforcement to set up would-be pedophiles and catch them on camera trying to meet up with underage victims. To this day Hansen is still used as a meme when someone online is being creepy, even though To Catch a Predator ended in 2007.
Because Hansen spent so much of his career setting up hidden camera stings, it became bizarrely ironic that he lost his job with NBC entirely in 2013 after being caught on hidden camera cheating on his wife.
It was the National Enquirer that took Hansen down, but NBC didn’t want to deal with the potential black eye of keeping the man on staff so they canned him once the story came to light.
6. Daniel Benzali was fired from Murder One For Pooping at Home
The show Murder One was a serious legal drama that came from the infamous Steven Bochco. It starred a man named Daniel Benzali who was very serious and powerful in the role. He was critically lauded for his work but, nonetheless; the man was fired. Why fire such a good actor? Steven Bochco has the answer.
Benzali came to work late every day. An hour late, according to Bochco. And on a TV show set, that’s a huge issue. These shows cost a lot of money and that’s a huge waste if it happens every day.
Bochco confronted Benzali about being late to ask if there was a solution. Benzali admitted the problem was he had a long commute, but he couldn’t leave the house until he pooped. That was literally his reason. Bochco suggested he come to work and then poop but Benzali resisted, stating he could only go at home.
Benzali refused to get up earlier to allow for him getting to work on time. Bochco even offered to get him an apartment right across from the lot. But the actor wouldn’t do it. So, they fired him.
5. Jay Thomas was Fired from Cheers for Insulting Rhea Perlman
The sitcom Cheers featured an ensemble cast of classic characters that were beloved by fans. Carla, the waitress portrayed by actress Rhea Perlman, was known for an acerbic wit and a surly but oddly lovable demeanor. Perlman was well-liked in the role and it’s hands down what she is most well known for to this day. That said, not everyone was as stoked by the role as the fans.
Actor Jay Thomas had a recurring role as Carla’s boyfriend and later husband Eddie Lebec. The characters got married and only a short time later the character was killed by a Zamboni. While that’s a goofy ending it made some people wonder why they had Carla get married only to have her husband die so soon after. The plan was never to kill Eddie, but Thomas brought it on himself.
Thomas was doing a radio show discussing his role on the show and started making jokes about how disgusting it was that he had to kiss Rhea Perlman. Series co-creator James Burrows said Thomas was fired immediately for his comments and then the character was killed off.
Thomas maintained that he wasn’t fired for that reason at all, but the show’s creator may have more standing to determine what the truth was.
4. Richard Gere was Fired From a Movie For Getting Mustard on Sylvester Stallone
Richard Gere was a pretty big name in Hollywood for years, even if we don’t see him much anymore. And, of course, Sylvester Stallone still is. The two of them were signed up to star in the movie Lords of Flatbush together back in 1974. Offscreen, however, things were not going well.
According to Stallone, things were already a little sour because Gere was taking fight scenes too seriously. The cast breaks for lunch and Gere has a half chicken covered in mustard that he proceeds to spill all over Stallone’s pants. Stallone elbows him out of the car they’re sitting in, and the feud resulted in a choice for the director – Stallone or Gere. Gere got fired.
The feud long outlasted their brief stint together and there have even been rumors that persist to this day that Stallone started the infamous Richard Gere gerbil story, which Gere himself apparently believes is how things went down..
3. Damon Wayans was Fired From SNL for Sabotaging a Sketch
SNL has seen dozens upon dozens of comedians perform as cast members over the years and some obviously last longer than others. Some leave the show on their own terms but others are summarily and mercilessly fired for going against the wishes of producer Lorne Michaels. Damon Wayans was one of those people.
Wayans had been in seven episodes of the sketch comedy series. He was already having a problem with how he was being featured, not getting much to work with and being put into situations he felt were racially offensive, such as being asked to simply stand on stage in a thong holding a spear.
In his final sketch, a Miami Vice parody, Wayans was portraying a detective. Wayans said that, after rehearsal, Michaels told him he looked like a pimp in the suit, he needed to put on a cop uniform. And that was it.
Wayans already hated the sketch, which he didn’t think was funny, so when it came time for the live performance, he played the cop as flamboyantly gay, just bowling over the whole scene.
After it was over, Michaels fired him on the spot, which Wayans admitted was the right move since what he did wasn’t funny, it was just out of anger.
2. Russell Brand was Fired For Dressing like Osama bin Laden the Day After 9/11
Russell Brand is mostly known for his podcast and political takes these days but once upon a time he was a comedian and even worked for MTV. In fact, he worked for MTV right until September 12, 2001.
The day after 9/11 which, even if you weren’t around at the time you can imagine, was one hell of a serious day for people all around the world. Brand showed up for his gig at MTV dressed like Osama bin Laden, the al Qaeda leader who was ultimately responsible for the 9/11 attacks and the deaths of 2,996 people.
Word is Brand was high as well, and he’s admitted to having drug issues in the past, but the mix was definitely not one that was going to guarantee him work at the end of the week.
1. Michael Buble Was Fired From the X-Files for Stealing a Hot Dog
Long before Michael Buble was a spokesman for flavored fizzy water or a latter day crooner, he was an actor. Or he tried to be, anyway. The man hit a setback or two the likes of which most actors avoided.
Buble was cast in an episode of The X-Files as an extra on a submarine. Not a big role by any means, but he was just trying to get his footing in the acting world. He does appear in the episode briefly, but he was fired from the set as well. The reason? Hot dog thievery.
Turns out craft services aren’t for everyone all the time. There was a table of food on location and Buble was hungry, so he got himself a hot dog.But the table was reserved for principal actors, meaning that hot dog belonged to Mulder or Scully.
Someone from craft services pounced on Buble and even threatened him with a career blacklisting for his actions.