Before They Were Comics: Stand Up Comedians Talk About Their First ‘Straight’ Jobs Vol. 1 (Quiz)

comedians in labor

It’s Labor Day Weekend! So we teamed up with our friends at SiriusXM’s flagship comedy show, Bennington, to put together a special on comedians first jobs.  Everyone had some dumb job when they were still in high school.  We got to hear twenty three of our comedy friends tell stories about the first jobs they ever had, and the stories are amazing.

We put together what has to be the worlds greatest Labor Day Comedy Quiz, perfect for the long road trip you’re taking to the beach.  It’s a two parter, check back tomorrow for volume two. See if you can guess some of your favorite comedian’s first jobs and then click the play button to hear the comic talk about their first job.

Then on Labor Day listen to the Bennington Comedians in Labor Special airing on SiriusXM’s RawDog Comedy Club 99 throughout the day.

Question One


Click Here for the Answer and Audio

Answer: b) dishwasher in a restaurant

doug benson

“My first job when I was in my teens, late teens was, I got a job as a dishwasher in a restaurant in my home town but didn’t really think through that I would have to wash a lot of dishes.”  So like growing up, my mom always did all the dishes and I rarely had ot get involved.  And I was working at the restaurant for maybe a week and a half and a lot of my shifts would just sort of end at some point and I could leave even though there was a bunch of dishes still stacked up. And then one night when I had a closing shift about halfway through the shift I was like, there’s no fucking way I’m going to clean all these dishes and get done with it in time to leave when the restaurant’s closing. So I did an extremely mature and responsible thing. I just let without saying anything to anybody.  And then I had to go back in like  week later to get my last check and the guy was pretty unhappy with me but they still paid me.  So happy labor day everybody.”

Press Play to Listen Here:



Question Two


Click Here for the Answer and Audio

Answer:  d) Tammy Pescatelli

tammy pescatelli

“My first job was working at a library.  Yes this big loudmouthed italian actually put books away on the dewey decimal system and trying to be quiet for three hour shifts. When I worked at the library I was a senior in high school and captain of the cheerleaders and sometimes after school I would wear my cheerleading uniform to the library and the head librarian would make me kneel like a nun to see if it was actually long enough, permissible enough to work in the library without being a distraction.  So needless to say when I quit I brought my highschool boyfriend and we had sex on her desk.”

Press Play to Listen Here:


Question Three

LD3 busboy hostess

Click Here for the Answer and Audio

Answer:  c) Tommy Johnagin


“My first job was a busboy at a golf course restaurant. I lost my virginity to the hostess who was promoted to a server, so I’m able to say I lost my virginity to a server. Classic busboy hostess romance. It was a terrible job. I got yelled at by an old woman because I would only clean the tables of the hot waitresses.  It was insane to me that she was that old and it took her that long to realize that pretty girls get things more than ugly old women.  So that was my first job and I sucked at it.  My boss told me I was the laziest person he’d met in 25 years.”

Press Play to Listen Here:


Question Four


Click Here for the Answer and Audio

Answer:  c) Rich Vos

rich vos

“My first gig in life I guess was selling marijuana.  Nicklebags, nothing big. I had a bunch of them hidden under my radiator downstairs and my grandmother found them and gave them to my dad. He gave one back to me and kept the rest.  He kept them. That was my first real…selling nickelbags. I’m lying I sold dimebags too. And then that led to where I am now. With that fucking bitch Bonnie. Fuck. “

Press Play to Listen Here:


Question Five

LD5 judah

Click Here for the Answer and Audio

Answer:  b) paperboy

judah friedlander

“My first job was a paperboy and it was for USA today which was new at the time and I thought the guy said deliver the afternoons, but it was the mornings, first delivery so I didn’t stay on that job too long, I got fired from that pretty quickly.  Cause I was handing them out at like 3:00 and it was supposed to be at like 6am.”

Press Play to Listen Here:


Question Six


Click Here for the Answer and Audio

Answer:  a) Gary Gulman

Subject: Gulman piece On 2014-11-24, at 7:01 PM, "Pawlyshyn, Roman" wrote: Standup comic Gary Gulman. Toronto Star - Gary Gulman 2014 D1.docx Gulman headshot #2.jpg

“My first job was an assistant to a baseball card dealer. I used to go to the baseball card shows with him on Sundays and I would help him out.  And then his son accused me of stealing money from him but I swear to god I didn’t take any money.  But I was so shocked when the kid accused me  of stealing that I just started crying. I was like 11 years old. I started crying at the thought of it so i guess he thought I was guilty and I never worked for him again.”

Press Play to Listen Here:

Question Seven


Click Here for the Answer and Audio

Answer:  d) Meat World: The Finest Meat You’ll Ever Eat

tom rhodes

“My first job was I bagged groceries in a grocery store in Florida.  It was a small country town and the grocery store was called Meat World and their slogan was “The Finest Meat You’ll Ever Eat.”  And I remember I would sing a song when I would bag the groceries.  Cans on the bottom, bread on the top.  Still kills me today when you see people in grocery stores who don’t know how to bag groceries.” 

Press Play to Listen Here:

Question Eight

LD8 law firm

Click Here for the Answer and Audio

Answer:  a) Bert Kreischer

“My first job was being a runner for my dad’s law firm in Tampa. Oh I know this sounds so fucking white people’s problems.  But it was Tampa and my air conditioning was broke and it was the summer. I was 16 years old.  I have a visual memory of driving down to the courthouse in downtown Tampa going under the overpass for I4 on 275 and my pants being soaked with sweat.  Khaki’s soaked with sweat.  I also remember smoking cigarettes at that time. I remember the joy of being in the hot summer, windows down, pants covered in sweat and just enjoying a camel light. I miss those days.  I’ve only really had that job, I worked at a sweater factory in New York. I worked as a safe escort at Florida State where I walked girls across campus so they didn’t get attacked by marauders. I folded sweaters and I had to quit cause it was just a nightmare.”

Press Play to Listen Here:

Question Nine


Click Here for the Answer and Audio

Answer:  d) Todd Glass

todd glass

“I started doing comedy when I was 16 but I did have a job because I wasn’t making money doing comedy at 16.  Although one club owner did buy me a sandwich and I talked about that for a month. I though that was such a big deal. I was like oh  my god my comedy got me a sandwich.  But my real job, my neighbor owned a dairy Queen. They had like four or five of them and I used to work there.  The thing I remember the most, is everybody always said I bet after you work there for awhile you get bored of eating all the food and I never did. I would just eat non stop.”

Press Play to Listen Here:


Question 10


Click Here for the Answer and Audio

Answer:  d) She inspired a turf war

susie essman

“My first job, besides babysitting was when I was about 16 I worked in a bakery factory.  And I went in on the first day, and my job was to put, by hand, that gummy gross fruit into the fruitcake.  So I spent the entire day putting jelly cherries into the fruitcake and it was so disgusting I can’t even tell you. And then there was some kind of turf war amongst the workers. They were all these older middle aged women wearing hairnets and uniforms.  And somebody didn’t like that somebody had given me the fruitcake job. It felt like a prison movie from the 1950’s with these women fighting and screaming at each other and the forewoman going crazy that I was putting the fruit in the fruitcakes. ”

Press Play to Listen Here:


Question 11


Click Here for the Answer and Audio

Answer:  a) Landscaper

tommy pope
“My first job was a landscaper.  And it was hell.  But it gave me a lot of money for high school and it paid for all my booze money.  So every single morning, I’d be hung over in terrible heat with all my brothers friends getting my balls busted. That was probably the worst part about it. It was all my oldest brother and his best friends, without my brother so there was no surveillance, there was no protection, it was just me and his best friends, and I would just get my ass assaulted.”

Press Play to Listen Here:



Check Back Tomorrow for Volume 2 of Comedians in Labor: Comics First Jobs

Read more comedy news, stories, interviews with comedians, videos and comedy clips on our home page. Get more comedy news. Watch more viral videos. Read more interviews with the best comics in the business.