Tales of the Canned, Canceled, Downsized, and Dismissed
If you've ever been fired, you're in good company. That's what actress and writer Annabelle Gurwitch discovered when she was fired by her idol Woody Allen ("You look retarded"). She confided her tale of woe to her friend Felicity Huffman, who made Annabelle laugh with her own stories. Annabelle realized that there was a world of people out there waiting to laugh at the experience that virtually everyone shares, and she began to collect stories of being fired from friends and colleagues. Soon she was contributing regular "Fired!" segments to Day to Day on NPR and gathering friends to appear with her in sold-out performances of Fired! in Los Angeles and New York. Fired!, her documentary film inspired by these stories, comes out in 2006.
This book is a collection of hilarious but true tales from people who've all gotten the ax, the boot, or been canned at some point in their lives. In "That's a Fact," Andy Borowitz tells the story of being fired as a writer for the television sitcom The Facts of Life after being informed that he just didn't "get" Tootie. "Take that hanger off your head, you idiot!" were the last words Jeff Garlin heard before being fired from Spec's Music store after only one day on the job, just one of the many firings he recounts in "That Garlin Boy." In "Jimmy the Idiot," Dana Gould sums up his firing from the cast of the sitcom Working that led him to become a producer of The Simpsons: "In the second episode, I was a math genius, in the third -- a motocross racer, and in the fourth episode I was replaced by a chimp, but nobody noticed." In "Poor Judgment," Illeana Douglas tells about being fired after a few hours of working as a coat check girl: "How is it possible to be fired from hanging coats? I have arms. I know what coats are. I don't come home and throw my coat on the floor. I hang it in a closet. I have experience." How did Bob Saget find out he was being phased out of his job on The Morning Program? "One day I showed up and my hosting chair was gone!"
With an all-star cast from Tim Allen to Morgan Spurlock, from Anne Meara to David Cross, and contributions from people from all over the country, this book proves it's not the bounce that counts, it's the bounce back.
- Touchstone, March 2006
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