The first time comedian Jerry Seinfeld walked on stage at a comedy club he froze and was booed off stage.
The Three Stooges, during their 23 years with Colombia Pictures, were chronically underpaid and never received a pay increase, because the head of the studio convinced them that they were unpopular with audiences.
Andy Kaufman once ended a show at Carnegie Hall by loading the entire audience into 24 buses to take them out for milk and cookies.
A children’s entertainer named Soupy Sales once asked the children who watched his show to send him “funny green pieces of paper with pictures of U.S. Presidents” from their parents wallets and purses. He was suspended for two weeks when parents complained.
Conan O’Brien has majored in history and literature, graduated with a magna cum laude from Harvard University, and wrote his senior thesis on the use of children as symbols in the works of William Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor.
St. Lawrence was roasted to death on a hot grill. In defiance he said “Turn me over – I’m done on this side!”. He is now Patron Saint of Comedians.
Before realizing his true potential in comedy, Will Ferrell worked as a teller at Wells Fargo; apparently he lost close to $600 in his first two days on the job.
After Conan O’Brien’s first show in 1993, he published a negative review of his own performance in the NY Times.