Fired!: Tales of the Canned, Canceled, Downsized, and Dismissed


Rejection has never been so hilarious! After her role in a Woody Allen play was rethought, actress Annabelle Gurwitch (TBS Dinner and a Movie) was devastated. Then, she got funny. Gurwitch and a revolving cast of fellow show-biz veterans share their stories when L.A. Theatre Works records Fired: Tales of Jobs Gone Bad.

Read More Show Less
... See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Audiobook)
  • All (1) from $66.27   
  • New (1) from $66.27   
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any coupons and promotions
Seller since 2011

Feedback rating:



New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

Brand new and unread! Join our growing list of satisfied customers!

Ships from: Phoenix, MD

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Sort by
Fired!: Tales of the Canned, Canceled, Downsized, and Dismissed

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$13.99 price
This digital version does not exactly match the physical book displayed here.


Rejection has never been so hilarious! After her role in a Woody Allen play was rethought, actress Annabelle Gurwitch (TBS Dinner and a Movie) was devastated. Then, she got funny. Gurwitch and a revolving cast of fellow show-biz veterans share their stories when L.A. Theatre Works records Fired: Tales of Jobs Gone Bad.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Gurwitch's popular Web site ( entices people to turn in their best tales of their worst firings; the cream of that crop is gathered in this star-studded collection of misery. The book is divided into chapters with titles like "The Job So Terrible You Can Only Hope to Be Fired" and "The Time You Deserved to Be Fired," but mostly it's just tales of horrible things happening to funny people. Gurwitch's own piece-in which she's canned from her role in a play written and directed by an officious Woody Allen, who told her "You look retarded"-is par for the course, with its droll humor and dash of celebrity. Comedians Bill Maher, D.L. Hughley, Bob Saget and Andy Borowitz all get in their zingers, while Illeana Douglas composes a poem that ranges from getting fired as a coat check girl ("How is it/possible to be fired hanging coats?/I have arms. I know what coats are") to high farce with borderline psychotic filmmakers. The few noncelebrities invited to share their woes are generally less funny, though they tend to be more unpredictable, such as the ex-White House chef who provides a nice recipe for seared scallops. (Mar. 7) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Soundview Executive Book Summaries
Axed, canned, dismissed or given the boot, all firings go better with a sense of humor. Actress and writer Annabelle Gurwitch has compiled her own stories (fired by Woody Allen) and those of many other Hollywood talents such as Tim Allen, Bill Maher and Harry Shearer to show how getting fired might be the best thing that ever happened to you. These humorous perspectives on being fired include “the firing you didn’t see coming” and “the time getting fired leads you to something better.” Copyright © 2006 Soundview Executive Book Summaries
From the Publisher
"Trump may have popularized the phrase 'You're fired,' but he certainly hasn't made it any easier to hear. [Gurwitch] is making the saying a little more tolerable."
-- Jane magazine

"A hilarious new book. It's very cathartic and funny!"
-- Peter Rothberg, The Nation

"It reads like sweet revenge."
-- The Onion

"A merry compendium of failure...Gurwitch gets the last laugh."
-- Greg Beato, The Washington Post

"Sometimes the best revenge is losing well."
-- The New York Times

"Been canned lately? Take solace from others who've been there in Fired!"
-- New York Post, #1 on the Hot List

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580813365
  • Publisher: L.A. Theatre Works
  • Publication date: 7/28/2005
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Abridged
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Annabelle Gurwitch
Annabelle Gurwitch is an actress and writer best known to television audiences as the cohost of the cult TV hit Dinner and a Movie on TBS. She is a contributing writer and commentator on NPR's Day to Day and has appeared in numerous television shows and movies. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and son.

Annabelle recently appeared in The Shaggy Dog with Tim Allen, stars in the indie Melvin Goes to Dinner with Jack Black, and was recently seen in Boston Legal going toe to toe with Candace Bergen. Ironically, Candace fired Annabelle as her secretary in Murphy Brown.The documentary film Fired! will be coming to theatres in the Fall of 2006 and will then play on The Sundance Channel.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One: The Job So Terrible You Can Only Hope to Be Fired
Work is the province of cattle.

— Dorothy Parker

I do not like work, even when someone else does it.

— Mark Twain

I have only been fired once. I was let go from an office job where the boss told me that he was firing me because he wanted someone to work for him who, when he said, "Jump!" would say, "How high?" Ironically, the job was in the offices of the multiple sclerosis society, where the majority of our clients scooted around in motorized wheelchairs.

— Rainn Wilson, actor

That's a Fact

Andy Borowitz

I did a number of things in the '80s I'm not proud of. On more than one occasion I shouted out the phrase, "Everybody Wang Chung tonight." But there's one thing I did that was so heinous, I've never told anyone about it. In 1984 I wrote for the TV show The Facts of Life.

I'm sure everyone remembers the cultural phenomenon that was The Facts of Life. But for those of you who somehow missed it, The Facts of Life was a coming-of-age saga about four teenage girls at an exclusive boarding school in Peekskill, New York. There was Blair, the sarcastic beautiful one; Natalie, the sarcastic chubby one; Jo, the sarcastic tomboy; and Tootie, the sarcastic sistah. Watching over all of them was their mentor, Edna Garrett, also known as Mrs. Garrett or, when the girls were in full Fonzie mode, Mrs. G.

Oh, and here's one more piece of Facts of Life trivia: It was the worst television show ever produced. Now, given how monumentally it sucked, you may wonder, why did I agree to work on it? Well, quite simply, for the money. You see, I was the sarcastic whore on The Facts of Life. But you have to give me a break: I was just out of college, I was broke, I didn't have a car. I had to take the bus, which in L.A. is tantamount to eating out of a Dumpster.

I remember my first day on the show, going in to pitch stories to the producers. These were two middle-aged women charged with the responsibility of making sure The Facts of Life did not lose its edge. And the show was at a critical point: It was moving from the safe confines of the boarding school to a whole new setting, a gourmet cheese shop cleverly named Edna's Edibles. It was a move fraught with risk. There was no margin for error. And that was the hornets' nest I was stepping into.

As I sat down in the producers' office, I noticed that they each had coffee mugs with the Facts of Life logo on them. I was like, "Cool mugs, where'd you get them?" "Mrs. Garrett gave them to us," one of them explained. It turns out that Charlotte Rae, the actress who played Mrs. Garrett, liked to reward the writers by giving them Facts of Life logo mugs, and the better job you did, the more mugs you got. Now, you want to talk about an incentive!

I started pitching my story, entitled "Gamma Gamma or Bust," in which Blair, the sarcastic beautiful one, pulls out all the stops to get into the Gamma Gamma sorority. The producers took it in, chewed it over, and then one of them finally spoke. "It's an interesting story, Andy," she said. "But what's the 'fact'?"

"Say what?" I said.

"The 'fact,' " she said. "Every Facts of Life story has a fact, a moral lesson, if you will, a deeper truth that the audience can take away with them."

Suddenly the room started to spin. I realized: They don't know the show sucks. They think they're doing Molière here. And I'm a comedian, I don't really do moral lessons, so I just started spinning my wheels...A stitch in time saves nine? Neither a borrower nor a lender be? Finally, with their help, we agreed that the fact of my story would be "Be yourself."

I started to write the script and I thought to myself, I'm going to try something that's never been tried before on The Facts of Life: I'm going to write funny things for the girls to say. I finished it up, handed it in, and didn't hear anything back from the producers for a week. Finally I went up to one of them and said, "Did you get a chance to look at my script?"

"Well, we did, Andy," she said, "and quite frankly, we were disappointed in it."

"What was wrong with it?" I said.

"Well, you didn't get Tootie at all."

I asked her what she meant.

"The way you wrote Tootie, she sounds exactly like Natalie."

I said, "Well, maybe that's because they're both, you know, kind of sarcastic characters."

"They're not sarcastic," she said, genuinely offended.

"Natalie is wisecracking and Tootie is sassy. The way you've written them, you can't tell them apart."

And I was like, "Well, the audience will be able to tell them apart because one's fat and one's black." But I didn't say that. Instead I said, "Well, I'll try to fix it in the next draft."

"That's all right, Andy," she said. "We'll take it from here."

All of a sudden I felt something I hadn't felt since I started working there: I cared. I wanted to prove that I could write The Facts of Life. I wanted to prove that I "got" Tootie.

Well, as the season wore on, it became clear that the decision to move the show to a cheese shop was an unmitigated disaster. The girls were gaining weight at an alarming pace. To counteract this, the producers removed the muffins and cookies from the snack table and replaced them with carrots, celery, and lettuce. It was like we were being catered by Farmer McGregor. The girls noticed, and they were pissed.

At this point I was given one last chance to prove myself. The producers no longer trusted me to write a script on my own, so they teamed me up with their two pet writers, a team of eager-to-please suck-ups known only as the Two Jims. Our assignment: to write a fantasy sequence set twenty-five years in the future, when Jo, the sarcastic tomboy, would be Jo, a sarcastic high-powered businesswoman.

Now, I thought to myself, finally I'm being given a chance to play to my strengths. No facts, no moral lessons, just unbridled wackiness. So, with the Two Jims' agreement, we wrote a scene in which Jo, inhabiting a futuristic world much like the Jetsons did, attempts a leveraged buyout of Spacely Sprockets.

The producers never told me what they thought of the scene, but the Two Jims later told me that they had been called into the producers' office. "We're very disappointed in the Jo fantasy scene," the producers told them. "But we don't blame you — because we know Andy was in the room when it was written." I couldn't believe it — I had become a cancer on The Facts of Life!

Needless to say, I wasn't asked back for a second season, which means I totally missed the arrival of the young George Clooney, who played a sarcastic handyman. But as I cleaned out my office on the last day of work, I noticed a gift box on the desk. I opened it and inside were two Facts of Life mugs. Could it be that Mrs. Garrett, in her infinite wisdom, had seen something in me that no one else had? I was so excited, I picked them up and ran into the Two Jims' office — and saw that each of them had received ten mugs.

As I look back on that year, I ask myself, Is there any moral lesson, any deeper truth that we can take away from this?

I think it's this: The only thing worse than being a whore is being a whore and totally sucking at it. And that, my friends, is a fact.

After being fired from The Facts of Life, Andy Borowitz was "fired up," as often happens in Hollywood, and created the series that launched Will Smith's acting career, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. He currently writes for The New Yorker, The New York Times, and CNN, and is the creator of the very popular Web site and series of books The Borowitz Report.

Fired Fact

Increased risk of heart attack faced by employer firing an employee in the week after wielding the ax: 100 percent.

Copyright © 2006 by Annabelle Gurwitch

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents



Who Came Up with the Phrase "You're fired"?

Chapter 1: The Job So Terrible You Can Only Hope to Be Fired

That's a Fact by Andy Borowitz

The Big Red Shoe Diaries by Paul Feig

Bimmy in Training by Larry Charles

The Snuggery by Eric Gilliland

Bruce Cameron Remodels Your Redundancy

Don't Call Me, I'll Call You by Judy Gold

Poor Judgment by Illeana Douglas

Number One Pooper-Scooper by Robert Reich

Nesting by Jessica van der Valk

When Children Fire You by Ian Gomez

Chapter 2: The Firing You Didn't See Coming

The Little Fuck That Could by Sandra Tsing Loh

Extra! Extra! by Brian Unger

Schadenfreude by Anne Meara

Sent to Cyberia by Lori Gottlieb

Harry Shearer Minds His Credibility Gap

Fired by the Queen and Dumped by Trump by Joyce Beber

Felicity Huffman on Popping Your Cherry

Dead Man Working by Jason Kravits

The Do-Bee by Martha McCully

David Cross Might Just Be Too Big

Mauve by Jack Merrill

Fried by Hillary Carlip

One of Them Stories by Tate Donovan

Steak Today by Wildman Weiner

Substandard Performance by Anonymous

Dahling, It's Eva Gabor by Glenn Rosenblum

Chapter 3: The Time You Deserved to Be Fired

Video, Video by Paul F. Tompkins

Short Ends by Jonathan Groff

Crimes and Mythdemeanors by Annabelle Gurwitch

That Garlin Boy: An Interview with Jeff Garlin

Right On! by Jill Soloway

Friendless by Fisher Stevens

Bill Maher: Warm Body Telling Jokes

The Postman Never Rings Twice by Richard Colburn

Ba-looney Tunes by Matt Walsh

Grrl Genius Gets Canned by Cathryn Michon

All Those Parts by Shirley Gurwitch

Chapter 4: The Time Getting Fired Leads You to Something Better

Patricia Heaton Hopes You Enjoy Your Stay

Jimmy the Idiot by Dana Gould

The World's Worst Waiter by Jeff Kahn

I'll Knock Your Block Off by Andy Dick

Bob Saget Doesn't Sit Here Anymore

Can You Get Fired If You Aren't Being Paid? by Morgan Spurlock

I Was the Master by Tim Allen

Madison Scare Garden by Elizabeth Warner

D. L. Hughley: Lot and Lobby to Late Night

No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service by Maxine Lapiduss

But We'd Love to Work with You Again by Judd Apatow

Shock and Remorse by Lilly Anderson

Chapter 5 The Time You Had to Fire Yourself

A Thoroughly Modern Firing by Tonya Pinkins

Remembrance of Porn Past by Scott Carter

Last Shift at the Fetish Deli by Mark Haskell Smith

Attractive in a Bad Way by Rob Cohen

Cappi's Pizza and Sangweech Shop by Carl Capotorto

No More Rain Days by Janet M. Lorenz

Recipe for the Recently Redundant by Walter Scheib

The Fired Song by Roy Zimmerman

The Letter You Wish You'd Sent to Your Boss! Now You Can!



Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2008

    CELEBRATE! You're Fired!

    Even though I wrote a story for this book, I CAN BE OBJECTIVE because my contribution is only two pages. (The best two pages, by the way.) This book is a PERFECT gift for any friend or coworker who has just been fired and is not thrilled to bits about it. (The last job I was fired from, I WAS thrilled to bits because I had already taken another job and was facing the prospect of 'calling in sick' until all my sick days were used up, but that's another story for another book.) Anyway, this might also be a great gift for employers to give out as a parting gift to the employees they are about to fire. 'Fired!' will make your fired employees feel like they have finally joined the ranks of the Truly Talented and Funny people who have fired stories to tell - and it might make you feel as if you have given them a promotion instead of a kick in the pants, so it's a win-win kind of gift. This book will help the fired feel as if they are in good company (FABulous people have written their fired! stories in this book!) and that they can overcome the firing to be happy, productive and funny people, with a good story to tell -- which is what life is all about anyway, right?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)