Inside David Schwimmer’s ‘crappy summer jobs’ before he landed ‘Friends’

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Before he made it big on “Friends,” David Schwimmer worked on wheels for seven long years.

“I was a roller-skating waiter in Chicago for seven years,” Schwimmer told The Guardian. “You make your real money by doing stunts. Everyone gets their burgers and fries, then you say: ‘Hey, you want me to jump over your kids for five bucks?’ They’d have their kids lie on the ground and I’d just jump over them at 30mph.”

By then Schwimmer was used to hard work as he’d been hardened by a series of “really crappy summer jobs.”

“I worked at this place called Steve’s Ice-cream where you had to mix in all the candy or cookie crumbs by hand on this big marble slab for three bucks an hour,” Schwimmer recalled. “At 16, I worked at this copy machine place. I had to pretend to be some guy from Xerox. I’d phone up customers and say: ‘I see you have a Xerox 2-2500. Looks like you’re running out of toner.’ Some innocent secretary would say: ‘I don’t think we are?’ and I’d say: ‘I think you are, let me send you a couple of boxes.’ It wasn’t exactly legal. I turned up one day and the whole place had been raided.”

The cast of the popular television series 'Friends' are pictured in this undated publicity photograph.
Schwimmer said doing tricks got him some extra cash as a roller-skating waiter.
Reuters
As a child, Schwimmer said he wanted to work in the medical field.
As a child, Schwimmer said he wanted to work in the medical field.
Andrew Eccles, NBC/AP

While he made the world fall in love with him on “Friends,” Schwimmer almost didn’t become an actor at all.

As a child, “I wanted to be a surgeon,” he told the paper. “I was fascinated by the human body: I knew everything about the lymphatic, the vascular and the skeletal systems. I was a big science geek, but I found that I could talk to more girls in acting class than in the science lab. So that kind of derailed my medical career.”

Another fun fact: while attending a summer program at Oxford, Schwimmer opted to take a clown course, saying “[It] just spoke to me. So I went to clown school, too.”

David Schwimmer
Before he made it big on “Friends,” David Schwimmer worked on wheels for seven long years.
Getty Images

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