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The 20 best job-quitting scenes of all time (with video)

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Quitting one’s job can make for some great drama (and comedy) in the movies. Here are some of the best moments of deciding to embrace a life of unemployment — or rather, in most cases, a life of freedom from The Man.


1. “Fight Club” (1999)

This is, for many, the best scene in David Fincher’s ode to masculinity in a hopelessly emasculated society, as the Narrator (Edward Norton) goes to physical extremes — on himself — in blackmailing his boss (Zach Grenier). “Fight Club” is usually at its best whenever Brad Pitt’s id-driven Tyler Durden is around, but Norton really shines in this tour-de-force moment of self-mutilation — it’s both funny and scary watching him punch himself in the face and crash through glass as the boss is too awestruck to realize just how screwed he is now. Jack’s Smirking Revenge, indeed.


2. “American Beauty” (1999)

When Kevin Spacey takes on that smarmy, self-righteous tone he’s so good at, there’s no actor more intimidating — or scathingly funny. Spacey’s Lester Burnham is a put-upon suburban father and husband who suddenly has an epiphany of almost supernatural proportions that leads to a series of radical life changes, one of which is quitting his job at an advertising agency in the most satisfying way possible. Thank goodness we have the movies to fuel our fantasies of telling off our bosses so we don’t go around pulling this kind of crap ourselves.


3. “Reality Bites” (1994)

John Mahoney makes for one of the worst movie bosses of all time as the host of an intolerably cheesy talk show, with Winona Ryder playing his emotionally abused assistant. When it comes time for Winona to instigate her own firing, director Ben Stiller can’t help but go a little too far with the wacky shenanigans (this is the guy behind the sketch comedy show, “The Ben Stiller Show,” after all) as Mahoney makes a fool (or, rather, a prick) of himself on television thanks to some tampered-with notecards (that cutaway shot to the aghast audience is especially wretched), but how can you not help but cheer when Winona Ryder gets her revenge against a big jerk? Hopelessly dated now, “Reality Bites” now serves as a historical piece documenting the trials and tribulations of employment-phobic Generation X.


4. “The Apartment” (1960)

“You dig?” Fred MacMurray dares condescend to Jack Lemmon in Billy Wilder’s mischievous comedy. Lemmon plays an executive who tries to rise in the ranks of his company (all the way up to the 27th Floor, in fact) by letting the higher-ups use his apartment for trysts; things get complicated when he embarks on a romance of his own and starts to realize that the whole arrangement is rather, well, gross. If you want to be cynical about it, Lemmon’s C.C. Baxter could be seen as a younger version of Shelly ‘The Machine’ Levene, the washed-up salesman he played 32 years later in “Glengarry Glen Ross,” though we’d like to think Baxter went on to a lucrative career and never needed to rob his own office.


5. “Breaking Away” (1979)

Watch as a young Rorschach from “Watchman” literally punches the clock! People seem to have forgotten that Jackie Earle Haley was quite the renowned child actor, stealing bases (and scenes) as Kelly Leak in “The Bad News Bears” and coming of age as Moocher in “Breaking Away.” Mooch needs a job, but he doesn’t need a job where the boss calls him “Shorty” — quitting within 30 seconds of your first day has to be some sort of record, and Dennis Christopher, Dennis Quaid (looking considerably older than his co-stars) and Daniel Stern heartily approve.

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Very NSFW

The Brockmire Premiere Is All Truth

Watch The First Episode of Brockmire Right Now for Free

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At long last, the Brockmire pre-premiere has arrived. Which means you can watch it right now—on IFC.com, at Funny Or Die, on IFC’s Apple TV and mobile apps, on Youtube, on Facebook, on the AMC apps, and right here. So grab some headphones and get watching.

No seriously, get headphones.

Because whether he’s giving a play-by-play or ruminating on the world around him, Jim Brockmire calls it like he sees it. And how he sees it is very NSFW. His take on life is actually quite refreshing, even to the point of being profoundly sage. For proof just look at these pearls of unconventional wisdom from the premiere…

Brockmire On The Internet

“If I need porn I just buy a nudie mag, like my father and his father before him.”

Brockmire On Sex-Ed

“Kids, a strap-on is a belt with d— on it that mommies use to f— daddies.”
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Brockmire On The Perfect High

“Somewhere between 10 cups of coffee and very low-grade cocaine.”
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Brockmire On The Tardiness of Spring

“Old man winter’s reaching his hand inside your coat to give that thing one more squeeze.”

Brockmire On Keeping Perspective

“I thought I hit rock bottom in a handicap restroom in Bangkok where a Thai lady-boy snorted crank off my johnson while a sunburnt German watched us on the toilet”
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Brockmire On Humanity

“If you want to look directly into the gaping maw of oblivion, don’t look up to the heavens. Just look in the mirror.”
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See these nuggets and more in the first episode of Brockmire, and see the whole season beginning April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Thank Azaria

Best. Characters. Ever.

Our favorite Hank Azaria characters.

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Hank Azaria may well be the most prolific voice and character actor of our time. The work he’s done for The Simpsons alone has earned him a permanent place in the pop culture zeitgeist. And now he’s bringing another character to the mainstream: a washed-up sports announcer named Jim Brockmire, in the aptly titled new series Brockmire.

We’re looking forward to it. So much so that we want to look backward, too, with a short-but-sweet retrospective of some of Azaria’s important characters. Shall we begin?

Half The Recurring Simpsons Characters

He’s Comic Book Guy. He’s Chief Wiggum. He’s Apu. He’s Cletus. He’s Snake. He’s Superintendent Chalmers. He’s the Sea Captain. He’s Kurt “Can I Borrow A Feeling” Van Houten. He’s Professor Frink. He’s Carl. And he’s many more. But most importantly he’s Moe Szyslak, the staple character Azaria has voiced since his very first audition for The Simpsons.

Oh, and He’s Frank Grimes

For all the regular Simpsons characters Azaria has played over the years, his most brilliant performance may have been a one-off: Frank Grimes, the scrappy bootstrapper who worked tirelessly all his life for honest, incremental, and easily-undermined success. Azaria’s portrayal of this character was nuanced, emotional, and simply magical.

Patches O’Houlihan

Dodgeball is a “sport of violence, exclusion and degradation.” as Hank Azaria generously points out in his brief but crucial cameo in Dodgeball. That’s sage wisdom. Try applying his “five D’s” to your life on and off the court and enjoy the results.

Harold Zoid

Of Futurama fame. The crazy uncle of Dr. Zoidberg, Harold Zoid was once a lion (or lobster) of the silver screen until Smell-o-vision forced him into retirement.

Agador

The Birdcage was significant for many reasons, and the comic genius of Hank Azaria’s character “Agador” sits somewhere towards the top of that list. If you haven’t seen this movie, shame on you.

Gargamel

Nobody else could make a live-action Gargamel possible.

Ed Cochran

From Ray Donovan. Great character, great last name [editorial note: the author of this article may be bias].

Kahmunra, The Thinker, Abe Lincoln

All in the Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian, a file that let Azaria flex his voice acting and live-action muscles in one fell swoop.

The Blue Raja

Mystery Men has everything, including a fatal case of Smash Mouth. Azaria’s iconic superhero makes the shortlist of redeemable qualities, though.

Dr. Huff

Huff put Azaria in a leading role, and it was good. So good that there is no good gif of it. Internet? More like Inter-not.

Learn more about Hank Azaria’s newest claim to fame right here, and don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Flame Out

Brockmire and Other Public Implosions

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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There’s less than a month until the Brockmire premiere, and to say we’re excited would be an insulting understatement. It’s not just that it stars Hank Azaria, who can do no wrong (and yes, that’s including Mystery Men, which is only cringeworthy because of Smash Mouth). It’s that the whole backstory of the titular character, Jim Brockmire, is the stuff of legends. A one-time iconic sportscaster who won the hearts of fans and players alike, he fell from grace after an unfortunate personal event triggered a seriously public meltdown. See for yourself in the NSFW Funny or Die digital short that spawned the IFC series:

See? NSFW and spectacularly catastrophic in a way that could almost be real. Which got us thinking: What are some real-life sports fails that have nothing to do with botched athletics and everything to do with going tragically off script? The internet is a dark and dirty place, friends, but these three examples are pretty special and mostly safe for work…

Disgruntled Sports Reporter

His co-anchor went offsides and he called it like he saw it.

Jim Rome vs Jim “Not Chris” Everett

You just don’t heckle a professional athlete when you’re within striking distance. Common sense.

Carl Lewis’s National Anthem

He killed it! As in murdered. It’s dead.

To see more moments just like these, we recommend spending a day in your pajamas combing through the muckiness of the internet. But to see something that’s Brockmire-level funny without having to clear your browser history, check out the sneak peeks and extras here.

Don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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