At age 18, Hamill, a student at Los Angeles City College, worked the drive-thru at Jack in the Box, where he practiced impersonations.
“I had worked at another fast-food place when I was like 16, so I knew the routine,” Hamill told Insider. “I made shakes, I worked the grill, but I always aspired to work that takeout window.”
And the window made for the perfect stage to hone his acting chops: “I thought you should talk like a clown, which is what I did,” Hamill remembered. “I thought it was amusing — my boss thought it was annoying.”
So annoying, in fact, that the impersonations resulted in Hamill getting fired.
“My boss told me to stop, which I did,” Hamill said. “But when the work day was finished he said, ‘You know what Mark, if you can’t take this job seriously, maybe this isn’t right for you.’ In other words, go and never come back.”
Now, more than 50 years later, Hamill returns to the drive-thru window in a new advertisement for the fast food chain — also marking the return of the Jack in the Box spicy chicken strips and french toast sticks.
“The funny thing is we’re bringing these back for a limited time, we’re also bringing back Mark Hamill for a limited time!” Hamill joked.
The ad includes a slide reading: “Mark Hamill was once fired from a Jack in the Box for impersonating a clown in the drive-thru. Today, he’s coming back.”
And the advertisement has been over three years (well, plus a half-century) in the making. Hamill first publicly revealed his turn as a Jack in the Box associate during “The Late Late Show with James Corden” in 2019.
“Every job that you have in life prepares you for where you’re headed, so I’d like to think it adds some element in what I did down the road,” he said at the time. “Perseverance, doubling down when there are setbacks, doing the right things for the right reasons — hopefully you bring all of that into whatever you do.”