Beware the cobra!

Donald Trump (search)'s cobra struck four times last night as four contestants were sacked simultaneously on "The Apprentice" (search) on NBC.

The cobra is the nickname that's been given to Trump's hand, which takes on a snakelike profile when he fires contestants.

The unprecedented Thursday-night massacre came after the losing team, Excel, notched the worst loss in the show's history.

"In this boardroom, we've never had a team lose so badly," Trump said sternly as he faced the four members of Excel (out of seven) whom he ordered to remain at the conference table. "You're all fired! All four are fired!

"Go home, go home," said the disgusted real estate mogul as he motioned the four firees toward the door with his hand.

The four contestants who fell under Trump's ax were project manager Josh Shaw, 30, of New York; Jennifer Murphy, 26, of Los Angeles; Mark Lamkin, 35, of Louisville, Ky.; and James Dillon, 27, of Alexandria, Va.

In the episode, the two teams were each challenged to create an event that would attract customers to a Dick's Sportings Goods store. The winning team, Capital Edge, came up with a golf promotion that boosted sales 74 percent for Dick's.

Losing team Excel devised a baseball scheme that caused Dick's sales to drop 34 percent.

"None of them stepped up to the plate — it had to be done!" declared Trump aide Bill Rancic (search), who was sitting in for George Ross (search).

"Life continues," The Donald said stoically.

There are now nine contestants left on "The Apprentice" with eight episodes left to go. The finale is Dec. 15.