When most people think of humor, they think of jokes and funny stories. But there are plenty of people who make their living telling jokes, making movies about funny stuff, or even just being really silly on stage. In fact, there are a lot of comedians out there who make plenty of money doing it! Let’s take a look at the top 18 richest comedians in the world:
1. Jerry Seinfeld – $820 Million
Jerry Seinfeld is a comedian, actor, writer, producer, and director. He is worth $820 million. Seinfeld has made $400 million from his hit show Seinfeld and millions more from his comedy tours, books, and other ventures.
2. Larry David – $800 Million
You might not know much about Larry David, but you’ve definitely heard of Seinfeld. He is the creator of the classic sitcom and has earned a sizable fortune from it.
Larry David is worth $800 million, which is a pretty penny considering he made his fortune largely through standup comedy and TV writing. In fact, he’s worth more than all the other comedians on this list combined!
He’s won three Emmy Awards for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series—the only comedian to do so—with two wins coming from Seinfeld and one coming from Curb Your Enthusiasm (a show he created).
3. Jay Leno – $600 Million
Jay Leno is a comedian, actor, and talk show host. The comedian got his start in stand-up comedy in the late 1970s and soon became known as “The Tonight Show” host after Johnny Carson retired in 1992. He remains one of the most successful comedians ever to hold that title; he also holds many Guinness World Records for his contributions to television as an actor and writer.
Leno has had quite a lucrative career, earning over $350 million since becoming one of Hollywood’s highest-paid personalities during his time hosting “The Tonight Show”. His net worth peaked at $350 million until 2009 when he was replaced by Conan O’Brien as host of the program’s successor “The Jay Leno Show”.
4. Matt Groening – $600 Million
Matt Groening is best known as the creator of The Simpsons and Futurama. His animated series have become staples on TV, with The Simpsons running 26 seasons and Futurama lasting four seasons.
He’s not just rich because he created these shows; he’s also a skilled artist and writer. He has had over 20 books published, including 13 volumes of his Life in Hell comic strip that lasted from 1977 to 2012.
Groening was born in Portland, Oregon but later moved to Los Angeles where he still lives today with his second wife Deborah Caplan who he married in 2008 after divorcing his first wife Deborah Knauss (née Swanson) in 1993 after 22 years together since 1978 when they met while attending Evergreen State College where they graduated together with an associate degree in media studies before later earning bachelor’s degrees at Evergreen State College later on down the road too!
5. Ellen DeGeneres – $500 Million
Ellen DeGeneres is an American comedian, television host, actress, and LGBT activist. She is the host of the syndicated talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show which has earned her seven Daytime Emmy Awards. In 2015, Forbes named her as one of America’s 100 highest-paid celebrities with annual earnings of $87 million. During her career, she has sold over 15 million albums worldwide and won at least a dozen Grammy Awards (including one for Best Comedy Album) for live performances on HBO Specials & CD as well as her audio CDs “This Is Me” and “Here And Now”.
Ellen first made it big in standup comedy before moving on to other venues including acting in movies such as Mr. Wrong (1996), The First Wives Club (1996), Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas (1998)
6. Adam Sandler – $480 Million
Adam Sandler is an American actor, comedian, and screenwriter. He is best known for his comedic roles, such as in the films Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer, and Big Daddy.
Sandler has been nominated for five Golden Globe Awards and has won four of them: three for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy (Happy Gilmore (1996), Waterboy) and one for Best Original Song (“You Had Me at Hello” from Click). For his work on Saturday Night Live, he was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award twice.
7. Kevin Hart – $450 Million
Kevin Hart is an American actor, comedian, writer, and producer. He has won multiple awards including the BET Award for Best Actor, MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance, and Academy Award for Best Actor. He has a lot of stand-up comedy specials with tours under his belt.
8. Bill Cosby – $400 Million
Bill Cosby is a comedian, actor, author, and television producer. He has been active in many films and TV shows over the years including The Cosby Show, A Different World, and Fat Albert.
Estimated Net Worth: $400 million
9. Rowan Atkinson – $250 Million
Rowan Atkinson is a British actor, comedian, and screenwriter who plays Benny Hill in the hit comedy series “Mr. Bean.” He also played a role in the popular comedy show The Black Adder and played Edmund Blackadder in four seasons of the same name. In addition to his acting career, Rowan Atkinson has written several screenplays for different movies and shows including Four Weddings and a Funeral and Johnny English.
Rowan Atkinson’s net worth is $250 million.
10. Seth MacFarlane – $ 250 Million
Seth MacFarlane is an American actor, voice actor, animator, screenwriter, producer, director, and singer. He gained popularity for creating the animated series Family Guy and American Dad!. MacFarlane has also been successful in live-action films including Ted and A Million Ways to Die in the West. In 2012 he won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Character Voiceover Performance for his role as Stewie Griffin on Family Guy.
11. Conan O’Brien – $200 Million
Conan O’Brien is a comedian, television host, and producer. He is the host of Conan, a late-night talk show that airs on TBS.
O’Brien has hosted several shows including The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour, and Conan’s Clueless Gamer segment. He also hosted The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon from June 2017 to February 2019.
O’Brien has also hosted the Emmy Awards and the ESPY Awards for several years each.
12. Ray Romano – $200 Million
You might not know the name, but you’ve undoubtedly heard of Everybody Loves Raymond. It’s one of the most successful sitcoms in TV history, with a run that spanned nine seasons and earned Romano three Emmy Awards and four other Primetime Emmy nominations. He also won a Screen Actors Guild Award and was nominated for four Golden Globe Awards.
Romano has also appeared in films such as Analyze This (1999), Man on the Moon (1999), The Big Stink (2001), Puss in Boots (2011), and Everybody Loves Whales (2016).
13. Steve Martin – $140 Million
Steve Martin is an American actor, comedian, writer, playwright, composer, and musician.
He is known for his work in stand-up comedy, films, and musicals, as well as his bluegrass music.
14. Jeff Foxworthy – $130 Million
Jeff Foxworthy is an American comedian and actor. He has made a career of joking about the American South, and is best known for his involvement in the American version of the game show Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? Foxworthy hosted this show from 2007 to 2008, before being replaced by Meredith Vieira.
In 2009, Foxworthy was ranked number one on Comedy Central’s list of greatest stand-up comedians ever. That same year he appeared as himself in the television comedy film My Big Friggin’ Wedding alongside Joe Rogan and Carlos Mencia.
15. Kevin James – $120 Million
Kevin George Knipfing was born on April 26, 1965. Since then, he has been a part of many productions and has created numerous works under his name. In addition to his work as an actor, comedian, and producer, he is also a screenwriter for television series such as “The King of Queens” and “Kevin Can Wait.” He currently stars in the TV shows “Kevin Can Wait” and “Superior Donuts.”
16. Chris Rock – $60 Million
Chris Rock is an American comedian, actor, writer, producer, and director. He was born on February 7, 1965, in Andrews, South Carolina.
After attending public schools in New York City and being held back a grade for being too small (he’s 5’6″), Rock eventually graduated from Essex High School at 16 years old. He then attended the State University of New York at Albany where he majored in business marketing while working part-time as a shoe salesman at Bally’s Park Place in Times Square during his freshman year of college.
He was also inspired by Eddie Murphy to become a stand-up comedian after watching his “Delirious” concert film at age 19 while visiting Times Square with friends one night during their spring break vacation from school that year; seeing how many people were laughing hysterically made him realize how much fun it must be performing comedy routines.”
17. Dave Chappelle – $60 Million
Dave Chappelle is an American stand-up comedian and actor. He is known for his roles in the sketch comedy series Chappelle’s Show, which premiered on Comedy Central in 2003 and ran through 2006. The show continued to be popular in reruns, even after it went off the air. In 2017, he returned to stand-up comedy with a residency at The Hollywood Palladium that was recorded for Netflix and released as Dave Chappelle: Equanimity & The Bird Revelation (2018). He has also performed on several talk shows and hosted Saturday Night Live on November 12th, 2017.
Dave Chappelle is currently worth $60 million dollars.
18. George Carlin – $30 Million
You probably know George Carlin as the comedian, actor, and social critic who was born in New York City and worked as a radio technician before working as a disc jockey at radio stations in California, New York, and Canada. In the 1960s and 1970s, he performed stand-up comedy routines that were controversial for their profanity when it came to religion, politics, and other taboo topics. He also hosted “The Tonight Show” multiple times during this time period.
After looking at all these figures, we’re left wondering: what do you need to become a successful comedian? Is it talent? Hard work? Luck? Or is it something else entirely? We’d like to think there’s more to the equation than a set amount of skill or determination. After all, how can one explain why two people with the same amount of talent and drive end up so differently in terms of financial and critical success? The answer may lie in another quality that isn’t as easily quantifiable: passion. When you love what you do, chances are good that your career will be fulfilling. And even when your job becomes stressful or difficult, that extra boost will keep you going through hard times. So if you have any aspirations for comedy or otherwise, we can only recommend one thing: go for it!
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