While most comedians come from extremely humble beginnings, that has certainly changed for them when considering the vast amounts of wealth they have managed to obtain. While it’s impressive enough that they were able to achieve so much mainly through speaking for a living, from this list we see that it also takes some business sense to truly become one of the wealthiest. Most of these comedians worked not just in stand-up, but other aspects of the entertainment industry as well in order to amass their fortunes.
40. Jim Gaffigan Net Worth: $30.5 million
Jim Gaffigan had a slow but eventually meteoric rise in the world of comedy which eventually led to him accumulating the significant wealth he has today. After graduating college he spent seven years constantly in comedy clubs attempting different styles of comedy before eventually getting his break after an appearance on The Late Show With David Letterman. His career took off from there and he had since gone on to release multiple specials on Netflix as well as star in his own show appropriately named The Jim Gaffigan Show.
39. Joe Rogan Net Worth: $32 million
Known on many platforms as a standup, ex-fear factor host, podcaster and MMA commentator, it’s no wonder Rogan has accumulated such a significant sum of wealth over the years. Still a well-known standup today, he has also made significant money from the specials Netflix has bought from him. He is expected to release another one soon as well, meaning that this current number is only going to go up in the near future.
38. Amy Schumer Net Worth: $37.5 million
Achieving success fairly early on in her career, Schumer appeared on the comedy central talent show Last Comic Standing after having only done stand up for two years at that point. This led to many opportunities for her resulting in finally recording her own Comedy Central Presents special in 2010. From here her career continued to snowball as she made many cameos on other shows while also writing and producing her own award-winning sketch comedy show Inside Amy Schumer in 2013. She went on to record numerous more specials for Netflix, as well as write her own book which has in total resulted in her being one of the wealthiest working comedians today.
37. Louis C.K Net Worth: $52 million
One of the most recognizable names in comedy, C.K had to work for years before obtaining this recognition. Starting his comedy career in Boston in 1985, he slowly achieved success before moving to Manhattan in 1989. From here he got his first writing jobs with Late Night with Conan O’Brien and then the Late Show with David Letterman before eventually shifting his focus to filmmaking in 1998. After many years of being on the brink of major success, he finally started to achieve global recognition with the release of a half hour special on HBO in 2005 as well as his first TV show Lucky Louie in 2006. After this, he finally became a household name and has since been releasing a new hour-long special almost every year, bringing in tons of income as a result of this work ethic. Recently though, a very public controversy has almost entirely halted his income, but that hasn’t detracted from what he has already accumulated.
36. Carrot Top Net Worth: $70 million
Carrot Top, whose real name is Scott Thompson, attended Florida Atlantic University before making his comedy debut. He has made appearances in Larry the Cable Guy’s Christmas Spectacular, Gene Simmons Family Jewels, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Criss Angel Mindfreak, Scrubs, George Lopez, and Tugger: The Jeep 4×4 Who Wanted to Fly.
35. Dave Chappelle Net Worth: $75 million
Another one of the most widely recognizable comedians, Dave Chappelle was almost an instant success and at age 19 was already opening for Aretha Franklin. His big break came in 1998 though, when he alongside other stand-up Neil Brennan wrote the cult stoner classic Half-baked. His career took off from there with his first half-hour special being released in 2000, and his infamous show, Chappelle’s Show airing in 2003. He apparently disliked the global fame the show resulted in though, and in 2005 he is reported to have turned down a $55 million contract for two more seasons, instead deciding to take a trip to South Africa. Eventually coming back though, he is now back on top and is said to have made a deal with Netflix, getting $60 million for three specials.
34. Kevin James Net Worth: $80 million
James is most commonly known for his role as Doug Heffernan on the CBS sitcom The King of Queens. He has also appeared in a number of films like Hitch, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, and Grown Ups. James also has an older brother who is a comedian, Gary Valentine.
33. Jon Stewart Net Worth: $100 million
Jon Stewart is the former host of The Daily Show on Comedy Center. Initially starting as a stand-up comedian, Stewart made the move to television with various shows on Comedy Central and MTV. Stewart also had small roles in films like Big Daddy and Death to Smoochy. Throughout his career, Stewart won 22 Primetime Emmy Awards and 2 Grammy Awards.
32. Mel Brooks Net Worth: $100 million
Brooks began his career as a comic before getting into writing, directing and producing. Some of his top films include The Producers (1967), The Twelve Chairs (1970), Blazing Saddles (1974), Young Frankenstein (1974), Silent Movie (1976), High Anxiety (1977), History of the World, Part I (1981), Spaceballs (1987), and Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993). Brooks, who was born Melvyn Kaminsky, is one of the few EGOT winners having won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award.
31. Chris Rock Net Worth: $100 million
Chris Rock, another iconic entertainer, got his start on Saturday Night Live, using it as a platform to venture into various other mediums of entertainment. After leaving SNL after just two years in 1993 Rock didn’t take long to star in his first HBO comedy special in 1984. He achieved acclaim for the special and was quick to release two more in 1999 and 2004. His main source of income came from starring in films though, as he went on to star in movies like The Longest Yard as well as Madagascar, and more recent films like Grownups. The result of all this as well as well as a deal he recently made with Netflix valued at between $20-$40 million has made Rock one of the wealthiest working stand-ups today.
30. Martin Lawrence Net Worth: $110 million
Martin Lawrence has starred in his own self-titled television series Martin, and also appeared in a number of popular films like House Party, Boomerang, Bad Boys, Wild Hogs, Nothing to Lose, Blue Streak, Life, Big Momma’s House, and A Thin Line Between Love and Hate. Along with his acting prowess, Lawrence has some skill in his hands as a former Golden Gloves boxer.
29. Terry Fator Net Worth: $120 million
It’s probably surprising to see this name so high on the list because as far as comedians go, Fator is certainly not as recognizable as others. After his win on the second season of America’s Got Talent though, having already won the million dollar prize, Fator immediately got a residency in Vegas for a contract of up to $20 million per year. While this number can vary depending on how much his shows sell out, he still seems to be doing quite well for himself with statista.com reporting he made $18.5 million in 2017.
28. Ray Romano Net Worth: $130 million
Ray Romano is most well known for his leading role in the sitcome Everybody Loves Raymond. Most recently, Romano appeared in the Netflix comedy Paddleton as well as Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman. Romano is also an avid poker player, having competed in the World Series of Poker in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2015.
27. Rowan Atkinson Net Worth: $130 million
Rowan Atkinson is most commonly known for his roles as Mr. Bean as well as the sitcom Blackadder. He landed those roles after finding success on BBC’s sketch comedy show Not the Nine O’Clock News.
26. Sacha Baron Cohen Net Worth: $130 million
Sacha Baron Cohen is an English actor who rose to stardom for his variety of fictional characters and hilarious skits. Cohen has portrayed the characters Ali G, Borat Sagdiyev, Brüno Gehard and Admiral General Aladeen. He has also appeared in films like Talladega Nights and Sweeney Todd.
25. Kevin Hart Net Worth: $130 million
Still being a fairly young comedian when compared to most on this list, the amount of wealth Kevin Hart has accumulated up top this point is nothing short of incredible. This can mostly be attributed to his serious work ethic, as after releasing his first special in 2009, he continued to do so at almost a yearly rate with new specials coming out in 2010, 2011 and 2013, the last of which grossed him around $15 million. From here he approached starring in films with a similar amount of enthusiasm and has consistently been starring in one to two movies a year since 2012. The result of these two incredibly successful aspects of his career is that Hart is now one of the wealthiest comedians in history.
24. Ricky Gervais Net Worth: $130 million
Ricky Gervais is a stand-up comedian who has gone on a number of world tours and racked up numbers awards including seven BAFTA Awards, five British Comedy Awards, two Emmy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, and the Rose d’Or twice. Gervais also starred in The Office. Most recently, Gervais has become a mainstay as an awards show host, hosting the Golden Globe Awards in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2016, and again in 2020.
23. Steve Martin Net Worth: $130 million
Steve Martin is lauded as one of the most influential stand-up comedians in history. His comedic prowess is so widely recognized that modern stand-ups from all over the scene recognize his influence. From comedians like Bo Burnham who uses his personal demons and theatricality for his comedy to the creator of the internet juggernaut Nerdist, Chris Hardwick, it’s clear Martin’s reach is far and wide. He isn’t just a comedian though. He is a successful playwright and banjo player as well. He funds an endowment for the latter every year.
22. Bill Maher Net Worth: $140 million
Bill Maher is a comedian and political commentator who has been a mainstay on late-night television. Maher is currently the host of the HBO show Real Time with Bill Maher which touches on political issues. Maher previously hosted Politically Incorrect on Comedy Central. Maher earned a star on the Hollwood Walk of Fame in September 2010.
21. Jeff Dunham Net Worth: $140 million
Jeff Dunham is a unique comic who uses a number of different puppets and ventriloquism in his acts. Dunham has six stand-up comedy specials that aired on Comedy Central. Dunham holds the Guinness Book of World Records record for “Most tickets sold for a stand-up comedy tour” for his Spark of Insanity tour, performing in 386 venues worldwide.
20. Steve Harvey Net Worth: $140 million
Steve Harvey is a man of many trades, with comedian, actor, and radio/TV host as just a few of his titles. He has tackled many of the world’s toughest jobs with class and ease. He’s also had a very public hiccup, which he’s handled very well. In 2016, Steve announced the wrong winner for the Miss Universe pageant, but recovered from that and has returned as the host for the Miss Universe pageant the next year. From Cleveland, Ohio to the big stage, Steve Harvey has made a name for himself and with that name has come a substantial amount of wealth and there are no signs of him slowing down anytime soon.
19. Bob Hope Net Worth: $150 million
Bob Hope was an OG in the comedy game and appeared in more than 70 short and feature films. Hope had a short career as a boxer before turning to comedy and acting on Broadway. Hope died at the age of 100 in 2003.
18. Conan O’Brien Net Worth: $150 million
Conan O’Brien is a popular late-night television host who has hosted Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien. Conan later left for his own show, Conan, on TBS. Prior to taking over the late-night comedy scene, O’Brien served as a writer for Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons.
17. Joan Rivers Net Worth: $150 million
Joan Rivers, born Joan Alexandra Molisky, who hosted The Late Show with Joan Rivers and The Joan Rivers Show which won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show Host. Rivers is a member of the Television Academy Hall of Fame and has been referred to as one of the most “intuitively funny woman” prior to her death in September 2014.
16. Jim Carrey Net Worth: $150 million
Jim Carey rose to stardom for his role in the hit sketch comedy series In Living Color. Carrey then became a breakout comedic actor with high-profile roles in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Dumb and Dumber, The Mask, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, Batman Forever, and Liar Liar. Carey also had more dramatic roles in The Truman Show, Man on the Moon, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
15. Bill Murray Net Worth: $155 million
Bill Murray has won a number of awards throughout his career, including multiple Primetime Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe, and a BAFTA Award. Murray has starred in Groundhog Day, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, and more. He became known to the public after starring on Saturday Night Live which earned him his first Emmy Award.
14. Dan Aykroyd Net Worth: $155 million
Dan Aykroyd burst onto the scene thanks to the “Not Ready for Prime Time Players” on Saturday Night Live with John Belushi before turning the musical sketch turned into the film The Blues Brothers. He also starred in Ghostbusters and Driving Miss Daisy.
13. Stefan Raab Net Worth $160 million
Stefan Raab is a German entertainer who first appaered on television as a host of the comedy show Vivasion. He would later move to late-night television where he hosted TV total. Raab has been considered the “most powerful man in German entertainment television”.
12. Drew Carey Net Worth: $175 million
Stand-up comic, Television Actor and Game Show Host, Drew Carey has been in the entertainment business for over 30 years. Beginning his entertainment career in 1986 Carey has been able to keep himself in the public eye through the decades while also bringing some laughs with him along the way.
11. Adam Sandler Net Worth: $350 million
Adam Sandler is a behemoth of comedy. He has conquered TV, film, and music. Sandler also has crossed into the realm of producing and voice over performing as well. Sandler isn’t just held to comedy, taking multiple shots at deeper more dramatic roles. Sandler launched his career in SNL but now puts out a stream of movies on Netflix.
10. Jay Leno Net Worth: $360 million
Jay Leno was a mainstay on our televisions after moving from stand-up comedy to late-night television hosting. Leno hosted The Tonight Show on NBC from 1992 to 2009 before attempting his own primetime talk show The Jay Leno Show. Leno is also an avid car collector and hosted Jay Leno’s Garage which shows off his impressive car collection.
9. Ellen DeGeneres Net Worth: $380 million
Ellen DeGeneres is among the most popular American comedians of our time. Aside from being a comedian she is also a television host, writer, producer, and actress. She has grown her success starring first in the popular sitcom Ellen from 1994 to 1998 and later through hosting her talk show The Ellen DeGeneres. Through the many years that the show has been on the air, it has won over 80 awards.
8. Byron Allen Net Worth: $400 million
Byron Allen is a former comedian who later turned into an entertainment executive. Allen founded and owns the Allen Media Group where he also serves as the chief executive officer. As a stand-up comic, Allen made his television debut at age 18 on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.
7. Bill Cosby Net Worth: $410 million
Times have changed for Bill Cosby. Originally considered “America’s Dad” for his star role on The Cosby Show, Cosby’s personal life began to be surrounded by troubling controversy. Cosby is now a convicted sex offender and was sentenced to three to ten years in state prison after being found guilty of aggravated indecent assault against a Toronto woman.
6. David Letterman Net Worth: $455 million
David Letterman is a late-night television host legend, hosting Late Night with David Letterman and Late Show with David Letterman on CBS. Letterman was a late-night host for 33 years. Letterman is the owner of his company Worldwide Pants which produces a number of late-night shows and prime-time comedies including Everybody Loves Raymond. Since retiring from late-night, Letterman struck a deal with Netflix for his series My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman.
5. Trey Parker Net Worth: $500 million
Trey Parker is best known for being one of the co-creators of South Park along with creative partner Matt Stone, who he met while attending the University of Colorado, Boulder. The two partnered for South Park on Comedy Central and developed The Book of Mormon. The two also worked together on the films Orgazmo, South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut, and Team America: World Police. Parker won five Primetime Emmy Awards, four Tony Awards, and a Grammy Award.
4. Matt Stone Net Worth: $505 million
Matt Stone is best known for being one of the co-creators of South Park along with creative partner Trey Parker, who he met while attending the University of Colorado, Boulder. The two partnered for South Park on Comedy Central and developed The Book of Mormon. The two also worked together on the films Orgazmo, South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut, and Team America: World Police. Parker won five Primetime Emmy Awards, three Tony Awards, and a Grammy Award.
3. Matt Groening Net Worth: $520 million
Matt Groening has won 13 Primetime Emmy Awards throughout his illustrious career which included creating The Simpsons and Futura. The Simpsons is the longest-running US primetime-television series in history and won Groening 11 of his Emmys. Groening received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was the recipient of a British Comedy Award for “outstanding contribution to comedy.”
2. Larry David Net Worth: $930 million
Before becoming a household name in television, David had tried his luck as a stand-up comic, although this period was less than successful. During the mid-1980s, he later worked as a writer and performer on Saturday Night Live. Gradually gaining more experience as an actor, he appeared in various Woody Allen films, such as Radio Days and New York Stories. Once again, a new decade would prove a new success for David in television, just this time it was also in front of the camera, with his HBO show, Curb Your Enthusiasm, where David played a semi-fictional version of himself, premiering in 2000, having been based on an HBO special from 1999. Originally lasting eight seasons, the show went into hiatus in 2011, but has since come back six years later. During the show’s run, he earned three Golden Globe nominations.
1. Jerry Seinfeld Net Worth: $940 million
Indisputably the wealthiest comedian of all time, Jerry Seinfeld has made his fortune partly from his standup career, but mostly due to the massive amounts of royalties he receives from his show Seinfeld. the show is said to have made about $3.1 billion in total revenue, and Seinfeld, as well as co-creator Larry David, both had the good fortune to walk away with a little less than a third of this each. Since then Seinfeld has continued to make astounding amounts of money and is said to have closed a $100 million dollar deal with Netflix in return for two specials as well as his popular web show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.