The Wealthiest Comedians in The World

All kidding aside, these top-earning comedians are laughing all the way to the bank.
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The highest-paid comedians of any era have one thing in common: They’ve worked hard at being funny for their money. But there’s no better time to be on top of the comedy game. The comedy industry seems to be in the middle of a renaissance. This unanticipated business boom is in large part due to streaming. New comedians are making a name for themselves, and iconic comedians like David Letterman and Jerry Seinfeld aren’t fading into obscurity. They’re getting their part of the streamable pie by taking their seasoned careers and turning them into new money-making projects.

Best of all, we can discover our favorite comedians, both new and old, more effortlessly than ever before. Chances are, many popular comedians who’ve risen to fame through Netflix, like Ali Wong and Bo Burnam, will make this list someday too. Just give them time.

For the most part, the famous funny people on this list paid their dues by more old-fashioned means and they’ve officially got millions to show for those decades full of hard work. So, without further ado, these are the richest comedians on earth right now.

Jerry Seinfeld

Jerry Seinfeld performs at Clusterfest

With a net worth of $950 million, Jerry Seinfeld is the reigning king of rich comedians. Unsurprisingly, a hefty chunk of Jerry’s earnings come from his award-winning work on the iconic sitcom Seinfeld, which aired on NBC from 1989 through 1998 and is now a streamable force to be reckoned with.

Forever revered as one of the greatest sitcoms of all time, the comedian/actor/producer’s cumulative earnings from the series reached $267 million by 2004. Over the years, he’s also earned hundreds of millions of dollars in syndication deals and stand-up performances worldwide. Still full of surprises when it comes to what good TV can really be, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee turned out to be another unlikely hit for Jerry.

Larry David

Larry David at the induction ceremony for Mary Steenburgen into the  Hollywood Walk of Fame, Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. CA. 1

Larry David is one of those names synonymous with great comedy on television. And he’s got mounds of money in the bank to back him up. As of 2022, the co-creator of Seinfeld has an estimated net worth of $800 million, making him the second-highest-paid comedian on earth.

According to multiple reports, Larry David has accumulated the majority of his wealth through lucrative syndication deals for Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm, in which he tries out the tried and true formula of starring as a semi-fictionalized version of himself.

Matt Stone

TREY PARKER (left) & MATT STONE at the premiere of their new movie, "BASEketball" at Universal Studios.

American animator and voice artist Matt Stone comes in third with $700 million to his name. His most profitable claim to fame is as the creator/producer of South Park alongside its co-creator, Trey Parker. As noted by The Hollywood Reporter, “Over the years, Parker and Stone have reaped their gains. Comedy Central licensed South Park to Hulu in back-to-back deals worth $87.5 million and $110 million.”

The lasting popularity of the animated mega-hit proved nothing short of life-changing for the creative/comedic duo. To this day, they continue to profit from the silly series. In 2021, Stone and Parker both signed a whopping $900 million deal with ViacomCBS. Adding major buzz to this record-breaking moment, they signed on to make six more seasons of South Park and 14 streamable movies.

Read More: The ‘South Park’ Guys Just Became the Most Successful Showrunners in TV History

Matt Groening

"The Simpsons" creator Matt Groening attends "The Simpsons" 30th Anniversary celebration during the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival at BMCC

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that the executive producer of The Simpsons made the list of richest comedians. Coming in fourth, Matt Groening has an estimated net worth of $600 million. And sure, Groening has made a pretty penny off of well-received projects like Life in Hell and Futurama, but most of his earnings and accolades are thanks to The Simpsons.

To this day, the beloved cartoon comedy remains the longest-running U.S. primetime-television series in history. It’s also the longest-running animated series ever. Groening has 13 Primetime Emmy Awards under his comedic belt as well. Not too shabby, right?

Read More: How ‘The Simpsons’ Changed Since Its 1987 Premiere

Trey Parker

Matt Stone, Trey Parker at the 2012 BAFTA LA Britannia Awards, Beverly Hilton, Beverly Hills,

Trailing closely behind his longtime creative partner in crime, Trey Parker has an estimated net worth of $600 million. And as you likely guessed, most of that money comes from South Park, which continues to be the Comedy Central cash cow that just keeps on giving.

However, it’s worth noting that this dynamic comedy duo has creatively branched out on occasion as well. Stone and Parker famously collaborated on The Book of Mormon, a successful Broadway show that earned them four coveted Tonys and even a Grammy. Still, nothing compares to Parker’s work on the animated powerhouse that is South Park, which claimed five Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Comedy.

Ellen Degeneres

Ellen in 2019

The only female comedian to make the cut, Ellen Degeneres rightfully snags the sixth spot. Her estimated net worth is currently believed to be upward of $500 million. During the 1980s, Ellen began her career as a stand-up comedian before giving onscreen acting a try in the 1990s. Her sitcom Ellen went on to be a game-changer in more ways than one, earner her Prime Time Emmys, People’s Choice Awards, and a GLADD Award for Oustanding comedy.

After debuting her syndicated television talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, in 2003, it seemed not even the sky was the limit. At one point, the incredibly popular talk show boasted almost 3 million viewers on average. In 2018, Forbes ranked De Generes as the 15th highest-paid entertainer in the world. She’s also been named one of the most powerful women in the world on more than one occasion.

Read More: Ellen DeGeneres to End Daytime Talk Show — Why She’s Stepping Away

Jay Leno

close up of Jay Leno

If we’ve learned anything from this list, it’s that being an American television host is not a bad way to make a living. Jay Leno remains one of the most recognizable names in talk show history. He’s forever most famous for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, of course.

Leno’s current net worth is estimated to be $450 million. Long before he hit it big with late-night television, Jay earned his keep as a standup comedian and budding actor. However, it wasn’t until this comedian became an endlessly adored host with four million viewers that he secured his jaw-dropping fortune.

In numerous interviews, Leno has confirmed that he’s never actually touched his Tonight Show fortune and confirmed rumors he once took a $15 million pay cut to save his crew.

Byron Allen

Byron Allen at the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards at the Santa Monica Beach

Today, Byron Allen is the head of Entertainment Studios. But this TV tycoon began his career in stand-up when he was just 14. Determined to make his mainstream mark, the prominent businessman/comedian worked his way up by performing on amateur nights at various comedy clubs in Los Angeles.

When Jimmie Walker invited him to join a comedy writing team alongside Jay Leno and David Letterman, his career in comedy skyrocketed His first big gig was on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. From there, Allen headlined his own show, Kickin’ It with Byron Allen, which debuted in 1992 and went on to have a 21 season run. Today, he’s one of the biggest names in comedy, especially on the business end. His net worth is currently estimated to be $450 million.

David Letterman

David Letterman arrives at the Statue Of Liberty Museum Opening Celebration at Battery Park

He may no longer be the host with the most, but David Letterman has an estimated net worth of $400 million. Like so many comedians on this list, the legendary American television host began his comedic career working the stand-up circuit before trying his bravado at broadcasting, working as a radio newscaster before finally landing his biggest and most bankable gig to date.

While hosting late-night talk shows for over 33 years, Letterman was reportedly raking in $14 million in a single year. Reportedly, he earned around $40million in 2007. His current salary sits pretty at $50 million. Letterman has also won a plethora of prestigious awards, including 12 Emmy awards, 4fourAmerican Comedy Awards, and the first-ever Johnny Carson Award for Comedic Excellence at The Comedy Awards.

Read More: The 5 Best Sketch Shows to Watch on Streaming Right Now