Who Is the World’s Richest Comedian?
When the world’s fiftieth richest comedian is Dave Chappelle, with a reported net worth of $60 million, you know that making people laugh is big business. Wealthy Gorilla recently compiled a list of the world’s wealthiest comics and while we’ll take this ranking with a healthy grain of salt (like many celebrity net worth websites, WG doesn’t exactly say how it arrived at its figures), let’s assume that the top ten are swimming in pools full of gold coins, Scrooge McDuck-style.
Bill Cosby: $400 million
Anyone else suspicious that this estimate might be too high considering all of Cosby’s legal fees? Sure, The Cosby Show was a phenomenon, with the comic raking in $1 million per episode plus 20% of the syndication bucks. But no one is rerunning Cosby these days — or in the future.
Adam Sandler: $420 million
Netflix has committed millions for Sandler to make as many Hubie Halloweens as he wants.
Kevin Hart: $450 million
Besides raking in the cash with arena-filling comedy tours, Hart profits from his own underwear line, his comedy streaming service Laugh Out Loud, and his growing chain of very, very, delicious vegan Hart House restaurants.
Jay Leno: $450 million
The cars alone have to be worth a couple hundred mill.
Byron Allen: $450 million
Probably the most “Huh?” entry on this list, but real comedy nerds know that Allen turned a semi-successful stand-up career into a show biz empire. Can any other comic on this list say, “I own the Weather Channel”?
Ellen DeGeneres: $500 million
This is what that sweet syndication cash can do for you. The Ellen DeGeneres Show lasted for 19 seasons, paying her about $50 million per year. Yeah, we’d be dancing too.
Trey Parker: $600 million
Thus begins our animation run, with South Park co-creator Parker. Back in the early days of streaming, Parker and Matt Stone cut a 50-50 deal with Comedy Central on “digital rights.” Neither side likely knew what a serious cash cow that would be.
Matt Groening: $600 million
At least Stone and Parker play an active role in the ongoing production of South Park. While Groening deserves his millions for cooking up The Simpsons, these days, he mainly shows up in the credits as “Created By.”
Matt Stone: $700 million
Why is South Park’s Stone worth a full $100 million more than co-creator Parker? Sounds like somebody made some shrewd real estate investments.
Jerry Seinfeld: $950 million
And it isn’t even close. Seinfeld may well be the last beneficiary of the Ultrarich Sitcom Syndication Deal. In 2019, Netflix paid $500 million for Seinfeld digital rights — for only five years. If you’re a comedian in a car with Jerry, make him pay for the coffee.