These are the 15 highest-paid comedians

Comedy is not a great career path.

What’s so bad about it? The hours are insane, the pay is generally lousy, and rejection is hard-baked into the experience. Like most creative industries (see music or acting for reference), comedy is full of talented people striving for success — which may or may not mean you can pay the rent with your skills. But the ones who do strike it big can strike it awfully big.

Below are 15 of the richest comics—not necessarily the ones who made the most money in the last year or two, but ones who’ve managed, over their long careers, to turn other people’s laughter into multi-million-dollar fortunes.

Jerry Seinfeld

Seinfeld’s wealth is legendary, to the point where making fun of it has become an entire sub-genre in itself. Of course, he earned most of his current estimated $950 million off of the self-titled sitcom he created with fellow well-off funny guy Larry David, but that hasn’t stopped him from continuing to work like a man living paycheck-to-paycheck, from filming new episodes of Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee to developing fresh stand-up sets every year.

Jerry and Julia Get Coffee

Trey Parker and Matt Stone

With a comedy oeuvre that spans animation (South Park), puppetry (Team America: World Police) and musical theater (The Book of Mormon), Trey Parker and Matt Stone prove that the arty kids in high school can strike it rich. As of 2021, Parker and Stone are worth $600 million and $700 million respectively.

Matt Groening

The acclaimed cartoonist and writer created The Simpsons back in 1989, then launched Futurama ten years later. Though Futurama lasted “only” a respectable 10 seasons, The Simpsons is still going strong 33 seasons later. Taken together, the two series have helped earn their creator over $600 million, according to the latest estimates by

Matt Groening on The Simpsons and Futurama

Ellen Degeneres

Though she’s retiring her daytime talk show, Ellen has no immediate need to start economizing. After 19 years as one of the most popular hosts on TV, her net worth is estimated at $500 million.

Byron Allen

Byron Allen started his career in comedy, but it’s really as a businessman that he’s made his mark, when he founded television production company Entertainment Studios. In addition to producing numerous TV shows such as “America’s Court with Judge Ross” and “Comics Unleashed,” Allen’s company owns The Weather Channel and Fox Sports, making him a player in the world’s sports and news. His current estimated worth is $450 million.

Jay Leno

The former host of The Tonight Show has been keeping busy with film production and TV appearances. His current net worth of $450 million includes a warehouse full of vintage cars that he regularly visits on Jay Leno’s Garage on CNBC.

David Letterman

Though he left late night back in 2015, David Letterman kept working—mainly on his retirement beard. Luckily for his grooming budget, 35 years as the most inventive late-night talk show host ever has left him with a net worth of roughly $400 million. That’ll buy you plenty of mustache wax.

Larry David

The co-creator of Seinfeld and the mastermind behind Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David hasn’t let his reported $400 million bank account blunt his perpetual dissatisfaction with the world. He’s living proof that riches don’t mean much if your scone is too soft, or your lawyer “Berg” is not, in fact, Jewish

Kevin Hart

Perhaps the hardest working man in comedy—if you judge by his number of talk show appearances alone—Kevin Hart’s seemingly limitless energy translates into big bucks. His frequent work as a film star and TV personality, combined with many a behind-the-scenes role as film and television producer, have earned him just north of $200 million. 


Steve Harvey 

Steve Harvey might work even harder than Kevin Hart, but his smooth manner makes it seem effortless. As a producer, motivational speaker, morning radio personality, and the star of a slew of TV shows, from Family Feud to the upcoming Judge Steve Harvey, the veteran standup is regularly adding to his estimated $200 million net worth.

Drew Carey

The one-time star of The Drew Carey Show and Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Drew Carey landed the ultimate game-show hosting gig when he took over at The Price is Right in 2007. Carey’s been at it ever since—and with an estimated $165 million in the bank, he can certainly afford to buy his own luggage sets and patio furniture.

Sacha Baron-Cohen

Sacha Baron-Cohen continues to prove that “just be yourself” is terrible advice. He’s earned close to $160 million by pretending to be an amateur British rapper (Ali-G); a gay German fashion presenter (Bruno); a Middle Eastern Dictator (General Aladeen); and, most famously, the incredibly clueless Kazakhstani journalist Borat. 

Borat Tech Store Scene

Conan O’Brien

What was true in 2011 is still true today: Conan O’Brien can’t stop. Though he drew his career as a late-night host to a close in 2021, he has been expanding his role as a podcast mogul. His company Team Coco currently produces 16 shows, including the wildly popular Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend. His upcoming series for HBOMax will mark a return to TV and will no doubt add to his current net worth of around $150 million.

Jon Stewart

The veteran comedian retired in 2015 — after 17 years behind the desk at The Daily Show with John Stewart. He’s now returned with a new Apple TV show called The Problem with Jon Stewart. We are fairly sure it isn’t about his finances, which don’t seem to be having any problems at all. His 2021 worth is estimated at $120 million.