Altogether earn $272 million: 10 best-paid comedians of the year

It is common knowledge that movie stars or world-famous musicians are in it. But there is also a lot to earn from comedy, according to the annual list of business magazine Forbes.

The 10 best-paid comedians together earned around $272 million. But to whom did the most millions flow?

10. Aziz Ansari – $13 million

Thanks to the success of the popular series ‘Parks and Recreation’ and it’s Golden Globe-winning series ‘Master of None’, Aziz Ansari has done well.

Altogether earn $272 million: 10 best-paid comedians of the year
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

This year the 36-year-old comedian hopes to further expand his empire with his new Netflix special “Aziz Ansari: Right Now” and a tour through North America, which will stop at 28 locations.

9. Jeff Dunham – $15 million

Belly speaker Jeff Dunham – who was at the top of this list in 2010 – has been on the stage for 11 years now. In 2017, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame, the second belly speaker ever to receive that honour.


Last year alone, the 57-year-old comedian gave no fewer than 99 shows, which earned him 466,000 euros per show. The sale of his official merchandise also generates a lot of income.

8. Terry Fator – $17 million

Terry Fator has come a long way since he managed to win season 2 of ‘America’s Got Talent’ in 2007. The 54-year-old belly speaker has been giving shows at The Mirage hotel in Las Vegas for the past 10 years.

Altogether earn $272 million: 10 best-paid comedians of the year

“I bought a very cheap doll and started practising for hours every day,” said Fator. “I soon played for church groups and talent shows, and since then, I have not stopped.”

7. Amy Schumer – $21 million

Amy Schumer is the only woman to reach the Top 10. The 38-year-old received a lot of money, thanks to her American tour and the Netflix special “Amy Schumer: Growing.”

Only two weeks after the birth of her first child in May this year, Schumer was already on stage again. That also caused the cash register to ring again.

6. Gabriel Iglesias – $22 million

Gabriel Iglesias – also known for his nickname Fluffy – is one of the most viewed comedians on YouTube, with no less than 365,000,000 views on his channel. It is mainly thanks to the big deal he concluded with Netflix last year that he will be on the Forbes list.

Altogether earn $272 million: 10 best-paid comedians of the year

The 43-year-old Gabriel has signed for a three-part project, consisting of two stand-up specials and the comedy series ‘Mr Iglesias’.

5. Sebastian Maniscalco – $26 million

Not bad for someone who first appeared in bowling alleys as a comedian. Sebastian Maniscalco’s first Netflix special “Stay Hungry” premiered in January and now, eight months later, he is back with a new show.

Altogether earn $272 million: 10 best-paid comedians of the year

Unlike many comedians, 46-year-old Sebastian is also an excellent negotiator: he takes home most of all income after every performance.

4. Trevor Noah – $28 million

Although TV faces like Trevor Noah are generally on a separate Forbes list, the presenter of “The Daily Show” earned most of his income with stand-up.


During the past year, 35-year-old Trevor started a tour around the world, which has stopped in 70 places. He also released his Netflix special ‘Trevor Noah: Son of Patricia’.

3. Jim Gaffigan – $30 million

Jim Gaffigan came on the list thanks to his inventive method. Instead of broadcasting his comedy special ‘Noble Ape’ only on Netflix, Gaffigan made his show available for renting, buying and streaming on just about all platforms and devices.

Altogether earn $272 million: 10 best-paid comedians of the year

The result? A well-filled bank account. “In the entertainment industry, every house is made of ice, and they are melting,” he told Forbes. “So you better build a new house yourself.”

2. Jerry Seinfeld – $41 million

According to Forbes, Jerry Seinfeld was the most frequently paid comedian in recent years, but the revenues of the King of Comedy fell considerably this year.

Altogether earn $272 million: 10 best-paid comedians of the year
©Getty – American comedian Jerry Seinfeld.

He earned $57.5 million in 2018. But given that streaming service Hulu still pays him rights for the retransmissions of ‘Seinfeld’, the bill of 65-year-old Jerry is far from in the red.

1. Kevin Hart – $59 million

Kevin Hart is number one on the Forbes list for the second time. He was also the best-paid comedian of the year in 2016. Major sponsor deals with brands such as Mountain Dew and the American bank Chase secured the coveted first place. His Netflix special “Kevin Hart: Irresponsible” and his worldwide tour also boosted his income.

Altogether earn $272 million: 10 best-paid comedians of the year

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