Every year Forbes announces the highest earners in a number of categories. This week, Forbes rolled out the highest paid men and women –well make that men– working in the field of comedy. According to Forbes, these ten comedians alone generated over 166 million dollars and that’s just this year.
Jerry Seinfeld hit the top of the list, and although his Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is a highly successful web series, it’s still his Seinfeld earnings responsible for him being at the top of the list. It was particularly helpful that Hulu purchased the rights to every Seinfeld episode this year but with a estimated 36 million dollar year, Jerry could have hibernated through 2015 and still made this list. Kevin Hart came in at #2 on the list, and shattered attendance records across the country with the What Now Tour, an all-arena tour that included Philly’s Lincoln Financial Stadium (where the Eagles play) making him the first comedian to ever play a football stadium. He also kept making movies, and did a giant ad campaign with David Beckham for H&M. Must be why Trevor Noah picked him as the first guest to kick off the new era of The Daily Show. He earned a reported $28.5 million in 2015. Terry Fator may not be a household name like Hart, but grabbed spot #3 with Forbes reporting his annual take at 21.5, and he only has to do one thing to earn most of it– show up at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. You might remember Fator as the ventriloquist act that won Season Two of America’s Got Talent in 2007. Another ventriloquism act shows up at #4 proving everyone is in the wrong business. Jeff Dunham earns $19 million a year according to Forbes, also with a stint in Vegas– his as Planet Hollywood. He ties with Russell Peters. Forbes says his turn as a judge on Last Comic Standing helped him to the #4 spot on the list, but the world wide gigantic “Almost Famous” Tour must have helped quite a bit.
Rounding out the top ten are Aziz Ansari, Louis C.K., Gabriel Iglesias, U.K. comic John Bishop, and Dave Chappelle, all earning between 7 and 10 million this year, primarily from stand up combined with tv or film projects. No women on the list this year, but with a gigantic book deal, a huge raise in her movie asking price and highly successful Comedy Central Show, we think we can guess who might be on the list next year.