Charlie Chaplin once said that a day without laughter is a day wasted, and it looks as if a lot of people are (literally) buying it. Between June 1, 2015 and June 1, 2016, the world’s top-paid comedians made a combined $233.5 million, before management fees and taxes. Figures are based on data from Nielsen, Pollstar, Box Office Mojo and IMDB, as well as interviews with agents, managers and lawyers.
10. John Bishop
- Earnings: $7 million
- Across the Atlantic, John Bishop commands high prices and draws big crowds for his stand-up gigs, and those who don’t go live are willing to pay up to catch them online or DVD.
9. Russell Peters
- Earnings: $9 million
- Russell Peters has toured all over the world, even making pit stops in the Middle East to do private shows for Saudi princes. At private gigs, he is known to even drop the mic and take a spin in the DJ booth
8. Gabriel Iglesias
- Earnings: $9.5 million
- With over 100 shows in the 12 month period, Fluffy, as Gabriel Iglesias is known to his fans, takes home most of his money from live shows. But for those who can’t get enough, they can catch his reality show, Fluffy Breaks Even, on TV.
7. Jim Gaffigan
- Earnings: $12.5 million
- Jim Gaffigan’s traveled the world on tour this past year, and it paid off. When not on stage, he was busy playing Colonel Sanders as the new face of KFC.
6. Dave Chappelle
- Earnings: $13 million
- A decade may have passed since his show was on air, but Dave Chappelle is still telling jokes. He went on a big tour last year and acted in his first film, Chi-Raq, in over 10 years.
5. Jeff Dunham
- Earnings: $13.5 million
- With a residency at Las Vegas’ Planet Hollywood and over 50 shows on the road, fans are not getting tired of seeing the ventriloquist perform live.
4. Amy Schumer
- Earnings: $17 million
- Amy Schumer is the first ever female comic to make the list, and she did so with gusto: pulling in earnings from her $8 million book deal, Inside Amy Schumer, a superbowl commercial for Budlight and her starring role in Trainwreck.
3. Terry Fator
- Earnings: $21 million
- Thanks to a massive deal with the the Mirage in Las Vegas, Terry Fator is a mainstay of the comedians list. But with that making the overwhelming bulk of his earnings, it is yet to see if he will stay on top once the deal ends this year.
2. Jerry Seinfeld
- Earnings: $43.5 million
- For this comedian, Seinfeld is the gift that keeps on giving: Jerry’s namesake show–for which he holds a hefty chunk of the rights–still earns him millions each year in syndication, especially now with a massive new Hulu deal. Yet Seinfeld continues to tour, and his web series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, was recently renewed for a ninth season.
1. Kevin Hart
- Earnings: $87.5 million
- Kevin Hart–the first comedian to ever make more than Jerry Seinfeld–has changed the economy of the funny business by touring like a rockstar. Unlike most comedians, Hart plays stadiums and arenas–over 100 in the past year–and manages to fill them up, grossing an average of over $1 million at each stop.
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