Laughter, it turns out, is more than just the best medicine for whatever is ailing you. It is also one incredible way to make a living. Each of the individuals who check in on the list of the 10 highest paid comedians for 2015 will, per the information that was produced by Forbes in October, make at least $7 million over the past year. Every one of the spots in the top 10 are occupied by men, and the majority of those comedians are probably recognizable to even casual fans who do not regularly watch stand-up routines that are featured on stations such as Comedy Central and HBO.
The man who begins the list of the highest paid comedians for 2015 is a television star from a previous time, a brilliant talent who is once again looking to cement his status in the industry and also expand his brand. It should not be much of a surprise to anybody who has followed the world of entertainment to learn who is atop the list of the highest paid comedians. He manages to make headlines whenever he performs at a venue, produces a new segment for his online show, or attends a New York Mets playoff game. It also doesn’t hurt his cause that reruns of his famous television show are probably airing somewhere in the world as you are reading this sentence.
10. Dave Chappelle: $7.5 Million
While he had become known for the movie roles that he had played during his career, Dave Chappelle went from being just another comedian/actor to a massive star with the launch of Chappelle’s Show. Then, it was over. Chappelle decided to move on from that part of his life, and fans were left stunned and wondering what had happened. The comedian is now back at it, and he is making millions of dollars off of his work. Chappelle will, per the Forbes story, have a part in the Spike Lee movie Chiraq. That movie is set to be released at some point in 2016.
9. John Bishop: $8 Million
Perhaps somewhere out there in the cosmos exists an alternate universe where John Bishop is living the dream and working as a professional footballer. Then again, the avid fan of the sport is doing just fine for himself as a comedian. The British entertainer actually makes more money than what is earned by many professional soccer players on a yearly basis. Along with being one of the most successful comedians in the world, Bishop is also known for his charity work. He has, in the past, raised money for the Sport Relief cause. Bishop has also participated in charity football/soccer matches.
8. Gabriel Iglesias: $8.5 Million
The big man who is affectionately known as “Fluffy” by fans and by others in the industry also happens to possess a big bank account. Gabriel Iglesias makes as much money as he does each year, per the Forbes story, because of his tour schedule. Iglesias has had 87 such stops, according to Forbes, over the past year. Along with being known for his comedic genius, Iglesias is also recognizable because of his size. He has, to his credit, taken steps to get healthier. He is one of the famous names to be associated with the yoga program that was created by former pro wrestling Diamond Dallas Page.
7. Louis C.K.: $9 Million
Truth be told, it would have been understandable if you believed that Louis C.K. made more than $9 million over the Forbes scoring period. Louis has been so successful over the years that he is able to take a break/hiatus from his popular television show without having to worry about losing the time slot or money. He also, per the Forbes story, has a deal with Netflix. Those who are fans of his television show but who have never checked out a Louis stand-up routine should locate one of his shows whenever an opportunity arises. We promise you that you will not be disappointed.
6. Aziz Ansari: $9.5 Million
As do many successful comedians, Aziz Ansari has done well to turn hit routines into an acting career that has allowed him to make millions of dollars a year. Ansari once had a brief stint working on the show Scrubs, but he is mostly known as playing the character Tom Haverford on the cult classic show Parks and Recreation. Along with the projects that he has had, Ansari has branched out to writing a book. Modern Romance, the name of his creation, has already been a wise career move. According to the Forbes story, Ansari received “an advance in the seven-figures” for that book.
5. Russell Peters: $19 Million
Russell Peters has, during his career, proven that he is capable of attracting thousands upon thousands of people to venues for his shows. He is also one of the highest paid comedians for 2015 because of his part in a television show. Peters has served as a judge for the NBC program Last Comic Standing. It has not all been great times for Peters over the years. Fellow comedian Gina Yashere has accused Peters of blatantly stealing and using her material during shows. Yashere not only wants the credit for the jokes that Peters allegedly took. She would also like to be paid.
4. Jeff Dunham: $19 Million
There is a perception had by some outsiders that an entertainer is either “giving up” or not as popular as he was before if he settles for working in Las Vegas. Jeff Dunham is but one of several comedians who would direct people with such hot takes to examine his bank account. Dunham, fourth on the list of the highest paid comedians for 2015, has been working shows at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Vegas over the past year. That work has been worth quite a bit of money for Dunham. Making millions of dollars without being forced to tour all around the United States is a life plenty of comedians would happily accept.
3. Terry Fator: $21 Million
It does not seem like it was all that long ago when Terry Fator was a relatively unknown comedian among people who do not actively follow the industry. That all changed, though, when Fator won the America’s Got Talent competition. Fator has since, like Dunham, found a home working in Las Vegas. The comedian and entertainer is, per the Forbes story, paid around $20 million a year off of his deal with The Mirage hotel and casino. Like other comedians mentioned in this piece, Fator has been involved with multiple charity organizations. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is just one cause that has been near to Fator’s heart.
2. Kevin Hart: $28.5 Million
It is inaccurate to claim that Kevin Hart is merely a comedian who is paid millions of dollars because of his jokes. Yes, Hart has been able to fill arenas when he has performed routines. Hart is now a legitimate movie star who draws crowds to theaters. His recent projects include Ride Along, Think Like a Man Too, The Wedding Ringer, and Get Hard. Hart is scheduled to take part in multiple movies in the near future, and one would have to expect that those films will do well. They will also help Hart remain one of the highest paid comedians in the world for the foreseeable future.
1. Jerry Seinfeld: $36 Million
Jerry Seinfeld continues to be the king atop the mountain as it pertains to the amount of money comedians make each year. The Seinfeld program generates huge revenues through syndication. Hulu, according to the Forbes story, paid $160 million for the streaming rights to the show. Seinfeld would make millions of dollars a year just off of his past, and he earns even more income through tours and from his online show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. It is difficult to imagine that Seinfeld will not be the highest paid comedian in the world anytime soon. To think that his success comes from a show that was supposedly about nothing.