Humans throughout history have always loved laughter. The enjoyment and relaxation that can come from a nice good belly laugh is absolutely timeless and can't be beat. That's why its no surprise that comedians, whose jobs are strictly to make people laugh, can make some serious money. Although the comedy industry in general is fickle, the ones who do make it in the business can become successful to the point of worldwide fame and millions of dollars. From talk shows to cartoons to sitcoms, comedy is one of the most popular genres of television, and it seems like comedians who manage to land a TV show are the ones who see the most success. Here are the ten richest comedians as of 2019.
10 Seth MacFarlane - $250 Million
Seth MacFarlane does it all -- acting, filmmaking, animating, comedy, and even singing. He shot to stardom with the massive success of the cartoon Family Guy, which he created. He also went on to create the show The Orville as well as co-create the shows American Dad! and The Cleveland Show. As far as films go, Seth is a triple threat, serving as director, writer, and star of his hit movies Ted, Ted 2, and A Million Ways to Die in the West. He's also released five Sinatra-esque albums. As of 2019, his net worth is $250 million.
9 Jay Leno - $350 Million
Jay Leno started his comedy career doing stand-up, but quickly became a household name when he began hosting The Tonight Show With Jay Leno in 1992. He went on to host The Tonight Show until 2009, where he decided to leave to launch his new show The Jay Leno Show. After that project was cancelled, he controversially returned to The Tonight Show where he remained until 2014. Now, he hosts the show Jay Leno's Garage and is a cast member on the sitcom Last Man Standing. As of 2019, his net worth is $350 million.
8 David Letterman - $400 Million
David Letterman is considered the king of talk shows, as he's hosted them for over three decades now. He started with Late Night with David Letterman in 1982. After hosting a whopping 6,080 episodes over the years, he finally ended his run on the show in 2015. Now, he serves as a host for the Netflix series My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman.
In addition to his hosting, Letterman is a producer. His production company, Worldwide Pants Inc., produced many shows over the years such as the highly successful Everybody Loves Raymond. As of 2019, his net worth is $400 million.
7 Byron Allen - $400 Million
Byron Allen started doing stand-up comedy when he was only 14-years-old and made his way through the ranks as a comedy writer until he was hired as a presenter for the show Real People. He went on to have his own show, Kickin' It With Byron Allen, which debuted in 1992. In 1993, he founded Entertainment Studios, which now operates various digital cable and satellite channels and distributes many highly successful TV shows. While Byron Allen's sense of humor got his foot in the door, it was ultimately his business-savvy that got him on this list. As of 2019, his net worth is $400 million.
6 Larry David - $400 Million
Larry David is a comedian, writer, actor, and producer who is best recognized for co-creating the sitcom Seinfeld. He served as the head writer and producer of the show for the first seven seasons and then saw even more success after creating the show Curb Your Enthusiasm, which he stars in as a fictionalized version of himself. He has won an Emmy award for his work on Seinfeld and is very much respected in his field, with his fellow comedians even voting for him as number 23 of the greatest comedy stars ever in a poll to select The Comedian's Comedian. As of 2019, his net worth is $400 million.
5 Ellen DeGeneres - $450 Million
Ellen DeGeneres started doing stand-up comedy the 1980's before starring in her own sitcoms, Ellen from 1994 to 1998 and The Ellen Show from 2001 to 2002. Ellen has unarguably earned her most success from her hit talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which debuted in 2003 and is still airing to this day.
Not only has she hosted the Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, and the Primetime Emmy's, she's also launched a lifestyle brand. In addition, Ellen has also written four books as well as started her own record company and production company. As of 2019, her net worth is $450 million.
4 Matt Stone - $500 Million
Matt Stone is an animator, producer, screenwriter, actor, and composer. He is best known for co-creating his hit cartoon South Park, which premiered in 1997. South Park's success has formed a franchise of sorts with a movie, music, video games, and other merchandise. Matt also co-created the highly successful musical The Book of Mormon. The success of South Park has earned him five Primetime Emmy Awards, and the success of The Book of Mormon garnered him three Tony awards and one Grammy award. As of 2019, his net worth is $500 million.
3 Trey Parker - $500 Million
Trey Parker is the co-creator of South Park and The Book of Mormon alongside Matt Stone. The comedy duo teamed up after meeting at the University of Colorado Boulder, and the two have been creative partners ever since. The pairing has also worked together on projects such as Cannibal! The Musical and Team America: World Police. They've also opened their own production studio called Important Studios. Like his business partner Matt Stone, he has five Emmy awards, three Tony awards, one Grammy award, and a net worth of $500 million as of 2019.
2 Matt Groening - $500 Million
Matt Groening became one of the richest comedians in the world after creating the massively successful cartoon The Simpsons. It first premiered in 1989 and still airs to this day, making it the longest-running U.S. primetime-television series in history and the longest-running U.S. animated series and sitcom. Groening also co-created the cartoon Futurama. His most recent project is the Netflix show Disenchantment, which debuted in 2018. With The Simpsons cementing its place in pop culture history and evolving into a franchise, its no wonder that Matt Groening's net worth as of 2019 is $500 million.
1 Jerry Seinfeld - $950 Million
Jerry Seinfeld can credit most of his success to the hit sitcom Seinfeld, which he co-created and starred in. The show ran from 1989 to 1998. He also does stand-up comedy, and in 2005 was named the 12th Greatest Stand-up Comedian of All Time by Comedy Central. He starred on the show The Marriage Ref for two seasons and currently hosts the web show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. The money he makes from the syndication of the record-breaking phenomenon Seinfeld, however, is what got him to almost-billionaire status. As of 2019, his net worth is $950 million.