Comedians in cars getting paid! Seinfeld tops Forbes list of best-paid comedians

Even 17 years after the end of his popular sitcom Seinfeld, comedian Jerry Seinfeld remains the top-paid comedian in the world, according to Forbes’ comprehensive list.

Forbes reports Seinfeld’s income as a whopping $36 million from the one-year period from June 2014 to June 2015. Much of that still comes from Seinfeld, following Hulu’s $160 million deal to acquire streaming rights for the popular ‘90s show. But his Crackle series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, where Seinfeld drives in various vehicles chatting it up with a random selection of other actors and comedians, has also helped boost his pay. And Seinfeld’s standup act is still alive and well, further padding his pockets.

Here’s who else made up the top 10:

Kevin Hart ranked second, impressively not far behind at $28.5 million. This is thanks to a steady stream of movies from the funnyman, including Think Like a Man Too, Get Hard, and The Wedding Ringer. Hart also held an arena tour this year that sold out through venues around the world with a total of 48 shows through the measuring period. This is marked jump for the pint-sized comic, given that he only ranked sixth for 2013.

Ventriloquist Terry Fator, who has a successful show in Vegas following his win on the second season of America’s Got Talent, ranked third at $21.5 million. Factor continues to headline at the Mirage hotel, and appeared on the most recent season of America’s Got Talent to perform with Paul Zerdin, who became the second ventriloquist to win the series behind Fator.

Jeff Dunham, another ventriloquist and stand-up comedian, tied Canadian comedian Russell Peters for fourth. Dunham has had six special that ran on Comedy Central. The sixth premiered at the end of 2014, and the latest, Unhinged in Hollywood, premiered this past September. Like Fator, he also has a residency in Vegas. Peters, meanwhile, boosted his bottom line with a judging gig on NBC’s Last Comic Standing, though he was replaced by Norm Macdonald for the latest season. He also had a comedy special on Netflix.

At $9.5 million is Aziz Ansari, who can thank Parks and Recreation for much of the income, along with a reported seven-figure advance for his upcoming book Modern Romance that discusses dating in the 21st century as a millennial. Ansari also had a special on Netflix.


Louis C.K. ranked seventh at $9 million, thanks to his FX series Louis, as well as a comedy special exclusive on Netflix. He also held the fifth spot in the 2013 rankings, but was at a larger $16 million at that time.

At $8.5 million and eighth spot is Gabriel Iglesias who, along with a comedy tour, also starred in the box office hit movie Magic Mike XXL. The comedian, known comically as “Fluffy,” ranked ninth in 2013, but at a higher income of $11 million.

John Bishop, an English comedian, was at $8 million. Part of that income hailed from a BBC Christmas special, along with John Bishop’s Australia, a docuseries he did for the same network.

Perhaps surprisingly, Dave Chapelle, who disappeared from the comedy scene for some time, is clearly making a lucrative comeback with a reported $7.5 million, rounding out the top 10. This is thanks to his first big tour in years, which has clearly shown that viewers still love him.

Related: Tracy Morgan to launch comedy comeback with new stand-up tour

Missing from the list is Larry the Cable Guy, who held the number-seven slot in 2013, George Lopez who was eighth, and Daniel Tosh, who was ninth at that time. Also noticeably absent is current “it” girl comedian Amy Schumer, not to mention any females, period. It’s a safe bet, however, that Schumer will make the list next year, possibly alongside Tracy Morgan, who is embarking on a major comeback following his serious car accident with several comedy ventures, including a standup tour, FXX series, and a movie appearance in Ice Cube’s latest flick.

The results calculate earnings predominantly from ticket sales, minus management fees and taxes.

Movies & TV

How Avengers: Infinity War’s Oscar-nominated VFX team made Thanos a movie star

The purple-skinned Thanos proved to be a breakout character in Avengers: Infinity War, thanks to the work of actor Josh Brolin and visual effects studios Digital Domain and Weta. Here's how they brought him to life and earned the film an…

Nvidia promises DLSS at low resolutions will be ‘top priority’ in future updates

Nvidia's deep learning super sampling needs work. Gamers know it and now we know Nvidia knows it too. The company made it clear on the technology's FAQ page that it plans to make fixing DLSS a top priority.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this winter with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Legion'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Norsemen’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.

Alita: Battle Angel’s big opening weekend leads weak holiday box office

New box-office champion Alita: Battle Angel outperformed expectations with its big premiere and positive reviews from critics, but Presidents' Day weekend is still off to a slow start.
Movies & TV

Why First Man’s Oscar-nominated visual effects are a giant leap for filmmaking

Paul Lambert, the award-winning visual effects supervisor on First Man, reveals the innovative techniques that blended old footage with modern movie magic to make the Apollo 11 mission to the moon resonate with audiences 50 years later and…

FA Cup: Watch Chelsea vs. Manchester United with ESPN Plus 7-day free trial

Chelsea and Manchester United are facing off in an exciting FA Cup match, with the fifth round - a tie match - slated for Monday. Die-hard fans of English football can stream the game anywhere at any time with ESPN Plus, and here's how to…
Movies & TV

Netflix completes its breakup with Marvel, cancels The Punisher, Jessica Jones

Two of Netflix's last-remaining Marvel shows have been canceled by the video streaming service. The Punisher is done after two seasons and Jessica Jones will be finished after its still-unreleased third season.
Movies & TV

Bill and Ted 3 celebrates the franchise's 30th birthday with excellent teaser

As the Bill and Ted franchise turns 30, a third installment that the cast and creative team call Bill and Ted Face the Music is officially in preproduction, though there are big hurdles to overcome.
Movies & TV

Amazon's Lord of the Rings series gets an interactive map of Middle-earth

Amazon Studios is betting big on its Lord of the Rings prequel series, which has a multiseason commitment and a budget of more than $1 billion. The series' first season will arrive by 2021.
Movies & TV

Here’s how to watch the 2019 Oscars livestream online

The 91st Academy Awards will air live on ABC, but there are also a number of ways to watch Hollywood's biggest night online using your mobile device, desktop, or set-top streamer. Here's how to catch the Oscars livestream.
Home Theater

Amazon ups the ante with Netflix, aims to release up to 30 movies a year

Netflix has a huge budget for both licensed and original content. But Amazon Studios isn't far behind. Studio chief Jennifer Salke revealed a plan to do 30 theatrical and direct-to-Amazon Prime titles this year alone.
Movies & TV

To drive its giant virtual world, Ready Player One needed a custom A.I. engine

Steven Spielberg and a visual effects team led by Roger Goyett built a new, virtual universe populated by a host of familiar characters for the Oscar-nominated Ready Player One, but they still had to maintain a powerful emotional depth in…