These Are The Highest-Earning Stand-Up Comedians Of 2019

22 August 2019
Highest-Earning, Stand-Up Comedians, Comedy, Kevin Hart, Jerry Seinfeld

Because laughs don’t come cheap

Given the fact that reading the news these days is like shooting wasabi straight into the eyeball, it’s no surprise that we’re in desperate need of some laughs – even a chuckle just to ease the tension. And if ever there were proof of just how lucrative the comedy business is today, just take a geez at the recent list from Forbes of the highest-paid stand-up comedians for 2019.

The top-earning comics brought in US$272m for 2019, a lucrative sum that was spearheaded by the top-earning comedian, Kevin Hart. He may have found himself embroiled in a controversy surrounding homophobic comments he made years prior – a saga which also saw him turn down the role of hosting the Oscars for 2019 – but Hart’s supporters haven’t shied away from showing the funny man some love.

A global stadium tour proved incredibly lucrative, while his sponsorships with brands like Mountain Dew and Chase along with a Netflix special, all saw him rake in US$59 million between June 1, 2018 and June 1, 2019. In an interview with Forbes last year, Hart said: “Nothing is ever going to beat touring,” adding, “It’s an entity that I own and control.”

The long-standing OG of comedy and man who brought the world some of the most iconic TV moments, Mr. Jerry Seinfeld, took out the second spot on the list. Seinfeld has consistently ranked as the highest-paid comedian in the industry, with his $41 million haul largely attributed to payments from Hulu for Seinfeld streaming rights, proving that the show continues to attract audiences even more than 20 years since ending.

One thing the Forbes list illustrates is just how important touring is for the income of comedians. Both Hart, Seinfeld and Jim Gaffigan (who took out the third spot) toured extensively, some even signing deals with Netflix to produce a special for the streaming service.

And for those who are curious as to the particulars, don’t worry – no privacy breaches have been made here. To formulate the list, Forbes gathers earnings estimates from data sourced from Pollstar Pro along with interviews with industry insiders.

Of course, these figures are pretax. Yes, the final figure is always going to be mind-blowing, but keep in mind that these figures haven’t had the fees for agents, managers and lawyers deducted just yet. But even then, that won’t put even a dent in the final figure.

Without further ado, here are the world’s highest-paid comedians of 2019 according to Forbes.

1. Kevin Hart

Earnings: $87 million

Kevin Hart

2. Jerry Seinfeld

Earnings: $60.5 million

Jerry Seinfeld

3. Jim Gaffigan

Earnings: $44 million

Jim Gaffigan

4. Trevor Noah

Earnings: $41 million

Trevor Noah

5. Sebastian Maniscalco

Earnings: $38 million

Sebastian Maniscalco

6. Gabriel Iglesias

Earnings: $56 million

Gabriel Iglesias

7. Amy Schumer

Earnings: $21 million

Amy Schumer

8. Terry Fator

Earnings: $17 million

Terry Fator

9. Jeff Dunham

Earnings: $15 million

Jeff Dunham

10. Aziz Ansari

Earnings: $13 million

Aziz Ansari

Via GQ Australia