Funny one-liners, humorous anecdotes about different topics and imitations … there’s very little that a comedian does not touch upon, in his/hers quest to entertain. The top paid comedians in today’s entertainment industry are unique in repertoire and style. Read on to learn the names that rake in the most profit, while making audiences laugh.
“God is a comedian, playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.” – Voltaire
Perhaps the most difficult job in the world is being a stand-up comedian. Think about it, you have to make people laugh, with tasteful yet raunchy jokes, catering to a diverse audience but at the same time, remaining sensitive to people’s feelings. Plus, on the road continuously, traveling, writing and coming up with interesting material all the time … the life of a comic can be tough.
But someone’s got to do it and comedians are amongst the highest paid entertainers in the entertainment industry. Some famous comedians have entered the film world and entertain us on-screen. Some have got their own talk shows, like Ellen Degeneres or Jay Leno. In this article, learn which are the highest earning comedians of the stand-up comedy show circuit.
To Crack Up an Audience …
|☺☻ Dane Cook ☺☻|
|Born: March 18, 1972 (age 39 )|
|Estimated earnings: $21 million|
|Quote: You know you’re drunk when you think that the cab fare is the time.|
|Dry yet dead-on sarcastic comments, rolling of the eyebrows, expressive acting and always has the last word. This comedian and actor has 5 comedy albums under his belt, with the record breaker amongst them being Retaliation. It hit a double platinum record of sales and made Dane Cook, the highest charting comedian on the Billboard 200 in 27 years. He has hosted Saturday Night Live twice, in 2005 and 2006, both shows were the highest viewed shows of their respective seasons. He has performed shows at Carnegie Hall, Boston Garden and Madison Square Garden to name a few.
This versatile stand-up comedian is equally popular on-screen. His turn as the laid-back but friendly box guy in Employee of the Month, good luck charm dentist in Good Luck Chuck and as call-center supervisor who goes out with ladies, just to get them to go back to their exes, in My Best Friend’s Girl have him, playing the cool, relaxed outsider with the best lines and excellent comedic timing.
|☺☻ Jeff Foxworthy ☺☻|
|Born: September 6, 1958 (age 52)|
|Estimated earnings: $11 million|
|Quote: Changing a diaper is a lot like getting a present from your grandmother — you’re not sure what you’ve got but you’re pretty sure you’re not going to like it|
|This all-rounder comedian has featured in most media platforms. In the arena of television, he had his own sitcom The Jeff Foxworthy Show, hosted the game show Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? and will soon feature in ABC’s upcoming reality show, Shark Tank. And comedy fans loved his Blue Collar Comedy Tour, where he and fellow comedians, Larry the Cable Guy, Bill Engvall and Ron White went on the road for 3 years, entertaining the United States with their stand-up comedy routines and thrilling crowds everywhere.
The success of this tour led to the creation of the Blue Collar TV show, the perfect platform for the awesome foursome (Ron White made only guest appearances) to entertain TV audiences. Foxworthy had his own radio show (The Foxworthy Countdown), is the author of several books, including his hilarious autobiography No Shirt, No shoes, No Problem! and is the most successful comedy recording artist of all time, with 6 comedy albums, 2 of which are multi-Platinum certified. This Georgia native seems to have the Midas touch, even his line of specialty greeting cards and gifts under American Greetings is a hit. On stage, his droll and very observational humor about family life, being a Southerner and his infamous “you might be a redneck” one-liners and anecdotes have endeared him to audiences.
|☺☻ Larry The Cable Guy ☺☻|
|Born: Feb 17, 1963 (age 48)|
|Estimated earnings: $16.5 million|
|Quote: My brother got eliminated from the spelling bee. Apparently, there ain’t no number eight in the word “pollinate”|
|Featuring in various radio programs and shows gave this comedian his start. But his invention of “Larry”, your typical redneck with a catchphrase (“Git-R-Done!”) and a wide eyed look at the goings and comings of today’s multinational world, was a stroke of genius and paved the way for future gigs. With his thick Southern accent, flannel sleeveless shirt and trucker hat, “Larry” enthralls the audience with tales about large families, witty political observations, how the South gets things done and other amusing musings.
This comedian, whose real name is Daniel Lawrence Whitney, has 7 comedy albums, 3 of which have gone gold and has starred in movies like Delta Farce, Witless Protection and Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector. Fans of animated movies will identify him as the voice of Mater in the Disney/Pixar production Cars and Cars 2. His most recent work is starring in his own reality series Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy, produced by HBO, which sees him journey across America, to experience the different ways of life found in different states.
|☺☻ Russell Peters ☻☺|
|Born: September 29, 1970 (age 40)|
|Estimated earnings: $15 million|
|Quote: Arranged marriages are more like going to a car show.|
|This Canadian-Anglo Indian comedian is a fresh and original voice in the world of comedy, with his very insightful and sarcastic stand-up, that highlights racial stereotyping, how different races are perceived differently and how way off-center such perceptions are.
Russell Peters has performed on nearly every continent, from Asian countries like India and China, to South Africa, Europe and Australia. On his home turf in Canada, he has hosted the Juno Awards for 2 years and has been nominated for 4 Gemini awards. Recently it was announced that he will receive a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame, with the induction ceremony taking place in October 2011. In film, he has appeared in films like My Baby’s Daddy, The Take and others, in minor roles and his most recent movie outing was in the Source Code.
Other highly paid comedians include:
- Jeff Dunham – $22.5 million
- Terry Fator – $20 million
- George Lopez – $18 million
- Chelsea Handler – $19 million
The above listed comedians and many other “workers for laughter” belong to a rare and often-misunderstood acting form. Some comedians have been accused of racist comments or indulging in nothing but name calling and profanity. The bottom line is there’s a comedian for nearly all types of humor and it’s that fact, that keeps the audience happy.