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11 Highest-Paid Comedian in the World (Of All Time)

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Highest-Paid Comedian in the World (Of All Time) – From an Italian guy who’s not afraid to joke about his crazy family to a star who disappeared from the spotlight for nearly a decade, here are some of the world’s highest-paid comedians!

11. Amy Schumer
You either love her or hate her, but either way, this female comedian is raking in the big bucks. She was the first woman to make it on the Forbes list of highest-paid comedians in 2017, but she didn’t make the $15 million cutoffs for the following year. Amy Schumer’s career began after she graduated from college with a theater degree and began doing stand-up in 2004.

She auditioned for Last Comic Standing twice, making it to the finals on her second go-round. Schumer ended the show’s fifth season in fourth place. She is now known for her risque comedy style and talking about private matters that many comics aren’t comfortable with. If you’ve seen her perform, then you won’t be surprised to discover that her classmates dubbed her “Teacher’s Worst Nightmare” and “Class Clown” in high school.

A couple of Schumer’s more recent stand-up specials, 2017’s The Leather Special and2019’s Growing, are on Netflix. The former received mostly positive reviews from critics, but audiences didn’t feel the same way. After a week of streaming, The Leather Special averaged a one-out-of-five-star rating.

10. Sebastian Maniscalco
Earning $15 million in 2018, Sebastian Maniscalco is bringing home the bacon with his comic genius. He was born in 1973 in Arlington Heights, Illinois. His mother and father are Italian immigrants – his dad moving to the US from Sicily. Sebastian moved to Los Angeles in 1998 and began doing stand-up at open-mic nights in various bowling alleys and bars.

Highest Paid Comedian

Highest-Paid Comedian in the World

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Meanwhile, he maintained a day job as a waiter at the Beverly Hills Four Seasons Hotel. After leaving his waiting job in 2005, he performed on a regular basis at West Hollywood’sThe Comedy Store, and his popularity seemed to skyrocket. Sebastian’s first self-titled special came out in 2009.

In 2012, his second special, What’s Wrong With People, aired on Showtime, followed by2014’s Aren’t You Embarrassed and 2016’s Why Would You Do That?. In early 2019, another special titled Stay Hungry began streaming on Netflix. Luckily for us, this funny guy didn’t go through with his plan to become an accountant.

9. Jeff Dunham
This ventriloquist, actor, and stand-up comedian has done it all, from Comedy Central specials to acting alongside Steve Carell and Paul Rudd in Dinner for Schmucks. But, Dunham had a rocky start to his career. After moving to Los Angeles from his hometown, Dallas, Texas, in 1988, Dunham’s first acts bombed.

After making friends with the owner of The Comedy & Magic Club, he received a steady slot to perform. He then observed other comedians, like Jerry Seinfeld, to sharpen his skills and moved toward using more adult themes. Dunham was then told by a talent booker that he would get a spot on The Tonight Show StarringJohnny Carson.

Unfortunately, the booker changed his mind after attending one of the comedian’s performances. Dunham continued bettering his acts, and he ended up getting a spot on The Tonight Show in 1990. Since then, this star has had six Comedy Central specials, numerous tours, and television appearances, as well as a Netflix special titled Jeff Dunham: Relative Disaster. In 2018, he earned $16.5 million.

Highest-Paid Comedian in the World

8. Jim Gaffigan
This popular comic was born in 1966 in Elgin, Illinois and is the youngest of six children. Although his father wanted him and his siblings to pursue jobs that guaranteed job security, he planned to show business from the time he was five. He said he wanted to be an “actress,” however, not a comedian, the statement foreshadowing his comic career anyway.

Gaffigan even played football during his high school and college years and graduated from university with a degree in finance. He moved to New York City to pursue comedy and found work in advertising to support himself while taking acting classes in the evening. Gaffigan began stand-up after a friend dared him to take a seminar that required a stand-up performance at the end.

Shortly after, he became passionate about stand-up and began performing in clubs every night. Gaffigan’s career took off after scoring a spot on The Late Show with David Letterman. Since then, he’s had several specials and received Grammy nominations for three of them. He also does voice acting, and he and his wife, Jeannie Gaffigan, are writing partners for his various comedy ventures.

7. Terry Fator
Another ventriloquist most people have heard of is Terry Fator. This successful comedian made an impressive $18 million in 2018. However, Fator didn’t start as a comedian. He toured with the band Freedom Jam as their lead singer from 1987 to 1988. Fator then became the lead singer of a show group called “Texas the Band” and began using his puppet during performances at twenty-three years old.

Ventriloquism had always been one of Fator’s hobbies, and his mother bought him his first puppet when he was eighteen years old. After leaving the band, he combined ventriloquism and comedy into a single act, which wasn’t successful for years. Fator finally caught a break after performing on America’s Got Talent in 2007.

Highest-Paid Comedian in the World

He ended up winning the entire season. Although you’ve certainly heard of Fator’s successful Las Vegas shows, television appearances, and other ventures since then, did you know that he’s been divorced twice and married three times? He even proposed to his now-wife, Angie Fiore, in front of his then-wife, Taylor Makakoa, on stage in 2015.

6. Gabriel Iglesias
This comedian was born in San Diego, California and spent most of his childhood in Long Beach. He worked for a cell phone company in Los Angeles before pursuing his comic career full-time in 1997. Unfortunately, doing so lost him his car and his home. He’s famous for saying, “Oh, I’m not fat, I’m fluffy!”

In 2006, Iglesias was a contestant on Last Comic Standing and was one of the final eight. He ultimately lost the competition after being disqualified for smuggling a BlackBerry to communicate with his friends and family. But, that didn’t stop Gabriel from becoming a massive success. He took in an impressive $20.5 million in 2018.

5. Ricky Gervais
This comedian, director, and actor was born in Reading, Berkshire, England in 1961. Although he ended up in comedy, Gervais’ original plan was to pursue biology in college before switching his major to philosophy. He went on to receive his upper second-class honors degree in the subject, and he met his long-term lover, Jane Fallon, at the university as well.

In 1983, he and a friend formed a musical duo called Seona Dancing, and they signed with London Records. He didn’t start doing stand-up until the late 1990s. Gervais’ first notable performance was at the Cafe Royal during the 2001 Edinburgh FestivalFringe. He then went on tour in 2003, performing his act titled Animals.

Highest-Paid Comedian in the World

Ricky’s shows since then include Politics, Fame, Science, and Humanity. Something you might not know is that Gervais was featured in the Grand Theft Auto IV videogame at a virtual comedy club, for which a three-minute act was written and recorded. He is also a published author whose books include Flanimals and its sequels.

Gervais is also well-known for creating, writing, and directing the UK’s The Office, as well as producing An Idiot Abroad, and acting in the film Ghost Town. Considering all of his successful endeavors, it’s no surprise that this comedic celebrated in $25 million in 2018.

4. Chris Rock
Chris Rock’s career began in the 1980s, but he’s still going strong and cashed out at about $30 million in 2018. He has faced some difficult times throughout his life, with his father passing in 1988 following surgery and his brother, Charles, in 2006 after dealing with long-term alcoholism.

Something you might not have known about Rock’s history is that he’s of Cameroonian descent, and his great-great-grandfather was taken into slavery for twenty-one years before serving in the United States Colored Troops during the Civil War. Chris Rock started doing stand-up in 1984 at Catch a Rising Star comedy club in NewYork City.

While working on stand-up, he also got small roles in I’m Gonna Git You Sucka and MiamiVice. After befriending Eddie Murphy, Rock got a part in Beverly Hills Cop II. In 1990, he joined the cast of Saturday Night Live, and it was all up from there. From hosting the Academy Awards in 2005 to starring in movies like The Longest Yard, Down to Earth, and Bad Company, Rock’s success keeps on coming.

Highest-Paid Comedian in the World

3. Dave Chappelle
Most people know of Chappelle from his self-titled Comedy Central series that debuted in 2003. The show made fun of various aspects of American culture, including some serious issues like racial profiling and politics. Despite Chappelle’s Show’s success, things started going south in 2004.

Chappelle walked off stage during a stand-up in California because his audience wouldn’t stop shouting one of his popular catchphrases from his “Rick James” sketch. After returning to the stage, he told the audience that he didn’t like working on the show and that it was ruining his life.

Before the third season was going to air, Chappelle went AWOL, taking a spontaneous trip to South Africa. It wasn’t until 2013 that he began doing stand-up full-time again. Chappelle performed at the Radio City Music Hall in 2014 and made his SNL hosting debut two years after. In 2017, Netflix released three Dave Chappelle specials, earning $20 million for each. His comeback is still proving successful as he made $35 million in 2018.

2. Kevin Hart
Hart’s first performance was at Philadelphia’s The Laff House, and it didn’t go well. He continued trying but was booed off stage multiple times, and somebody even threw a piece of chicken at him. Luckily, his popularity eventually picked up and he started touring in 2009. Some of his popular acts are Laugh at My Pain, I’m a Grown Little Man, and Let Me Explain.

Highest-Paid Comedian in the World

Plus, Hart has gained an immense amount of recognition through his acting career. He has starred in films like Ride Along and its sequel with Ice Cube, Central Intelligence with Dwayne Johnson, and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle with Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, and Jack Black. Hart has also hosted various shows, including SNL, the Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber, and a couple of MTV Movie Awards ceremonies. In 2018, he earned $57 million.

1. Jerry Seinfeld
Last but not least, Seinfeld has been on the comedy scene since the mid-1970s. He began doing stand-up at an improv club during his time at Queens College. Seinfeld then performed at Catch a Rising Star in New York City, resulting in an appearance in HBO’s Rodney Dangerfield special.

He gained the most recognition for the show Seinfeld, which started in 1988. After the sitcom ended, Seinfeld went back to stand-up. Nowadays, this star is also recognized for the web series he started in 2012, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Jerry signed a deal with Netflix in 2017 which made all of the older episodes available for streaming and guaranteed a new season.

Plus, the contract included two new stand-up specials, one of which, titled Jerry BeforeSeinfeld, came out that year. Seinfeld made $57.5 million in 2018.

Who is your favorite comedian? Let us know in the comment section below. – Highest-Paid Comedian in the World

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