Forbes Magazine released its annual list of the highest earning comedians of 2012 and topping that list for the third year in a row is the one and only Jerry Seinfeld. Seinfeld has kept a relatively low profile recently but seemed to have almost come out of retirement, showing up on late night here and there and promoting his fantastic web series, Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee.
The comedians must earn their money mainly from ticket sales which means that funny people with blockbuster TV shows probably will not be on this list (save for Louis C.K.) but also surprisingly is how male dominated the list is. In fact, not a single female comedian broke the top 10 ths year.
Here we go.
#10 – Ron White $10 Million
Though he’s slayed with stand-up specials on TV, White earned most of his money from 100+ show tour this past year as well as the self-release of his new special. An already stacked 2014 touring schedule will probably put him on this list once again next year.
#9 – Gabriel Iglesias $11 Million (tie)
Fluffy lives! Igleisas tours his ass off and makes a ton in DVD sales. even though he hasn’t had a new one since 2009. Stand-Up Revolution hasn’t hurt his pocket either.
#9 – Daniel Tosh $11 Million (tie)
Tosh has been able to parlay the success of Tosh.0 into a national tour that earned him some bucks. It’s also interesting to see that he’s out earned his Comedy Central counterparts, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.
#8 – George Lopez $12 Million
Lopez earned the a lot of his money with a deal for comedy clubs on Carnival Cruise Lines and book deals.
#7 – Larry The Cable Guy #13 Million
Larry sells out like everywhere. And Prilosec must pay well.
#6 Kevin Hart #14 Million
I feel like this is a low number for Hart, who seems to turn anything to gold with the multi-platinum sales of his DVDs and everyone laughing at his pain.
#5 – Louis C.K. $16 Million
Louis’ monster self-sold national tour earned him a ton of money, and obviously enough to make this list.
#4 – Jeff Dunham $19 Million
Another Ventrilaquist on the list again. Dunham was on the top of this list in 2010 but since then only earned a few mil dollars less. He released a new special, Minding the Monsters last year, getting himself another special on an Amazon best seller list that always seems to have at least 4 Dunham specials on it at any time.
#3 – Russell Peters $21 Million
Good ol’ Russell P earning the big bucks and a superstar in what seems to be every other place but the United States.
#2 – Terry Fator $24 Million
That’s right, the ventriloquist that won America’s Got Talent in 2007 is still raking in the big bucks thanks to his 5-year, $100 contract with Las Vegas’ Mirage Hotel.
#1 – Jerry Seinfeld $32 Million
Seinfeld hasn’t been on the air in about 15 years but that doesn’t mean the show still isn’t getting licensing deals or generating over $3 billion in syndication royalties. But the lion’s share of Seinfeld’s earned money came from his 70 tour date in the last year, earning him about $27 million of the $32 million he made this year.
The release of this list always fascinates me Because there are obvious ones on the list but then there are some that are always a few surprises, like Fator. Always surprises me when he’s on the list. Also the only time he gets ink on this site is when this list comes out annuall.