It might have been more than a decade since his top-rated sitcom ended, but Jerry Seinfeld was the highest earning comedian last year.
Rerun fees, sell-out concerts and his lucrative – if ill-judged – advertisements for Microsoft means he earned an estimated $85 million in the last 12 months.
He took home more than double the income of the next highest-earning comedian the list, Chris Rock.
America’s Forbes magazine reckoned he earned $42million for movie roles including Madagascar 2, stand-up tours and his slice of the Everybody Hates Chris sitcom.
The full top ten, based on earnings June 2008 and June 2009, also contains two ventriloquists – even though the art has very few practitioners, it seems it can be lucrative.
The chart is:
1. Jerry Seinfeld: $85 million
2. Chris Rock: $42 million
3. Jeff Dunham: $30 million. His Achmed The Dead Terrorist YouTube clip has attracted 89million views, making his tours and DVD release hugely lucrative
4. Dane Cook: $20 million from movies and a stand-up tour
4=. George Lopez. $20 million. Mainly from the road, but also syndication fees from his own sitcom, which ended in 2007.
6. Howie Mandel. $15million. Touring, hosting the US Deal Or No Deal and as spokesman for buy.com
7. Larry The Cable Guy: $13million. Big money from touring and associated merchandising
8. Jeff Foxworthy: $11million. Another Blue Comedy Comedy Tour stand-up still making millions from the road, and as host of Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?
9=.. Terry Fator. $10million. Impressionist/ventriloquist who won America’s Got Talent.
9=. Russell Peters. $10million. Race-based tour remains immensely popular, he sold out London’s O2 Arena in just one day.