Sorry Kevin Hart, Jerry Seinfeld is back at the top of Forbes’ Highest-Paid Comedians list. The notorious comedian has pulled in an astounding $69 million within the last year. Forbes‘ newest top 10 list appears to be dictated by stellar deals with Netflix over stand-up specials.
Jerry Seinfeld landed in the number two spot last year with $43.5 million, after being knocked off the top by Kevin Hart. The king of the sitcom reclaimed his spot at number one this year, earning him the top position for the seventh time.
Seinfeld has jumped on the Netflix bandwagon and signed a lucrative deal with the streaming service to air his Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee reality show. The Emmy nominated program has spent years on Crackle, but is now transitioning the whole catalog, plus 24 new episodes to Netflix. This deal will also include two stand-up specials, as well as a developmental role where Seinfeld will aid Netflix with some of their new comedic projects.
As far as streaming Seinfeld goes, Hulu still boasts the comedy on its platform, which Variety reported bought the SVOD (subscription video on demand) rights for a whopping $160 million in 2015. Fans can watch the entire Seinfeld series on Netflix’s biggest rival.
Back on the list for the first time in almost 10 years is long time Seinfeld pal, Chris Rock. The iconic comedian lands at number two, earning an astounding $57 million for the year, largely due to Netflix as well. Rock will earn $40 million for just two stand-up specials on the streaming services, while the rest of his hefty sum comes from his Total Blackout tour.
Dry comedian Louis C.K. steals the number three spot with a honest $52 million. Guess who’s to thank? That’s right: Netflix. Louis C.K. also has a two stand-up special deal, with one already available to stream. While Netflix might be his new home, Louis is still loyal to FX, which airs his own Baskets and Better Things.
Netflix is also responsible for putting Dave Chappelle at the number four spot with a hefty $47 million for the year. Chappelle’s deal with Netflix was for three specials, two of which are already available. The streaming service claims both specials were the most watched on the platform ever.
Landing at number five is Amy Schumer, who broke the mold and was the first woman to make the list last year. She solidified her spot again this year with $37.5 million. Amy’s income was earned from a Netflix special, her film career, her autobiography, and endorsements with Bud Light and Old Navy.
Kevin Hart was named 2016’s highest-earning comedian with an astounding $87.5 million, over double what Seinfeld had earned for the year. This time around Kevin brought in $32.5 for the year putting him in the number six spot. Kevin’s paycheck is the first not associated with Netflix, with his pull coming from Jumanji and Captain Underpants as well as endorsement deals with Nike and Tommy John. Kevin also released his first book this year, I Can’t Make This Stuff Up: Life Lessons.
Jim Gaffigan ($30.5 million), Terry Fator ($18.5 million), Jeff Dunham ($15.5 million), and newcomer Sebastian Maniscalco ($15 million) round out the rest of the list with more than honest earnings for the year. Gaffigan is the only member of the bottom four with a Netflix deal, while Fator, Dunham, and Maniscalco earned their millions just from playing show after show.
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