- Netflix has given a big boost to some of the world’s highest-paid comedians.
- The majority of the comedians on Forbes’ annual list have worked with Netflix this year or last, from Jerry Seinfeld to Chris Rock.
Netflix has focused on stand-up comedy the last few years, and will even debut 47 new stand-up specials on New Year’s Day.
The majority of the comedians on the list have starred in Netflix specials this year or last, such as Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Dave Chappelle.
Gabriel Iglesias released a Netflix special in 2016 called “I’m Sorry For What I Said When I Was Hungry,” and will star in another sometime in 2019 called “One Show Fits All.” Sebastian Maniscalco will also star in a special on Netflix that premieres January 15, called “Stay Hungry.”
Forbes made the list based on estimated, pre-tax earnings from June 1, 2017 to June 1, 2018. Below are the top 10, with those who starred in Netflix specials this year or last in bold:
10. Sebastian Maniscalco
9. Jeff Dunham
8. Jim Gaffigan
7. Terry Fator
6. Gabriel Iglesias
5. Ricky Gervais
4. Chris Rock
3. Dave Chappelle
2. Kevin Hart
1. Jerry Seinfeld
And below are the comedians on the list who worked on original content with Netflix this year or in 2017, including their earnings according to Forbes:
Jeff Dunham — $16.5 million
Dunham starred in Netflix special called “Relative Disaster” last year.
Jim Gaffigan — $17.5 million
- Comedy Dynamics
Netflix released Gaffigan’s fifth special last year, called “Cinco.” This year, he passed on Netflix to release a new special, “Noble Ape,” to a variety of on-demand services because it would be “available to everyone at the same time,” he told Business Insider in August. “You didn’t just have to have Netflix.”
Ricky Gervais — $25 million
This year, Netflix released Gervais’ first special in seven years, called “Humanity.” Forbes estimates that he made $15 million for “Humanity.”
Chris Rock — $30 million
Rock signed a two special deal with Netflix in 2016, the first of which, “Tamborine,” was released this year. The deal was reportedly worth $40 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Dave Chappelle — $35 million
Chappelle made a comeback last year with two Netflix stand-up collections. The first featured “Age of Spin” and “Deep in the Heart of Texas.” The second featured “Equanimity” and “The Bird Revelation.” According to Page Six, Chappelle was paid $60 million for the specials, though that was for three specials at $20 million each. It’s unclear if he was paid more for a fourth, or if the two collections count as two specials.
Jerry Seinfeld — $57.5 million
Seinfeld starred in “Jerry Before Seinfeld” last year on Netflix, which was his first stand-up special in two decades. He also hosts “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” which Netflix acquired the rights to last year and reportedly pays Seinfeld $750,000 per episode, according to Forbes. Seinfeld signed a $100 million deal with Netflix in 2017 that included the rights to “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” and two specials.