Talk shows may be inexpensive to produce, but when it comes to host salaries, shows that want to compete don’t spare the coin. And hosts realize they can turn their star appeal and show business acumen into even more cash. So which active late night hosts carry the most coin? Let’s see what’s in their wallet.
Conan O’Brien: $85 Million
Conan O’Brien’s quirky brand of late night TV has served him well in basic cable. His clever, fresh show and successful production company net him an estimated net worth of $85 million dollars. He makes $12 million a year on TBS.
Stephen Colbert: $45 Million
While Stephen Colbert still holds the No. 2 spot with respect to net worth, Colbert took a pay cut when he moved from to on CBS. Back on Comedy Central, Colbert collected a cool $6. On CBS, he allegedly makes about $4.5 million. His net worth remains a nice $45 million. Why the pay cut? According to reports, it was the move from cable to network television, with the larger audience part of Colbert’s overall benefits. We bet it won’t be long before Colbert gets a bump in salary.
Jimmy Kimmel: $35 Million
Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel’s net worth climbs from $25 to $35 million. That’s due in part to a pay rise. The host now makes about $10 million a year.
Chelsea Handler: $35 Million
With her streaming shows on Netflix – which are kind of talk shows, we suppose – late night’s Chelsea Handler comes in at No. 4. She also increases her net worth to $35 million. She makes a reported $10 million a year as part of her 7-year Netflix contract. Some reports suggested Handler made $12 million a year for her former late night talk show.
Craig Ferguson: $30 Million
Scotland’s own Craig Ferguson hits the $30 million net worth marker even after departing his late night show, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Today he hosts a game show and launched a niche talk show on the History Channel, Join or Die with Craig Ferguson. With some stand-up (including working with Netflix), some acting and some writing here and there, Ferguson brings in $8.5 million a year.
Jimmy Fallon: $25 Million
Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon is quickly becoming one of late night’s greatest talk show hosts. And even though his popularity is surging as host of NBC’s iconic late-night program, Jimmy is still in the back of the net worth pack. Still, he makes a leap from $16 million to $25 million since our last update. And his $5 million salary for Late Night has more than doubled to $11 million.
Carson Daly: $15 Million
Former MTV veejay and one of the more creative talk show hosts on late night, Carson Daly hugs the middle of the list with a $15 million net worth and a $40,000 an episode contract. Daly’s net worth is sure to grow, as well. Besides his late-night program, Daly hosts the popular show The Voice and produces NBC’s annual New Year’s Eve special. He also dabbles in acting and producing.
Seth Meyers: $10 Million
Late Night host Seth Meyers enters the list with a net worth of $10 million. As the former SNL host becomes more popular with late night viewers, you can expect that net worth to rise.
James Corden: $10 Million
Host James Corden is making waves in late night as the host everyone was nervous about, but now everyone loves. His Carpool Karaoke segments are an Internet sensation, ensuring new viewers all of the time. His show has a classic BBC flavor and is somewhat fresh and new for U.S. audience. And as an accomplished performer, too, you can expect his net worth to climb as well.
Chris Hardwick: $10 Million
It’s the after-show that everyone watches, and The Talking Dead‘s host, Chris Hardwick, rounds out our Top 10. Hardwick’s net worth clocks in at $10 million, a combination of his AMC talk show as well as a successful comedy game show, of sorts, on Comedy Central, called @midnight.
Bonus Former Host: David Letterman: $400 Million
The king of late night, David Letterman, former host of the Late Show with David Letterman, still carries a net worth of $400 million, though his salary has dipped to $20 million a year. Letterman’s cash comes from his production company, Worldwide Pants, and real estate investments.
Bonus Former Host: Jay Leno: $350 Million
Former Tonight Show host Jay Leno has a net worth of $350 million and an annual salary of about $15 million. Leno collects his extra cash through an extensive line-up of stand-up shows across the country and a couple of new TV gigs.
Bonus Former Host: Jon Stewart: $80 Million
Fake news has been good to Jon Stewart. More than a decade as host of The Daily Show, the former host has an $80 million net worth.