With the rise of social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter, comedians – both old and new – have been able to reach more audiences than ever. But have you ever wondered who the most influential and highest-paid comedians are?
To find out the top comedians by influence, ticketing platform TicketSource shortlisted the most popular comedians in the United States and looked into their individual estimated net worth, the number of TV specials they’ve had, Twitter and Instagram followers, the most affordable ticket for their next show, their number of Google searches, and the average YouTube views their content gets. TicketSource then used these data to create a normalized score out of 10, which was averaged to get the “Influence Score”
Who are the top comedians?
The top comedians by influence in the U.S. are those who got the highest Influence score. They are:
With a 9.21 influence score, Kevin Hart is the most influential comedian in the U.S. Originally known as a stand-up comedian, Hart has since starred in TV and Hollywood films, including Ride Along (2014), Central Intelligence (2016), and the Jumanji film franchise. Though his net worth ($450 million) is not as high as his other peers, Hart has the biggest social media following, boasting 37.5 million followers on Twitter and 152 million followers on Instagram.
Chris Rock and Joe Rogan
Chris Rock and Joe Rogan share the second spot in the ranking of top comedians by influence with an influence score of 6.92.
Rock, who recently made the headlines after he was slapped by Will Smith at the Academy Awards ceremony, is tied with Dave Chappelle for having the most expensive ticket show. Both comedians are selling tickets for as much as $141.70 for their next shows.
Rogan, meanwhile, is one of the most searched comedians on Google (48.9 million searches). Aside from being a funnyman, Rogan is also n UFC color commentator and podcaster. He hosts The Joe Rogan Experience podcast in which he discusses current events, comedy, politics, philosophy, science, and hobbies with a variety of guests.
Known for putting comedic twists on news events in the world, Trevor Noah lands in fourth place with an influence score of 6.77/10. Alongside hosting The Daily Show and Tonight with Trevor Noah, Noah is the U.S. comedian with the most TV specials. The South African native, who is currently on tour with his show Back to Abnormal, has had 11 stand-up specials that aired on TV.
The only comedienne on the list, Ellen DeGeneres secures the fifth spot with an influence score of 6.93. Among all the most popular comedians in the U.S., DeGeneres has the most followers on Twitter (77.4 million followers). She is best known for hosting the syndicated talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which ended its 19-season run in May 2022.
Though Dave Chappelle only has an estimated net worth of $60 million, his content’s average YouTube views of 11.8 million brings him to the sixth spot. Chapelle, who is best known for starring in the satirical comedy sketch series Chappelle’s Show, has an influence score of 7.01.
In the seventh spot of top comedians by influence is Adam Sandler. With an influence score of 6.07, Sandler has the most Google searches among its peers. After starring as one of the cast members of Saturday Night Live from 1990 to 1995, Sandler went on to star in several Hollywood movies, including The Wedding Singer (1998), Big Daddy (1999), and Little Nicky (2000).
Jerry Seinfeld, best known for playing a semi-fictionalized version of himself in the sitcom Seinfeld, is in the eighth spot with an influence score of 6.89. Seinfeld only has a couple of million followers on Twitter and Instagram, but he has the highest net worth ($950 million) among his peers.
Thanks to the many TV series he hosts, Steve Harvey secures the ninth spot in the ranking of most influential comedians. Harvey, who gets an influence score of 6.34, hosts The Steve Harvey Morning Show, Family Feud, Celebrity Family Feud, and the Miss Universe competition, among many others.
Completing the list of top comedians by influence is Jim Carrey. Clinging to the 10th spot, Carrey has an influence score of 5.32. Some of his most notable comedy movies are Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994), The Mask (1994), and Bruce Almighty (2003).
Who is the highest-paid comedian?
Though TicketSource’s study indicates that Jerry Seinfeld has the highest estimated net worth (950 million) among comedians in the U.S., Forbes’ 2019 list of highest-paid comedians in the world revealed Kevin Hart as the highest-earning comedian with $59 million earnings for that year. Next to him was Seinfeld with $41 million in earnings.