Jerry Seinfeld is the wealthiest comedian by far with a current net worth of $870 million. But even if he was far, far, far, less rich, he would never have to perform another stand up set, ride around in cars with other comics getting coffee, or develop another television show as long as he lives and he'd still make millions each and every year. THAT is the staying power of his eponymous creation Seinfeld.
Reruns of the show about nothing make so much money in syndication, licensing deals, and DVD sales that Jerry Seinfeld could live off the never ending paychecks from that sitcom alone. Since ending its run in 1998, Seinfeld has made more than $3 billion. It is the most profitable half hour show in the history of television. At the height of the show's popularity, Seinfeld was making $1 million per episode (slightly more than $1.5 million today inflation adjusted). Jerry and series co-creator Larry David split close to $400 million per year in syndication payouts.
Never expect Jerry Seinfeld to sit back and relax and let the royalties roll in, however. The busy comedian keeps a full schedule of stand up gigs. He also has a new $100 million deal with Netflix. He will make two stand up specials for the streaming service as well as 24 new episodes of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee as well as make the series' back catalog available on Netflix. The deal also includes a development deal for potential future series projects. Seinfeld took home tens of millions from Netflix this year. Hulu has the rights to the Seinfeld back catalog, so he also nets millions a year from that service.
Over the past year, Jerry Seinfeld has made an astounding $69 million. That is enough to make him the highest paid comedian in the world by far.
It only stands to reason that at some point, Seinfeld will stop resonating with audiences and the syndication money will trickle to nothing. However, with a net worth of $870 million, Seinfeld doesn't have to worry about losing that aspect of his paycheck. In fact, he is well on his way to being the first billionaire comedian in the world.