Late night talk shows are an extremely competitive genre of television. Networks often have rivalries, and will try to take viewers away from other talk shows to come watch their own, so being successful and standing out among the rest of the pack is not an easy feat.
The host of the show is often the reason why 99% of individuals tune in, and thus, the hosts of these shows are paid very handsomely. But the question this article will answer is which of these popular late night hosts is worth the most money.
10. Trevor Noah
Net Worth: $3 Million
Trevor Noah is a South African comedian and actor who is a very new addition to the list of talk show hosts, as he became the host of The Daily Show in late September of 2015. Since he has just recently taken the reins of this popular show, it is fair to say that most of the money he has earned throughout his career has come from his time and hard work as a comedian. But you can be sure his net worth will skyrocket once he establishes himself as the successor of Jon Stewart on The Daily Show.
9. Seth Meyers
Net Worth: $10 Million
Seth Meyers has been a staple on TV for years, but just recently began his foray into the world of talk shows. Prior to this new venture, Meyers was likely best known as a head writer and occasional performer on the hit show Saturday Night Live. In 2013, after being on the show for over a decade, it was revealed that Seth Myers would take over for Jimmy Fallon on Late Night. And on February 24th, 2014, he assumed his role as the host of Late Night with Seth Meyers and officially joined the ranks of talk show hosts.
8. Jimmy Fallon
Net Worth: $25 Million
After a few years of stand-up and improv gigs, Jimmy Fallon got his big break as a regular cast member of Saturday Night Live at the age of 23. He used his success on SNL to develop a career in film, starring in movies such as Almost Famous and Fever Pitch, and then further built upon his stellar reputation by taking on a hosting job in late night television. In 2009 he began his run five year run as the host of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and then in 2014 he took the reins of The Tonight Show, making him the sixth host in the show’s history.
7. Craig Ferguson
Net Worth: $30 Million
Craig Ferguson is a Scottish-born comedian, actor and longtime talk show host. Ferguson first found success in the United States on The Drew Carey Show and was able to transition that success into becoming the new Late Late Show host in early 2005. He was the host of the show for nine years, until 2014, when he then went on to host the syndicated Celebrity Name Game in September of 2014. In addition to this, he is a jack of all trades in the industry as he has been a director, writer, producer and voice actor.
6. Jimmy Kimmel
Net Worth: $35 Million
Before his career as a big time talk show host, Jimmy Kimmel worked in radio for a number of years and starred in Comedy Central shows such as Win Ben Stein’s Money and The Man Show. Then, in 2003, Kimmel left The Man Show permanently to host his own all-new talk show called Jimmy Kimmel Live! The show has been going strong ever since, with a widely devoted fan base who regularly tune in. As a result of this show, he has become a massive celebrity, earning him a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2013.
5. Stephen Colbert
Net Worth: $45 Million
Stephen Colbert has been a staple on prime time TV for a long time now, making him one of the most well-liked and respected people in the business. He is likely best known for his nearly ten year run hosting The Colbert Report, which was a Daily Show spin-off that parodied modern news reporting. In early September 2015, he took over as the host of The Late Show, succeeding the wildly popular David Letterman.
4. Jon Stewart
Net Worth: $80 Million
We’ve come to one of the most popular and beloved figures on this list, Jon Stewart. From 1999 until 2015, Stewart was the much-loved host of The Daily Show, a satirical news program that appeared on Comedy Central. In 2015, after 16 years as the host, Stewart retired and relinquished the role of host to Trevor Noah, who appears earlier on this list. He won 22 Emmy awards throughout his career, which is the most ever for a male individual. Stewart recently signed a four-year deal with HBO, so his net worth is likely rise again with this new project.
3. Conan O’Brien
Net Worth: $85 Million
Conan O’Brien is a long-time talk show host who has been at the helm of a number of shows throughout his career, but is best known for his role as the host of Conan, which has been on the air for five years. O’Brien has a very particular hosting style which includes a high degree of spontaneity, and his style of humor has been described as awkward and self-deprecating. With the retirement of David Letterman in 2015, Conan O’Brien became the longest running television talk show host at 22 years.
2. Jay Leno
Net Worth: $350 Million
For over 22 years Jay Leno was a staple on NBC, with The Tonight Show with Jay Leno running from 1992-2009 and The Jay Leno Show on air from 2009-2014, making him one of the longest-running hosts in history. He was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame upon his retirement in 2014, and deservedly so. Before his career on TV, Leno was a very successful and established comedian, and it has been said that over the years he has barely spent any of his income from TV and lives mainly off of his comedy earnings. Leno is also known for his extremely large vehicle collection, with just under 300 automobiles and motorcycles to his name.
1. David Letterman
Net Worth: $400 Million
We have come to the richest talk show host out there, and it is none other than the king of late night himself, David Letterman. David Letterman was the host of his own talk shows for a total of 33 years. His tenure began in 1982 with Late Night with David Letterman and ended in 2015 with the Late Show with David Letterman. He hosted over six thousand episodes throughout his career, making him the longest-serving television host in history. There is no doubt that David Letterman is one of the greatest TV stars of all time.