The Richest Female Comedians, Ranked
Laughter can be lucrative, and these female comedians have proved it.
With their sharp wit and hilarious performances, these women have become some of the richest female comedians in the world.
10. Chelsea Handler
Born: Feb. 25, 1975
From: Livingston, New Jersey
Net worth: $35 million
Bottom Line: Chelsea Handler
Chelsea Handler became well known through her late-night talk show, "Chelsea Lately," which aired on E! from 2007 to 2014. She's also written several bestsellers, including "Life Will Be the Death of Me," "Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea" and "Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang."
In addition to her show, Handler has produced and starred in several Netflix shows, including "Chelsea Does," "Chelsea" and "Chelsea Handler: Revolution." In 2023, Handler is on the road doing stand-up and has teased a possible late-night comeback.
9. Kathy Griffin
Born: Nov. 4, 1960
From: Oak Park, Illinois
Net worth: $40 million
Bottom Line: Kathy Griffin
Kathy Griffin became famous via her stand-up in the 1990s and early 2000s. During that time, she made several successful comedy albums, including "For Your Consideration" and "Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List."
"Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List" was also a TV show and earned her two Emmys. She has also written several books, including a New York Times bestselling memoir, "Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin."
She's entered into political controversy in recent years and had a health scare but still has a formidable net worth. She stated in 2019 that she manages her money well, is debt free and bought her house in cash for $10.5 million. "I didn’t want to be an actress with no job security going, ‘Oh my God, I have this baller house, but I’m scared of the mortgage. I bought the one where I went, 'Boom. I can afford it.'"
8. Carol Burnett
Born: April 26, 1933
From: San Antonio, Texas
Net worth: $45 million
Bottom Line: Carol Burnett
If you grew up in the 1970s, you no doubt remember Carol Burnett from her classic namesake show. She's an icon of comedy who is, at 90, still actively working.
Burnett came to prominence via "The Garry Moore Show" in the early 1960s, but it wasn't until "The Carol Burnett Show" made its debut in 1967 that she became a household name. The show is still a favorite to this day, winning legions of new fans on YouTube and streaming services.
Over the course of her career, Burnett has won multiple Emmy Awards, a Tony Award, a Kennedy Center Honor and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She also appeared in numerous films and TV shows such as "Toy Story 4," "Annie" and "Noises Off," and she was recently seen in a dramatic role in the final season of "Better Call Saul."
7. Whoopi Goldberg
Born: Nov. 13, 1955
From: New York, New York
Net worth: $60 million
Bottom Line: Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi Goldberg was a stand-up comedian before making her acting debut in Steven Spielberg's critically acclaimed film, "The Color Purple." For her role as Celie, she received her first Golden Globe and Oscar nods. To this day, she's also the only black woman to have won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for 1991's "Ghost."
She appeared in other successful films, including the "Sister Act" franchise and, most recently, "Till," the story of Mamie Till-Bradley, an educator and activist pursuing justice for her murdered son, Emmett Till.
However, today Goldberg is best known as a host on the highly controversial and successful daytime talk series, "The View."
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6. Tina Fey
Born: May 18, 1970
From: Upper Darby Township, Pennsylvania
Net worth: $75 million
Bottom Line: Tina Fey
After working with Chicago's famed improv troupe, "The Second City," Tina Fey became a "Saturday Night Live" regular in 1997 and was best known for her spot-on impersonation as Sarah Palin. She was also SNL's first female head writer.
Fey's success continued when she created and starred in the sitcom "30 Rock," which was based on her experiences as the head writer for SNL. The show aired from 2006 to 2013 and was a ratings and critical hit. Fey also created "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," another fan-favorite. For her work in TV, she's earned six Emmys.
Fey has most recently been seen playing Cinda Canning, a true crime podcaster in Hulu's "Only Murders in the Building" opposite Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez.
5. Roseanne Barr
Born: Nov. 3, 1952
From: Salt Lake City, Utah
Net worth: $80 million
Bottom Line: Rosanne Barr
Roseanne Barr has seen controversy in recent years, but her impact on comedy is undeniable. Barr was a stand-up whose big break came when she appeared on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" in 1985. In 1988, her sitcom, "Roseanne," about the trials and tribulations of a working-class family, made its debut and was a ratings and critical success.
After "Roseanne" ended, Barr hosted her own talk show and appeared in several other shows and films. The show ended in 1997 but came back in 2018. The same year, Barr was criticized for posting a racially insensitive tweet and fired from the second iteration of "Roseanne," which then became "The Connors."
Barr has since returned to stand-up and most recently appeared in a comedy special on Fox Nation called "Cancel This."
4. Melissa McCarthy
Born: Aug. 26, 1970
From: Plainfield, Illinois
Net worth: $90 million
Bottom Line: Melissa McCarthy
Melissa McCarthy was a comedy club regular in New York City in the 1990s and played a supporting character in "Gilmore Girls" for over a hundred episodes. But it wasn't until her hilarious role in 2011's "Bridesmaids" that she became a star. Her performance earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
Since then, McCarthy has starred in numerous films, including "The Heat," "Spy," "Ghostbusters" and "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" Her next role is as the villainous Ursula in the live-action version of "The Little Mermaid" out later this year.
3. Rosie O’Donnell
Born: March 21, 1962
From: Commack, New York
Net worth: $120 million
Bottom Line: Rosie O’Donnell
Rosie O'Donnell also started her career in stand-up in the 1980s before transitioning to TV. Within a few years, she hosted a very successful daytime talk show, "The Rosie O'Donnell Show," which earned her multiple Emmy Awards. She used her very-public platform to promote LGBTQ+ rights and other causes close to her heart.
O'Donnell also made her way to the silver screen. She was featured in "A League of Their Own" (with best gal-pal Madonna) and "Sleepless in Seattle." She has also been seen in "The Nanny," "The L Word" and was one of the hosts of "The View" for a short time.
She was most recently seen in the Showtime series, "American Gigolo," and hosts a podcast, "Onward," where she interviews celebrities and other newsmakers.
2. Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Born: Jan. 13, 1961
From: New York, New York
Net worth: $250 million
Bottom Line: Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Rumors have been circulating for a while now that Julia Louis-Dreyfus is a billionaire. While she is well off, it is her father's commodities and shipping business that has that value.
Louis-Dreyfus got her start on SNL in the early 1980s, but it wasn't until she took the role of Elaine Benes on "Seinfeld" in the 1990s that she became a household name. It was thought that the "Seinfeld" actors suffered a kind of work curse after the series ended, but Louis-Dreyfus proved the naysayers wrong.
She continued her successful streak in "The New Adventures of Old Christine" and "Veep." Her role as VP Selina Meyer in "Veep," along with her time on "Seinfeld" earned her eight Emmys — a tie with Cloris Leachman for the most Emmy wins ever for a female in acting. (Louis-Dreyfus has won 11 in total.)
In March 2023, President Biden awarded her with the National Medal of Arts.
1. Ellen DeGeneres
Born: Jan. 26, 1958
From: Metairie, Louisiana
Net worth: $500 million
Bottom Line: Ellen DeGeneres
Ellen DeGeneres also started in stand-up, but it wasn't until "Ellen," her sitcom that ran from 1994 to 1998, that she became a true star. She came out as gay on the show (as her character Ellen Morgan), which was controversial and groundbreaking at the time.
After the show ended, she became the host and executive producer of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," which is one of the most successful daytime talk shows to date. It was mostly through this show that she amassed her vast fortune.
Additionally, she's lent her voice to "Finding Nemo" and other animated projects. She has penned several best-selling books, including a memoir and a series of children's books, and has been a brand spokesperson for brands from CoverGirl to American Express.
DeGeneres also has a vast real estate portfolio. Over the last 17 years, she and wife Portia del Rossi have bought and sold numerous Southern California properties valued at $450 million. Her most recent purchase was a home in Carpinteria for $70 million.