Comedians' net worth

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Funny money

Lily Tomlin, who has entertained audiences for five decades, turns 75 on Sept. 1. We take a look at what the business of being funny has done to some of the top comedians' bank accounts. See gallery

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Lily Tomlin

Lily Tomlin has been a versatile comedic performer since she broke onto the scene five decades ago. Tomlin has enjoyed success in stand-up, as her various characters in sketch comedy and TV variety shows (watch clips), and film appearances. Most recently, she and Jane Fonda reunited for this Netflix comedy.

What's her net worth?

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Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert (who's he married to?) announced in April that he'll step down from his popular "The Colbert Report" show on Comedy Central and take over for this late-night TV host when he retires in 2015. Colbert honed his comedy skills with this popular theater group, and even acted as an understudy for this famous actor.

What's his net worth?

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Jerry Seinfeld

Even before playing a semi-fictional version of himself on the wildly popular sitcom "Seinfeld" (watch bloopers from the show), Jerry Seinfeld was an accomplished stand-up comedian (watch him perform). In 2005, Comedy Central included Seinfeld in its five-part special, "The 100 Greatest Standups of All Time" (where was he ranked?). Seinfeld continues to perform stand-up in addition to his online series "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" (watch clips of the show).

What's his net worth?

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Tina Fey

Tina Fey broke into comedy with the Chicago-based improvisational comedy troupe The Second City (watch clips). She made the jump to "Saturday Night Live" in 1997, eventually ascending to head writer as well as being a featured performer (watch her on "SNL"). After leaving "SNL" in 2006, she created the TV series "30 Rock" with the help of this "Saturday Night Live" executive. Since then, Fey has cleaned up in the awards department, collecting eight Emmy Awards and two Golden Globes, among others.

What's her net worth?

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Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey (where does he have dual citizenship?), known for his face-contorting, highly energetic slapstick style (watch him do stand-up), is the most-famous alum of the sketch comedy show "In Living Color" (for which show did he not make the cut?). Carrey's breakthrough came in his first starring role, "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective," which launched a very successful and lucrative career in movies (how much did he command per film?).  

What's his net worth?

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Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres began her career in stand-up in the early 1980s (watch her perform), her breakthrough coming in a 1986 appearance on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" (who did Carson compare her to?). Years later, she starred in the popular sitcom "Ellen," during which she made this public announcement. After sprinkling in a few movie roles, including as a voice talent in a popular Disney-Pixar movie, she has been host of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" since 2003 and emceed the Oscars twice.

What's her net worth?

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Dave Chappelle

Dave Chappelle made his film debut at the age of 19, playing Ahchoo in this Mel Brooks movie and later took on minor roles in a handful of other movies. But it wasn't until the launch of his sketch comedy series, "Chappelle's Show" (watch him in skits), in 2003 that he became a household name. Esquire magazine declared Chappelle "the comic genius of America" in 2006. He continues to do stand-up comedy today (watch him perform).

What's his net worth?

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Zooey Deschanel

Zooey Deschanel (who is her famous sibling?) has been a recognizable face in Hollywood since her breakout performance in Cameron Crowe's 2000 semi-autobiographical film. She also is an accomplished singer-songwriter (listen to her sing), teaming up with this musician for four albums. Deschanel has played the role of Jessica Day in this Fox comedy series since 2011.

What's her net worth?

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Louis C.K.

Louis C.K.'s (what was his birth name?) career as a comedian almost didn't get off the ground. In his first attempt at stand-up in 1984, he was given 5 minutes but only had 2 minutes of material and bombed. So discouraged by his debut, C.K. didn't perform again for two years. Three decades later, he is one of the most well-known comedians in the business (who has he had a long-standing feud with?) and has been nominated for 25 Primetime Emmy Awards (watch clips of his show, "Louie").

What's his net worth?

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Betty White

Betty White has been an active entertainer for an astonishing 75 years. Despite being told she was "unphotogenic," White began her television career in 1939, three months after graduating from high school. She is best known for her roles in "The Golden Girls" (watch bloopers from the show) and this 1970s sitcom. In her golden years, White has set all kinds of records, from the oldest Emmy Award nominee in 2012 (for which show?), to the oldest winner of a competitive Grammy, to the longest span between Emmy nominations (how long?).

What's her net worth?

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Chris Rock

Chris Rock got his start by doing stand-up (watch him perform) in a chain of comedy clubs in New York City called Catch a Rising Star. After gaining national exposure as a cast member on "Saturday Night Live," Rock really hit it big with a string of HBO specials — the breakthrough coming in his 1996 gig, "Bring the Pain," for which he won two Emmy Awards. (What was his first movie role?)

What's his net worth?

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Kathy Griffin

Ever since her humble beginnings with a comedy troupe in Los Angeles (which one?), Kathy Griffin has fashioned a comedic career that has featured two Emmy Awards and one Grammy (for which album?). After appearing in a supporting role on this NBC sitcom, Griffin's breakthrough came on the Bravo reality show "Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List," for which she won her Emmy. In 2011, she became the first comedian to have four televised specials in a year (watch her perform).

What's her net worth?

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Roseanne Barr

Roseanne Barr performed stand-up gigs at clubs in Colorado (watch her perform) before reaching a national audience on "The Tonight Show" in 1985 and "Late Night with David Letterman" in 1986. All the while crafting a "fierce working-class domestic persona" (she was active in this church growing up), Barr began gaining fame for her role in the sitcom "Roseanne," which lasted nine seasons. In 2012, she won this party's ticket in the presidential election and finished sixth in the general election.

What's her net worth?

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Eddie Murphy

Eddie Murphy was a star practically from the moment he stepped on to the "Saturday Night Live" stage in 1980. Spoofing such characters as Gumby and Buckwheat, Murphy helped revitalize "SNL" during his five seasons (watch clips). Like so many "SNL" alums, Murphy used the show as a launching pad for his career. Sandwiched between his raunchy stand-up specials, "Delirious" and "Raw," Murphy made his big-screen debut (in which movie?). He has appeared in nearly 40 movies, making him the second-highest-grossing actor in the United States (who's first?).

What's his net worth?

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Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers (what's her given name?) has fashioned a long career in comedy with her mocking humor, mostly directed at herself. Rivers (what's her famous catchphrase?) got her start in a short-run play in the late 1950s alongside this famous singer. After bouncing around the stand-up circuit, Rivers began a long career in television with performances on "The Tonight Show" in the 1960s. Rivers, never shy about all the work she has had done on her face, is rumored to have had this many plastic surgeries.

What's her net worth?

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Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby's long and illustrious career in comedy began at this club in San Francisco (watch him do stand-up). In the 52 years since, Cosby appeared in and created a variety of iconic shows, including "The Electric Company," "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids" (watch clips) and this 1980s-defining sitcom, in addition to putting out a number of comedy albums. Today, Cosby keeps busy as an activist on socioeconomic causes.  

What's his net worth?

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Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg (what was her birth name?), recognizable by her long dreadlocks and glasses perched halfway down her nose, is one of the few entertainers who have won an Oscar (for which movie?), Emmy, Grammy and Tony Award. Goldberg (what is the origin of her stage name?) has been the moderator and co-host of this daytime talk show since September 2007.

What's her net worth?

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Larry the Cable Guy

Larry the Cable Guy (what was his given name?) joined forces with Bill Engvall, Ron White and Jeff Foxworthy in 2000 and toured with this comedy troupe for six years (who did Larry replace?). Of his seven comedy albums (his catchphrase also is the name of this movie), three have been certified gold (what does that mean?). His voice also is familiar in this beloved animated franchise.

What's his net worth?

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Daniel Tosh

Daniel Tosh (where was he born?) hit the comedy circuit almost immediately after graduating from college (what is his alma mater?). His first big break came in 2001 with a performance on this late-night show. Tosh kept a clock on his website, counting down to his 38th birthday (why did he target this date?), or what he called "Daniel's Groundhog Day Ends." He currently is host of Comedy Central's "Tosh.0" (watch clips).

What's his net worth?

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Amy Sedaris

Amy Sedaris (who is her famous sibling?) hit the comedy scene as a member of Chicago-based Second City and this comedy troupe before landing a gig on Comedy Central's "Exit 57" (what other star was on the show?) in 1995. She remained on Comedy Central from 1999 to 2002, portraying Jerri Blank in this series, which inspired a full-length movie of the same name. Sedaris will join "30 Rock" alum Jane Krakowski in the U.S. version of this comedy.

What's her net worth?

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