Comedians Are Real Moneymakers. How Comedians Make Money And How Much?
On 22 May 2013
If you want to be a comedian your parents will probably say “get a real job”. This is a real job and unlike most of “real jobs” you can earn good money from it. Club comedians or corporate performers are major moneymakers.
For example, Michael McIntyre’s last live tour “Showtime!” made £21 m becoming one of top ten comedians in the UK. His 71-date tour included ten gigs at the O2 Arena in London.
It seems that UK loves stand-up comedy and it’s the best place to make some money. Foreign comedians who came in UK reached a great success earning more money than even in just one UK tour.
John Hastings is a Canadian comedian who came to London last year and now is one of UK’s greatest. "In Canada, it's a promoter's market, while in the UK, it's a performers market. So the promoters are making all the money in Canada, and in the UK the promoters are still making money, but the performers are getting a bigger slice and the market's more geared towards them,” he says.
James Woroniecki, owner and director of the London-based 99 Club, says headliners are paid £130 for a 20-minute slot at the weekend. Comedians often do two and even three gigs a night, which means fees can add up.
In Manchester comedians are paid between £200 and £350 per act.
"The UK live comedy scene is much healthier than in the rest of the world. If you compare it to America, there are five times as many clubs here as in New York," says Lee Martin, founder of Gag Reflex.
Many comedians refuse to perform for corporate gigs in order to move abroad and to perform in London’s variety stand-up circuit.
The big hit in comedy is to perform a show on a college campus. That will add $2000-$4000 to your budget. It is a hard competition out there but if you want to do this you have to be good.
If you become a professional your yearly salary is from only $10,000 a year to $10,000,000 a year.
On cable television, comedian Conan O'Brien earned an annual salary of $12 million in 2011 for his late night show "Conan" while comedian Chelsea Handler received a salary of $3.5 million for her show "Chelsea Lately." David Letterman trumps both with a payday of $45 million according to Forbes.
So, if your friends or parents tell you to get real, show this to them and start to upgrade your jokes.
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