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Tune Into The World Of Telly & The Money Their Talk Show Hosts Earn!

Put your mouth where the money is because that’s what has gotten these talk show hosts their million-dollar empires. Yes, we’re talking about the TV show hosts you love to hear jibber-jabber, whether it’s about politics or personal disasters, and the paycheck they take home as a result of it. Talk shows became popular post the fifties and one started seeing a growing interest in shows run by a single host with a smattering of daily news, celebrity guests, and entertainment elements thrown in. One of the longest-running programmes, The Tonight Show is a great example of this format. First aired in the mid-fifties, the show has brought to the limelight some great presenters like Steve Allen, Jay Leno and now, Jimmy Fallon. The info-entertainment format and the wit of the presenters have ensured a long-running history and some serious take-home packages. Taking into account these brilliant performances, we take note of some of the highest-earning talk show hosts, their current net worth, and what makes the audience love them so much. 

Oprah Winfrey

Image Courtesy: Oprah Winfrey on Twitter
Image Courtesy: Oprah Winfrey on Twitter

Net Worth: $2.9 Billion

You get a billion dollars, and you get a billion dollars. If we ran this list like American televisions’ most-beloved host, Oprah Winfrey, then everybody would return home happy and with a billion dollars. The African American actor, producer, philanthropist, and host of The Oprah Winfrey Show, which has been one of the highest-rated television programmes in the 20th century. The now-retired host made her dollars getting the rich and famous to share their more private moments on the screen.

Ellen DeGeneres

Net Worth: $490 Million

Tickling our funny side is Emmy-winning comedian, best-selling author, and actor, Ellen DeGeneres. She started by making regular, small appearances on popular talk shows, followed by the self-titled television series, Ellen. Post which she went on to host her own show in 2003 making her a household name in daytime television. One of the few openly homosexual media personalities, she is an LGBTQ-activist and also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama for her contribution to the arts in November 2016.

Ryan Seacrest

Image Courtesy: Ryan Courtesy on Instagram
Image Courtesy: Ryan Courtesy on Instagram

Net Worth: $430 million

The much-loved host of American Idol, Ryan Seacrest is a man of many talents; he’s a radio personality, television host, and producer. He shot to fame following the music reality show’s popularity, followed by Live with Kelly and Ryan in 2017. His gorgeous looks and chiseled abs, of course, add to his popularity.

Judy Sheindlin

Image Courtesy: Judy Sheindlin on Instagram
Image Courtesy: Judy Sheindlin on Instagram

Net Worth: $420 Million 

More commonly known as Judge Judy, American prosecution lawyer, television personality, and author, Judy Sheindlin shot to fame with her arbitration-based court series Judge Judy. This three-time Emmy winning show started in 1996 and is currently in its 24th season and is one of the top-rated daytime TV shows ever.  

Dr. Phil McGraw

Image Courtesy: Dr Phil on Instagram
Image Courtesy: Dr Phil on Instagram

Net Worth: $400 million

From a segment on Oprah Winfrey’s show, psychologist Phillip Calvin McGraw went on to host his own show that talks about mental health issues on prime television. The show Dr. Phil, which debuted in 2002 takes a blunt approach to psychological and sociological issues and has earned its popularity due to the vast range of real-life stories. 

David Letterman

Net Worth: $400 million

David Letterman needs no introduction when it comes to the world of TV. The iconic host has lent his comical yet cynical charm to shows like Late Night with David Letterman and Late Show. From parody sketches to zany interviews, Letterman wooed the audience and was one of the richest men in the entertainment industry at the height of his career. He made a comeback with Netflix last year with his show titled My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman.

Jay Leno

Image Courtesy: Jay Leno on Twitter
Image Courtesy: Jay Leno on Twitter

Net Worth: $350 million

Best known as the long-running host for The Tonight Show, Jay Leno made late-night viewers roll in laughter with his political satire and witty repertoire with guests. He initially appeared on the show in 1977 while the host Johnny Carson was on vacation, but eventually succeeded in bagging the spot over David Letterman, thereby causing a little telly controversy. He hosted the show for two decades clocking over 200 shows every year with millions of dedicated viewers.

Sean Hannity

Image Courtesy: Sean Hannity on Twitter
Image Courtesy: Sean Hannity on Twitter

Net Worth: $200 million

The golden boy of Fox News, Sean Hannity has had both an illustrious and controversial career graph with the channel since 1996. A close friend and supporter of the American president, Donald Trump, he has been chided for bearing a pro-Trump bias. The host of The Sean Hannity Show on the radio and Hannity on Fox, he’s also the author of various bestselling political books. A lot of his wealth can be credited to his real estate ventures that have earned him more than 90 million dollars from close to 900 houses across the country.

Conan O’Brien

Image Courtesy: Conan O'Brien on Twitter
Image Courtesy: Conan O'Brien on Twitter

Net Worth: $85 Million

From being the writer and producer for the hit TV comedy The Simpsons, Conan O’Brien progressed to hosting Late Night with Conan O’Brien in 1993 after David Letterman left his show on NBS. He hosted the show for 16 years bringing his unique sense of humour and irony to the show. He later progressed to hosting The Tonight Show briefly and Conan with the channel. His spontaneous style, self-deprecating humour, and odd look add to his charm, and he is one of the longest-running television show hosts in history.  

Jon Stewart

Image Courtesy: The Daily Show on Twitter
Image Courtesy: The Daily Show on Twitter

Net Worth: $80 Million

As the host of Comedy Central’s satirical news programme, The Daily Show, Jon Stewart stirred up both controversy and convulsive laughter during his 16-year stint with the channel. An activist and host, he’s won 22 Emmy awards and, more importantly, won countless hearts for his knack of speaking up for the right causes and championing the cause of homeless animals. He is said to have signed a four-year deal with HBO so one can look forward to hearing his funny one-liners again. 

Stephen Colbert

Net Worth: $50 Million

Honest and fearless, Stephen Tyrone Colbert is a much respected and admired TV host who hosted The Colbert Report from 2005 to 2014 and now hosts The Late Show with Stephen Colbert that started in 2015. Boasting of a multi-slash career, he is an American comedian, writer, producer, political commentator, actor, singer, and television host who is known for running parodies about the modern news reporting style. 

Chelsea Handler

Image Courtesy: Chelsea Handler on Instagram
Image Courtesy: Chelsea Handler on Instagram

Net Worth: $40 million 

The host of E! Network’s late-night talk show Chelsea Lately, Chelsea Handler is an American actress, television host, and producer. She is the second woman in television history to host a late-night talk show, which she hosted from 2007 to 2014. After wrapping up her show she launched a Netflix documentary, Chelsea Does and authored several bestselling books and a memoir.  

Jimmy Kimmel

Image Courtesy: Jimmy Kimmel on Instagram
Image Courtesy: Jimmy Kimmel on Instagram

Net Worth: $35 Million

Starting his journey as the sports presenter on LA-based radio show, The Kevin and Bean Show, Jimmy Kimmel made his TV debut with Win Ben Stein’s Money and The Man Show. Following this, he got his own hilarious late-night show, the Jimmy Kimmel Live in 2003 that has a massive celebrity fan base and is a permanent appearance on screen.  

Jimmy Fallon

Image Courtesy: Jimmy Fallon on Instagram
Image Courtesy: Jimmy Fallon on Instagram

Net Worth: $25 Million

Jimmy Fallon got his big break on Saturday Night Live at the age of 23, appeared in Hollywood movies like Almost Famous and Fever Pitch to eventually graduate to late-night television with the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. In 2014, he became the sixth and current host of The Tonight Show and a Youtube sensation with his witty videos. 

Seth Meyers

Net Worth: $10 Million

Starting as the head writer and performer on the hit show Saturday Night Live, Seth Meyers soon became an established name in the entertainment industry. In 2014 he became the host of Late Night with Seth Meyers where he voices strong political opinions, hosts a variety of celebrity guests, and features some interesting music.   

Featured Image: Oprah Winfrey on Twitter

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