One of the benefits of democracy and freedom of the press is the platform it gives comedians like Stephen Colbert to mock a sitting president and get away with it. It is an opportunity that Colbert has used brilliantly and extensively, enough to shoot him to the top among late-night show hosts in ratings and net worth.
Stephen Colbert, a man who made his name on the satire show, The Colbert Report, has become one of America’s most influential figures. His ability to bring levity to America’s political discourse has not only made him one of the country’s prominent figures but also one of its wealthiest.
Here is how much Stephen is worth, along with details on how he made his money.
Stephen Colbert’s Net Worth
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert host has a net worth of $60 million. He has achieved his wealth in more than three decades in the entertainment industry, working at various levels. Studied initially to be a dramatic actor, he found his way to comedy in the early days of his career. He made not only a widely appreciated career out of it, but also achieved an enviable net worth that has made him a multi-millionaire.
How He Made His Money
Fans of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert would be familiar with stories of Stephen’s years as a broke aspiring actor/comedian. It is a tale he has happily shared with his ever-energetic audiences, especially when his friend and mentor, Jon Stewart, comes on the show.
Around 1994, the late-night host was struggling to gain his footing in the industry financially, until he got an opportunity to work on the sketch comedy show, Exit 57 which started a path that eventually led to him sitting on the most coveted chair in late-night television – CBS’ The Late Show.
He spent a year working on Exit 57 before the show ended and later joined The Dana Carvey Show as a cast member and writer. The show did not last on-air and after seven episodes, it was canceled.
Before he eventually joined The Daily Show, he worked as a freelance writer for Saturday Night Live and on VH1 and MTV as a script consultant. Bouncing from job to job was not great for Stephen Colbert’s net worth, as he was unquestionably struggling financially at the time.
However, in 1997, he got a turnaround in his fortune when he was hired to join The Daily Show. While he was an unknown name when he joined the show, by the time he left, he had become one of the most popular comedians on television. He won three Emmys during his time on the show.
His reputation for his work on The Daily Show eventually got him his first TV show, The Colbert Report, in 2005. Stephen Colbert’s salary on the show at the early stage is unknown, but in the last years of the show, he made up to $6 million per year, making it the first significant boost in his net worth.
The Colbert Report was on air between 2005 and 2014, during which he had firmly established himself as one of America’s comedy TV stars.
He began hosting The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in January 2015, earning a reported $4.6 million per year in his first three years on the show. Just as he made very little during the show’s early years, so did the show struggle to gain a footing.
However, following the election of Donald Trump, Stephen Colbert found his comedic groove, and with it, an increase in salary up to $15 million per year. He reportedly got a salary bump when he signed a three-year contract extension to August 2023.
Via his huge salaries, Stephen Colbert has earned $60 million in net worth.
Stephen Colbert’s Other Sources of Income
Aside from his work on late-night TV and comedy shows, Stephen Colbert earned part of his net worth via acting. He has appeared in films like The Love Guru, Monsters vs. Aliens, Strangers with Candy, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, and many more. Colbert has also appeared as a guest actor in several scripted comedy and drama series.
He is also a published author of five books, including I Am a Pole (And So Can You!), I Am America (And So Can You!).