Have Puppet, Will Cash In: Ventriloquists Rule Top-Earning Comedians List

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Want to be a top-earning stand-up comedian? Wear a blue collar or carry a puppet.

Forbes has released a list of the 10 top-earning funny folks. And though Jerry Seinfeld ought to top the list, the magazine only counts comedians who count stand-up as their primary income. Thus the list includes puppeteers like Jeff Dunham and Terry Fator and Blue Collar Comedy vets like Larry the Cable Guy and Jeff Foxworthy. Other notable entries include VMA host Chelsea Handler and friend-of-Conan George Lopez.

In the end, it seems that the comedy scene is very much like the music scene. The comics that get successful get panned by critics and dubbed “overrated,” or even “the worst,” in favor of that one funny guy people haven’t heard of. In that sense, is Jeff Dunham the Nickelback of comedy? We’d say that’s a good fit. View the full list below. (Forbes, via Splitsider)

1. Jeff Dunham
2. Dane Cook
3. Terry Fator
4. Chelsea Handler
5. George Lopez
6. Larry the Cable Guy
7. Russell Peters
8. Tie: Jeff Foxworthy and Howie Mandel
10. Bill Engvall