Stephen Colbert is an American comedian, writer, producer, actor, media critic, and television host. He is best known for hosting the satirical news program The Colbert Report on Comedy Central from 2005 to 2014 and the CBS talk show The Late Show with Stephen Colbert since 2015. With his sharp wit and satirical persona, Colbert has amassed a sizeable net worth over his decades-long career in entertainment.
Early Life and Career Beginnings
Stephen Tyrone Colbert was born on May 13, 1964 in Washington, D.C. and grew up in Charleston, South Carolina. He was the youngest of 11 children. When he was 10 years old, his father and two of his brothers were killed in a plane crash. After high school, Colbert attended Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia where he studied philosophy.
In 1986, Colbert transferred to Northwestern University where he got involved with the campus improv comedy troupe. This kickstarted his interest in comedic acting. After graduation, Colbert moved to Chicago and performed with the Second City comedy troupe. There he met Amy Sedaris and Paul Dinello, with whom he created and starred in the sketch comedy series Exit 57.
Colbert also wrote and performed on the short-lived Dana Carvey Show in 1996. He had bit roles and guest appearances in comedies such as Strangers with Candy and The Dana Carvey Show. Though these early gigs in his career didn’t earn him much money, they helped establish Colbert’s comedic skills and talents.
Rise to Fame on The Daily Show
In 1997, Colbert was hired as a writer and performer on Comedy Central’s news satire program The Daily Show. He became a correspondent in 2003 and developed popular recurring segments such as “Even Stevphen” with Steve Carell. Colbert’s witty take on current events and ability to think quickly on his feet made him stand out on the show.
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart exposed Colbert to a wider audience and catapulted his career. He became one of the show’s most popular correspondents. Although details of Colbert’s Daily Show salary are unknown, it’s safe to assume this regular TV gig provided a steady income during his rise to fame in the early 2000s.
The Colbert Report and Mainstream Success
After nearly a decade on The Daily Show, Colbert was given his own spin-off series in 2005. The Colbert Report satirized conservative talk show pundits such as Bill O’Reilly. Colbert hosted the show in-character as an egotistical right-wing host. The show became a massive success, earning Colbert three Emmy awards.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, at the peak of The Colbert Report, Stephen earned $6 million per year between his salary from Comedy Central and other endeavors. The show also made him a household name across America. This newfound mainstream popularity allowed Colbert to land opportunities in TV, film, books, and even merchandising deals.
In 2014, after a nine-year run and 1,447 episodes, Colbert ended The Colbert Report to succeed David Letterman as the host of The Late Show on CBS.
The Late Show Salary and Earnings
In 2015, Stephen Colbert took over hosting duties on The Late Show from retiring legend David Letterman. His contract with CBS earns him $15 million per year as host of the show as of 2022.
Colbert’s annual salary on The Late Show continues to make up the bulk of his net worth. Ratings for the show have been consistently high with over 2.5 million nightly viewers. As part of his deal with CBS, Colbert also gets a cut of the profits from The Late Show’s digital streaming and international distribution.
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert also boosted Colbert’s fame and recognition even further across the world. He continues his successful stint as host of the prominent late night talk show, with his contract extending through 2023.
Stephen Colbert Net Worth Breakdown
- The Late Show Annual Salary: $15 million
- Estimated Career Earnings: $150 million+
- Real Estate Assets: $15 million
- Other Investments/Assets: $$5+ million
Total Net Worth: $200 million
As of 2022, multiple outlets estimate Stephen Colbert’s net worth to be around $200 million. Here’s a breakdown of his net worth:
The bulk of Colbert’s wealth stems from his $15 million annual salary hosting The Late Show on CBS. Since 2015, he’s easily earned over $100 million pre-tax just from his CBS contract.
Estimates peg Colbert’s total career earnings from The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, The Late Show, and other ventures to be over $150 million total. Taxes and expenses are estimated to have been around $50 million.
Colbert also has an impressive real estate portfolio worth around $15 million, with lavish properties in New York, South Carolina, and Los Angeles.
He likely has additional millions invested in stocks, bonds, businesses, book deals, and other assets. Colbert’s total net worth stands at an estimated $200 million and growing.
Stephen Colbert’s net worth of approximately $200 million can be credited to his successful career in television comedy and satire. As a writer and performer on The Daily Show, Colbert’s quick wit and comedic persona first gained wide attention.
The Colbert Report truly launched him into superstardom with its sharp political and media satire. Now as host of CBS’ The Late Show for a $15 million annual salary, Colbert has cemented his status as one of America’s most popular comedians.
At only 58 years old, Colbert is sure to continue entertaining audiences with his talent and growing his massive wealth for years to come through comedy tours, producing, endorsements, and potentially even more lucrative TV deals when his current contract ends. His comedic voice and influence in American culture remains incredibly valuable.
Frequently Asked Questions About Stephen Colbert’s Net Worth
Here are some commonly asked questions regarding Stephen Colbert’s current net worth and how he built his wealth over his career:
What does Stephen Colbert make per year from The Late Show?
Since 2015, Stephen Colbert’s annual salary as host of CBS’ The Late Show is $15 million per year. This makes up the bulk of his current income.
How did Colbert get so rich?
He built his wealth primarily through his TV career. His hosting gigs on major shows like The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and now The Late Show have earned him over $150 million before taxes over the past 25+ years.
What is Colbert’s most valuable asset?
His contract with CBS and the lucrative salary he earns as host of The Late Show is likely his most valuable asset right now. It provides him a steady $15 million per year through at least 2023.
Does Colbert earn money from comedy tours?
Yes, when not hosting his show, Colbert occasionally performs comedy and satire tours across the country. His 2013 tour “America Again: Re-Becoming The Greatness We Never Weren’t” grossed over $14 million.
How much is Stephen Colbert paid per episode?
While his per episode pay is undisclosed, at $15 million annually for ~200 episodes a year, Colbert likely earns around $75,000 per episode of The Late Show before taxes and expenses.
Does Colbert make money from acting jobs?
Yes, though hosting late night shows is his primary work nowadays, Colbert also earns income from occasional acting roles in TV, films, and voiceover work in animated movies. These likely provide a couple extra million dollars per year.
What investments does Colbert have?
Along with a real estate portfolio worth tens of millions, Colbert likely has cash reserves and investments in stocks, bonds, and businesses. Though private, these likely total several million dollars.
How did Colbert make money before becoming famous?
Early in his career, Colbert made money from improv comedy gigs, acting in sketch comedies and sitcoms, and comedy writing jobs. None of these earned more than a middle class income, but set him on the path to later fame and fortune.