The art of hosting a television show, whether it’s live, or live-to-tape, takes a very special skill set that not everyone possesses. The host of a show carries the audience through a series of critical discussions and sets the tone, theme, and overall effect that the entire program has on both on the live audience and the millions of viewers that tune in from home. It’s not an easy task to command an audience with words and discussions and minimal live entertainment, so the weight and pressure on television hosts is very real. There are some that have managed to mastermind the art of hosting, while many others have tried and failed. Wealthy Gorilla reports that the most elite of all talk show hosts have gone on to make millions, and in some cases, billions of dollars, and built entire empires off the foundation of their talk show successes. Here are the top paid talk show hosts of 2021.
10 Oprah Winfrey: $3.5 Billion
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Leading the pack with an astounding net worth of $3.5 billion dollars is none other than Oprah Winfrey. This top pick is far from being a surprise, as she has dominated the world of talk shows for decades, and has always been the pillar against which everyone else has measured their own success. The Oprah Winfrey Show was the top talk show for decades, and remains purely iconic in the minds and hearts of millions of fans around the world.
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9 Ellen DeGeneres: $450 Million
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Ellen DeGeneres has seen wild success with The Ellen Show. By taking her stand up comedy show to the next level, she was able to meticulously merge the talk show platform with her comedic antics, making it one of the most entertaining talk shows for fans to watch. Her routine dance sessions and fabulously funny on-set games made Ellen a fan favorite, and launched her to the top echelon of financial success.
8 Judy Sheindlin
It’s not often that a lawyer’s job can be viewed as being entertaining, but Judy Sheindlin turned the tables on that perspective with her show, Judge Judy. By shaking down the people that entered her courtroom, and being boldly unapologetic about her approach, fans are taken on a wild, entertaining ride. Her crass attitude kept her fans intrigued for an impressive 25 year period, after which time the spin-off show, Judy Justice took form.
7 Dr. Phil: $400 Million
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Dr. Phil was discovered by Oprah, who then went on to help him launch his very own talk show. His background in psychology gave him a unique perspective, and the more he featured troubled individuals and families on television, the more fans were drawn to the drama. The simple premise of coaching and assisting his guests through therapy and rehabilitation has drawn a worldwide fan base and generated millions of dollars for Dr. Phil.
6 David Letterman: $400 Million
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Known by many as the original late night talk show host, David Letterman has interviewed any and every celebrity that one could ever imagine. His long run with the Late Show on NBC, then led to The Late Show With David Letterman on CBS. He remains one of the most respected talk show hosts in the history of late night television, long after his death. Letterman was known to clinch some of the most prominent, sought after guests, to appear on his stage, and will forever be adored by his fans.
5 Jay Leno: $400 Million
Jay Leno has mesmerized fans with his comedic approach to late night television, and has managed to sustain his reign, proving he can outlast the test of time. The Tonight Show maintained very high ratings and huge popularity with fans from 1992 to 2009. Jay Leno became a staple in the living room of millions of families across the globe as fans enjoyed his light hearted comedy as he interviewed some of the hottest celebrities in Hollywood
4 Ryan Seacrest: $380 Million
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Ryan Seacrest is considered to be one of the hardest working men in the entertainment industry. He has his hand in the production of major hit television shows such as Keeping Up With The Kardashians, and has even taken over Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.As far as hosting goes, he’s best known for hosting American Idol, as well as the On Air with Ryan Seacrest radio show, and he has kept fans following his every move with his charismatic charm and his innate ability to deliver crisp, clear messaging while being relatable and entertaining.
3 Steve Harvey: $120 Million
Steve Harvey began his career as a comedian. He has amassed his outstanding net worth through hard work and pure grit, and is a true rags to richest story. Once homeless, and living in his car, Steve Harvey is now the host of The Steve Harvey Morning Show, , Family Feud, Celebrity Family Feud, and the Miss Universe pageant. His down to earth nature provides instant connectivity to his very loyal fanbase.
2 Tyra Banks: $90 Million
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Tyra Banks started off as a model, with no plans at all of ever hosting any sort of show or program. Her natural talents led her to host the 12th season of America’s Got Talent, as well as Dancing With The Stars. Her biggest hosting position, by far, is her dedication to hosting America’s Top Model, during which time she bestowed her wisdom upon up and coming models as they transition through the competition to be the next model promoted into a high-level career.
1 Conan O’Brien: $85 Million
It’s most fitting to end our list with the man who has just recently ended his 28 year reign as the host of Late Night With Conan O’Brien. He has been entertaining the masses and adapting to unique, fun-filled late night moments for so long, that he has truly become a staple in the industry of late night television. He went out with a bang, filling his last week on-air with Seth Rogen and some industry friends. As he bid farewell to his show, he reflected on his 4000 hours hosting on the show, and gave a bittersweet goodbye.
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Sources: Wealthy Gorilla, Best Toppers, Tuko
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