Indian American comedians Russell Peters, Aziz Ansari in Forbes’ list of richest comedians

Peters made a whopping $19 million last year.

Aziz Ansari (left) and Russell Peters. Photos via www.azizansari.com and www.russellpeters.com
Aziz Ansari (left) and Russell Peters. Photos via www.azizansari.com and www.russellpeters.com

By Raif Karerat

Indian American comedian Aziz Ansari captured the attention of the masses with his role as Tom Haverford in the beloved NBC comedy, “Parks and Recreation.” Since then, he has gone on the headline Madison Square garden, start a fledgling career on the big screen, and write a bestselling book about romance.

Now, Ansari, 32, managed to slot into sixth place on Forbes’ list of the highest paid comedians with his annual earnings reaching $9.5 million.

Russell Peters, an Indo-Canadian who many view as a trailblazer for comics of Indian origin, earned $19 million to tie with Jeff Dunham in fourth position. Peters, who has also headlined Madison Square Garden in his time, recently added the title of judge on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” to his already glittering resume.

Acknowledging the distinct lack of women on the list, Forbes noted that within standup and television comedy, lack of representation is a problem that goes back decades.

Since 1959, only three comediennes have won the Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album — Kathy Griffin, Whoopi Goldberg, and Lily Tomlin.

The list measures earnings before subtracting management fees and taxes between June 1, 2014 and June 1, 2015.

The full list is as follows:

  1. Jerry Seinfeld – $36 million
  2. Kevin Hart – $28.5 million
  3. Terry Fator – $21.5 million
  4. Russell Peters (tie) – $19 million
  5. Jeff Dunham (tie) – $19 million
  6. Aziz Ansari – $9.5 million
  7. Louis C.K. – $9 million
  8. Gabriel Iglesias – $8.5 million
  9. John Bishop – $8 million
  10. Dave Chappelle – $7.5 million

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