While it may be true that Kevin Hart is one of the richest comedians in the world, there’s one comedian who can still give him a run for his money: Eddie Murphy. For newer fans, Murphy has become well-known for his Coming 2 America sequel on Amazon Prime and his brief return to Saturday Night Live in 2020. He’s earned notoriety with millennials for comedies like The Nutty Professor and Norbit, but older generations know that Murphy has actually been one of comedy’s greatest legends since the ’80s. Fortunately for Murphy, that fame has nabbed him countless movies and comedy specials, each bearing a hefty salary. After being in the industry for almost three decades, those numbers have added up to an incredible sum. So how much money has Murphy made so far?
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Murphy seriously pursued comedy at the encouragement of his late father, who was an amateur comedian, and famed comedy king Richard Pryor. He joined the cast of Saturday Night Live at age 19, a feat that many aspiring comedians, even today, fail to achieve. Not only did he make it, but Murphy was such a success that his brand of comedy is attributed to lifting the show out of its ratings slump after all of its original stars moved on to other projects.
Two years after his SNL debut, Murphy landed his first big-screen role in the film 48 Hours, which kicked off his film career. He went on to star in iconic roles in equally iconic ’80s films including Trading Places, the Beverly Hills Cop franchise, Coming to America, Harlem Nights, and Another 48 hours. During that time, he also released his two biggest stand-up comedy specials, Delirious and Raw, which solidified him as one of the best-selling comedians of all time.
He continued his momentum through the ’90s with more family-friendly projects like The Nutty Professor, Dreamgirls, and the Doctor Dolittle films. He also began doing voiceover work and rose to fame yet again with his work in Disney’s Mulan and DreamWorks’ Shrek trilogy. However, one of his most iconic roles and possibly his funniest to date was the scheming grifter Ray in Life, which he starred in with Martin Lawrence.
Murphy has built an impressive resume throughout the years that has brought him some equally impressive paydays. When he started on SNL, he was earning $4,500 per episode. By the next year, that figure had jumped to an insane $30,000 an episode. He went on to earn $14 million for the first Beverly Hills Cop film and a total of $23 million for its sequels. He earned $36 million for The Nutty Professor films and an extra $40 million from ticket sales. Murphy continued this trend with his other film franchises including Shrek ($29 million), Doctor Dolittle ($37.5 million), and The Adventures of Pluto Nash ($20 million).
All those movies have made Eddie Murphy one of the highest-paid actors in the world and together have grossed over $7 billion dollars at the box office. After making between $20 to $30 million per film, Murphy has earned himself a net worth of $200 million.
Now that he’s returned to comedy, the 60-year-old veteran has no plans of settling for that sum. In 2019, he signed a $70 million deal with Netflix to create a series of comedy specials and, according to CinemaBlend, has his eye on reviving the Beverly Hills Cop franchise with a fourth installment. There’s a good chance we’re going to be seeing a lot more of Eddie in the coming years. He might even double or even triple his net worth before the end of 2023.
As it currently stands, Kevin Hart is considered the highest-paid comedian of his generation, with a net worth that actually matches Murphy’s at $200 million. But with Murphy’s recent resurgence in popular entertainment, that could very well change.
Better watch out, Kevin. It looks like Eddie is ready to reclaim his throne as Hollywood’s biggest comedian. All he needs now is a podcast.