Comedy Special Issue: Top 10 Highest-Grossing Tours 1
Soupy Sales circa 1965 Photo by Bettmann / Getty Images

According to nearly everyone in this industry, the live comedy market is amidst something of a Golden Age. And Pollstar’s Boxoffice data bears this out with more major comedy tours reporting higher gross revenues and the highest combined gross ever for the year’s top tours.

There’s many reasons for this, including more streaming services, greater film, TV and branding opportunities, the rise of podcasts, the post-pandemic’s pent-up demand for belly laughs, low production costs in an inflationary market, more regional comedy scenes, the need for community and more.

As part of Pollstar’s inaugural Comedy Issue, Pollstar charted the Top 25 Comedy Tours between Sept. 16, 2021 and Sept 15, 2022, which yielded a variety of tours with impressive grosses ranging from Sebastian Maniscalco’s chart-topping $44.9 million to Mexican comedian Franco Escamilla whose tour yielded $4 million. Here, we’ve broken down and ranked the Top Ten highest-grossing comedy tours with ticket sales and the number of shows along with their teams and a short write-up on each comic.

Of course comedy, like many artforms, can be relative to a time and place; but, some guffaws, like say for example a guy holding a duck while covered in whipped cream, may have more longevity. It’s hard to say which of these comedians will stand the test of time, but for now we welcome the many opportunities we have to finally laugh along together.

No. 1 Sebastian Maniscalco
Gross Revenue: $44,902,984.60
Tickets Sold: 440,268
Number Of Shows: 84
Manager: Judi Marmel | Levity Live
Agent: Nick Nuciforo, Heidi Feigin | UTA
Promoter:  Various

FUNNY HA HA: “I get annoyed by the stupidest things. It could be someone eating a bag of chips or popping a Coke can on an airplane or listening to music without headphones. FaceTiming in public kills me. I don’t confront people. I just think about how I can’t wait to get on stage and tell a group of strangers about it.”


Sebastian Maniscalco has parlayed his physical, observational brand of standup comedy from the kitchens of Olive Garden to record-setting runs at Madison Square Garden Arena in New York City and TD Garden in Boston.

And it’s taken him to the top of the Pollstar’s Comedy Touring Chart, grossing $44,902,985 on more than 440,000 tickets sold during the Sept. 16, 2021-Sept. 15, 2022 reporting period.

“Whenever the world is in turmoil, people need to laugh,” says manager Judi Marmel, founding partner and president of talent for Levity Live. “Both of these are driving audiences to seek out whatever can bring them laughter and commonality.”

With the help of Marmel and UTA agents Nick Nuciforo and Heidi Feigin, the funnyman’s ticket sales put him on Pollstar’s Year End Top 100 Worldwide Tours chart in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Maniscalco earned Comedy Tour of the Year honors at the 2020 Pollstar Awards for his “Stay Hungry Tour” and “You Bother Me Tour.”

Not only is Maniscalco killing it on the boards but, as Pollstar went to press, it was announced he’ll star in “How To Be a Bookie,” an eight-episode order picked up by HBO Max and first on the network by top TV comedy showrunner Chuck Lorre.

No. 2 Gabriel Iglesias
Gross Revenue: $25,590,970.50
Tickets Sold: 435,243
Number Of Shows: 82
Manager: Joe Meloche | Arsonhouse Entertainment
Agent: Matt Blake | CAA
Promoter: Icon Concerts

FUNNY HA HA: “Every day I try to live just a little bit of my life like I might not be here tomorrow. Because you never know. I don’t want to die tomorrow knowing that I could’ve had a piece of cake tonight! Shoot, people tell me why don’t you lift weights? What if I die tomorrow? I don’t want to die sore, I want to die full!”


As Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias’ fans know, he’s not fat – he’s fluffy. One of his classic jokes explains that there are various levels of fatness including big, healthy, husky, fluffy and DAMN! Iglesias certainly deserves a resounding round of applause and an enthusiastic “DAMN!” in appreciation of the year he’s had (see cover story HERE).

“His career has gone beyond any expectations that anyone has set for him. Not many people have ever performed in a stadium, and that is the pinnacle,” says promoter Paul Meloche of Icon Concerts, who has worked with Iglesias since 2001.

In May, Iglesias made history as the first comedian to headline Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium. And not only that, but after selling out the May 7 show, Fluffy added a second performance on May 6. The shows, which were filmed as part of the “Netflix is a Joke” festival, were taped for Iglesias’ third Netflix special due out Oct. 18.

“Fluffy’s fanbase is anyone who loves comedy,” Meloche adds. “Gabriel has worked hard to be inclusive of everyone. The fans have loved every minute of the shows, and we keep seeing more and more fans every year! Gabriel has very supportive fans and he would not be the behemoth that he is without the fans. Ticket sales have been the best we have seen since 2019 (pre-pandemic).”

Other highlights from his 2022 tour include two shows at the Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Florida, July 29-30, that sold 12,975 tickets and grossed $915,030, along with breaking into new markets internationally with performances in Athens, Greece, and Barcelona, Spain.

In recent years Iglesias’ projects have included voicing Speedy Gonzales in 2021’s “Space Jam: A New Legacy” and starring in the sitcom “Mr. Iglesias,” as well as serving as executive producer.

No. 3 Jo Koy
Gross Revenue: $23,972,797.90
Tickets Sold: 360,820
Number Of Shows: 79
Manager: Joe Meloche | Arsonhouse Entertainment
Agent: Matt Blake | CAA
Promoter: Icon Concerts

FUNNY HA HA: “Finally. Two years. You know what sucked? This is all I know how to do, stand-up. And when [the pandemic] took that away from me, it got to the point where I looked at my son, I was like ‘Jo, this is all I know how to do.’ I looked at my son and said, ‘We’re gonna starve. But we’re going to laugh doing it’.”


Jo Koy’s skyrocketing career may be the best proof of concept that a comedy Golden Age is upon us. In September, Netflix released his fourth comedy special in five years, “Live At The Forum,” in which he hilariously skewers a variety of subjects ranging from sleep apnea to whistling Mexicans all from his Filipino-American perspective—an inextricable part of his comedy.

That unique take is also at the core of his uproarious new feature film, “Easter Sunday,” released by Universal Pictures in August.

The film revolves around a feuding Filipino family and was made with no less a figure than Steven Spielberg, whom he originally pitched on the idea and who supported the film’s making throughout its production.

Koy’s gargantuan $24 million haul over the last year included sell-out performances at Climate Pledge Arena in January in his hometown of Seattle selling 14,183 tickets and grossing $1.06 million; two shows at the Kia Forum March 25-26 bringing in a massive $1.7M and 23,244 fans; and two shows in May at San Francisco’s Chase Center yielding $1.6M, according to Pollstar Boxoffice Reports.

And Koy’s not slowing down. In 2023 he kicks off his “Jo Koy World Tour” at San Antonio’s AT&T Center Jan. 27, with subsequent stops at Denver’s Ball Arena, D.C.’s Captiol One Arena and Chicago’s United Center.

No. 4 Bert Kreischer
Gross Revenue: $23,581,300.70
Tickets Sold: 369,943
Number Of Shows: 148
Manager: Judi Marmel | Levity Live
Agent: Nick Nuciforo, Heidi Feigin | UTA
Promoter: Outback Concerts | For Fully Loaded

FUNNY HA HA: “When I was on ‘Hurt Bert’ on FX – and I’m not crapping on FX, I’m just being honest – there was a point when I realized that they didn’t care if I died. If I died, they’d say ‘Of course it’s a legal thing, but think of the numbers.’”


There’s nothing Bert Kreischer loves more than a good time, and he continues to raise the bar making sure his fans are having just as much fun as he is. The barrel-chested performer continues his hot streak in 2022, not just selling out shows at the arena level but also creating a new model for comedy: the “Fully Loaded” festival of outdoor venues.

Brian Dorfman, Outback Presents comedy promoter; UTA agents Nick Nuciforo and Heidi Feigin, and manager Judi Marmel of Levity Live, all brought their “A” games to help Kreischer execute a vision that has its roots in the original, Perry Farrell-curated, traveling Lollapalooza festival.

“Fully Loaded” was just one of many highlights for Kreischer during the Sept. 16, 2021-Sept. 15, 2022 reporting period used to determine Pollstar’s Top 10 chart. The comedic road warrior has been touring most of that period and doing mostly sellout business.

Among the highest grossing, best attended shows are his Sept. 8, 2021 appearance at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado, which sold out 9,161 tickets for a gross of $505,564; May 5, 2022 at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles (5,503; $372,712) and a Nov. 5-7 run at Boston’s Wang Theatre-Boch Center (10,373; $630,343)

No. 5 Kevin Hart
Gross Revenue: $22,158,703.00
Tickets Sold: 220,182
Number Of Shows: 25
Manager: Dave Becky | 3 Arts Entertainment
Agent: Mike Berkowitz | WME
Promoter: Live Nation

FUNNY HA HA: “There was a point in time when we were in (Disneyland) where I lost my daughter … But I knew eventually I would run into her again, so I took that time to get on rides she couldn’t get on. … When I saw her she was crying … I was like, ‘It’s not your birthday. Today’s not about you.’”


Comedy is hard work and Kevin Hart works hard.

The reigning Pollstar comedy touring act of the decade makes appearances in three 2022 live-action films (and his voice shows up in an animated picture, too). He’ll juggle numerous hosting gigs and guest appearances and funny interviews with his pal and frequent co-star Dwayne Johnson. He opened his vegetarian fast-food restaurant concept Hart House in August near Los Angeles International Airport.

His Laugh Out Loud Productions includes a streaming service in a partnership with NBC’s Peacock, a studio arm that produces a weekly series from D.L. Hughley and Hart’s latest Netflix stand-up special and a tour production division that staged Nick Cannon’s Wild ‘n’ Out’s live show before COVID cut it short in 2020.

As if that’s not enough, Hart’s in the midst of his five-month Reality Check arena tour.
He grossed an impressive $2 million-plus in Newark, New Jersey, Atlanta and Washington, D.C. and nearly got there on a sold-out night at Barclays in Brooklyn.

All that hard work pays off: Hart’s career touring gross earnings, according to reports submitted to Pollstar’s Box Office, are nearing $190 million.

No. 6 Dave Chappelle
Gross Revenue: $21,499,305.50
Tickets Sold: 185,015
Number Of Shows: 13
Agent: Rick Greenstein | Gersh
Promoter:  Live Nation

FUNNY HA HA: “If someone sits and stares at you while you eat, you won’t even eat the way you normally do, because it’ll make you so uncomfortable. If I look at my dog when he’s eating, he will look at me like, ‘Dave, I will bite you. What are you looking at? I’m trying to eat.’”


Dave Chappelle was riding a bit of a rollercoaster in 2022, between accusations of transphobia for jokes told during a Netflix “The Closer” special and being attacked onstage during a May 3 performance at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles last summer during the “Netflix Is A Joke” festival.

But despite the threats of “cancellation” along with a physical threat, Chappelle’s live business is humming along well enough for him to land at No. 6 on Pollstar’s chart of top-performing comedians in 2022.

With 11 shows reported to Pollstar – most of them sold-out – the comedian sold 167,102 tickets and grossed $21,499,305 on the Comedy Touring Chart despite the uproar, with the capable guidance of manager Corey Smyth of Blacksmith and agent Rick Greenstein of Gersh. Since the Hollywood Bowl shows, Chappelle has performed with Chris Rock at the O2 in London for two shows Sept. 3-4 as well as a “Rise For The River” benefit show with musician John Mayer in Livingston, Montana, Aug 14.

While one show, originally scheduled on July 20 at First Ave. in Minneapolis, was moved to the Varsity Theater because of the alleged transphobic joke made during “The Closer,” the four-show Hollywood Bowl run between April 28 and May 3 sold out its 65,153 ticket allotment to gross $9,705,936.

No. 7 Chris Rock
Gross Revenue: $16,339,488.20
Tickets Sold: 139,395
Number Of Shows: 35
Agent: Steve Levine | CAA
Promoter: Live Nation

FUNNY HA HA: “You know, some people say life is short and that you could get hit by a bus at any moment and that you have to live each day like it’s your last. Bullshit. Life is long. You’re probably not gonna get hit by a bus. And you’re gonna have to live with the choices you make for the next 50 years.”


Among Pollstar’s comedy survey polling, Chris Rock’s European shows with Dave Chappelle were considered the best tour by more respondents than any other comedy outings this year.

From his earlier days on “Saturday Night Live” to his long list of movies, including classics such as “Beverly Hills Cop II,” “Osmosis Jones” and “Madigascar,” Rock remains one of the biggest superstars in comedy.

Within 35 shows reported to Pollstar this year to date, Chris Rock has sold 139,395 tickets grossing a total of $16.3 million.

Working with Steve Levine at CAA, Rock’s quick-witted humor not only grants him the No. 7 ranking on Pollstar’s Top Comedy Tours chart, but also cements him as a cultural zeitgeist.

Rock has been performing multi-night stints across the United States over the past several months, with further stops in New York City, Chicago, Seattle, Washington, D.C. and more on the calendar. For his July 29-31 run in Atlanta, which featured three shows at the Fox Theatre, Rock sold 13,845 tickets for a gross of $816,836.

Just days before, on July 25, he sold out Brooklyn, New York’s Barclays Center with Kevin Hart, grossing a whopping $1.9 million. The previous week, Rock and Hart sold out Newark, New Jersey’s Prudential Center with a gross of $2 million.

No. 8 John Mulaney
Gross Revenue: $15,585,492.70
Tickets Sold: 183,370
Number Of Shows: 25
Agent: Mike Berkowitz | WME
Promoter: Live Nation

FUNNY HA HA: “I played basketball for five years and I was a benchwarmer all five years. If you were never a benchwarmer, I cannot express to you the humiliation of every Saturday morning, putting on a pair of breakaway pants and never having a reason to break them away —​ then they’re just pants.”


In 2017, David Letterman — receiving the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor and flanked by Steve Martin, Martin Short, Bill Murray and Norm McDonald — proclaimed John Mulaney “the future of American comedy.”

No pressure.

Mulaney wasn’t an unknown quantity by that point. He’d written for “Saturday Night Live” – where he helped create one of the most iconic characters of the early 2000s: Stefon, Bill Hader’s effusive New York nightlife reviewer (who was possibly on molly). He’d headlined comedy clubs since 2008. He’d written for the critically acclaimed mockumentary series “Documentary Now!”

And a year later, in 2018, he’d voice Spider-Ham/Peter Porker in the animated smash “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.”

He earned two Emmy nominations for his Netflix show “The Sack Lunch Bunch,” a parody and a loving homage to the kids-show genre.

Mulaney’s on the road again, out on his “From Scratch Tour.” It’s an apt name. Mulaney, who has been open about his struggles with addiction, is in recovery and is a new father.
Among the highlights of the tour: two over-capacity nights at Maryland’s Meriweather Post Pavilion, grossing more than $1.5 million; a sell-out at Dallas’ American Airlines Center; and a seven-figure gross at the Greek in Berkeley, California.

No. 9 Jeff Dunham
Gross Revenue: $12,174,574.80
Tickets Sold: 232,576
Number Of Shows: 45
Manager: Robert Hartmann and Judi Marmel | Levity Live
Agent: Matt Blake | CAA
Promoter: Tate Group

FUNNY HA HA: Peanut: I think it’d be cool to be a ventriloquist. Jeff Dunham: Why’s that?
Peanut: I’d go to a lot of funerals. ‘Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today,’ ‘I’m not dead yet! Let me out of here!’


So far this year, Jeff Dunham’s 45 shows have sold 232,576 tickets and grossed $12.17 million. With his skilled use of dummies, Dunham’s sets manage to stand out due to the hysterical banter between him and his various characters.

Highlights from Dunham’s shows over the past year include his April 23 show at Phoenix’s Footprint Center, grossing $472,037. Over in Europe, Dunham grossed $422,729 for his show in Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome, $434,798 for his show at The O2 in London, $373,569 for his show at First Direct Arena in Leeds and more.

Dunham set his sights on becoming the best ventriloquist to ever live at the age of eight (take that, Shari Lewis and Lambchop!). Now, 52 years later, the comedian may have cemented himself as such. Over the years, Dunham has ranked as one of the highest-grossing comedians of all time. He first launched his career after winning the American Collegiate Talent Showcase organized by Barbara “Mother” Hubbard. Now, “The World’s Best Ventriloquist” has an all-star team made up of Judi Marmel, Robert Hartmann, Matt Blake and the Tate Group.

Dunham notably created several of his characters himself, and Walter, Peanut, José Jalapeño on a Stick, Bubba J and Achmed the Dead Terrorist remain his most common, recurring characters. His controversial acts continue bringing large laughs, the dummies poking fun at everyone.

No. 10 Jim Gaffigan
Gross Revenue: $12,121,646.80
Tickets Sold: 160,909
Number Of Shows: 61
Manager: Alex Murray | Brillstein Entertainment
Agent: Nick Nuciforo | UTA
Promoter: Various

FUNNY HA HA: “I don’t know how my wife did it. We had five children doing distance learning. And my kids were good, they totally kept a distance from learning. We asked school children to do learning on the same device they play Minecraft. It’s like holding a Weight Watchers meeting at a Wendy’s.”


The affable, hilarious and quite pale Jim Gaffigan is a virtual one-man comedy industry who made his name with side-splitting insights into family and fatherhood (five kids will do that to you), food, laziness and far more.

The multi-hyphenate, who released his ninth(!) stand-up special, “Comedy Monster,” on Netflix last December, is also a six-time Grammy-nominated comedian, actor, writer, producer, two-time New York Times best-selling author, three-time Emmy-winner and consistently a top touring comic.

Gaffigan grossed an impressive $12.1 million over the last year, according to Pollstar Boxoffice reports. This included a $1.42 million and 19,544 tickets sold over the course seven shows at Seattle’s Paramount Theater Dec. 15-19, 2021; three nights at The Chicago Theater March 3-5 bringing in $705K on 10,086 tickert; and $690K on 7,970 tickets over three nights in April at the Premier Theater at Foxwoods in Connecticut. All three of those dates were promoted by Outback Presents.

His current “The Fun Tour,” which began in Aug. 2021 includes six shows in October at the Paramount Theater in Huntingon, New York, six European dates in November and three dates at the Las Vegas Wynn at the end of this year as well as four more next year to close out the two-year run in August 2023.