In this year’s comedy spotlight, box-office grosses from the 30 highest-grossing comedy tours top the half-billion-dollar mark from shows performed at concert venues worldwide. With a total of $513.7 million earned from ticket sales at live performances between Oct. 16, 2022 through Oct. 15 of this year, the top 30 comedy touring artists collectively performed for more than 6.2 million fans at 1,617 shows in arenas, theaters and clubs as well as a handful of outdoor venues.
Heading up the list is Kevin Hart who takes the No. 1 position with a worldwide gross of $68.3 million which is three times more than his gross recorded on last year’s top comedy tour chart. With 77 performances reported, his “Reality Check” world tour played 58 venues in North America and Oceania, as well as South Africa and the Middle East early this year. Touring for the first time since his “Irresponsible” trek in 2017-2018, he sold 649,741 tickets during the past 12 months and accumulated the best attendance total for any of the artists in the top 30.
The Theatre at Resorts World in Las Vegas is the venue that produced his top overall gross of $5.8 million from four engagements. He played two-show runs at the theater in November and the end of December last year, followed by two-night stints in March and July of 2023. Combined attendance for the eight shows reached 33,085.
Bert Kreischer lands second overall on the chart based on 87 performances of his “Tops Off” world tour. He racked up a gross of $33.4 million from 481,684 sold tickets at 71 venues in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and a handful of European countries.
He played 45 arenas and 23 theaters during the past 12 months along with two outdoor amphitheaters and one minor league ballpark. His best attendance was 15,434, recorded at Mullett Arena in Tempe, Arizona, from shows on Feb. 8 and 11. Ticket earnings at the venue topped $1.5 million, which was also his highest gross on record during the tour.
At No. 3, Dave Chappelle’s $33.4 million gross as a solo headliner comes from 244,209 sold seats at 25 performances in North America and Oceania. Included among his dates is a recent seven-show engagement at Lincoln Theatre in Washington, D.C. from Oct. 10 through 13. With a sellout crowd of 1,100 at every performance, the multiple-night event grossed over $789,000. His top box-office total at a single solo performance was logged at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center in June with a gross just under $3 million.
He is the only comedian to land on the chart twice, as he also ranks at No. 8 based on eight co-headlining arena dates with Chris Rock in December 2022 and January of this year. Together they grossed $20.8 million from 130,413 tickets sold in U.S. venues.
For Jerry Seinfeld (No. 4), touring was almost continuous during the yearlong timeframe as he appeared on a theater stage at some point during every month except August. All but two of his 89 shows were staged in U.S. cities, while single arena performances in two Canadian cities were also on the schedule. With a total of 238,765 tickets sold, his overall gross totaled $29.5 million.
Jo Koy rounds out the top five with a $29.4 million gross from 88 performances on his world tour which drew 439,103 fans to arenas and theaters in North America, Europe and Oceania. Sacramento, California’s Golden 1 Center produced his best numbers with a two-show gross of $1.49 million from 21,342 sold seats – the highest totals of any venue on his tour.
The men make a strong showing among the top 30 tours as male comedians dominate the chart, holding 26 of the ranked positions, while female headliners occupy four spots in the ranking. Among them are Tina Fey and Amy Poehler who together grossed $9.5 million at 15 co-headlining events to land at No. 21. Taylor Tomlinson is ranked highest among the women with the No. 12 slot based on a 114-show box-office haul of $17.4 million.
Knoxville, Tennessee-based comedy star Leanne Morgan scores the 26th ranking with $6.5 million in sales, and Chelsea Handler lands at No. 30 with just under $5 million from 51 performances.
Eighteen artists make a return appearance this year after ranking among the top comedy tours in 2022. Along with Seinfeld, Fey/Poehler and Morgan, other artists new to the chart this year are English comics Peter Kay, Jimmy Carr and Michael McIntyre – Kay with dates in the U.K. and Carr and McIntyre in Oceania. Also debuting are Jim Jefferies with events in North America and Europe, Adam Sandler with U.S. arena shows, Theo Von with theater dates and Matt Rife whose “ProbleMATTic” world tour is booked through next October. Finally, two package tours make the cut: the “Straight Jokes! No Chaser Comedy Tour” hosted by Mike Epps at No. 15 and the Impractical Jokers’ live show at No. 29.