Larry David is a successful comedian, actor, director, and television producer. He is known for creating some of America’s most successful comedy sitcoms. David decided to take a step towards comedy when he realized he could make people laugh by being himself. As a college graduate, he began part-time jobs while pursuing his career as a stand-up comedian. After working as a writer for television shows, he created Seinfeld, a show that is considered one of the greatest comedy shows of all time. He has amassed a whopping $400 million fortune by creating shows and won many accolades, including Emmy Awards and Writers Guild of America Awards, for his contribution in the field of comedy.
From making his college crowd laugh to creating a show that would make generations laugh, Larry David joined forces with Jerry Seinfeld to create a television show that made him one of the richest comedians in the world. Let’s look at how Larry David earned his $400 million fortune.
Beginning As A Sketch Writer
After college, he pursued his stand-up career and soon became a writer and actor on the show Fridays, a late-night sketch comedy show that ran for three seasons beginning in 1980. Once the show ended, he became a writer for the popular NBC show Saturday Night Live, where a writer usually makes $50,000 a year during his time. According to Celebrity Net Worth, he has famously mentioned that only one of his sketches went on air at 12:50 AM, the last time slot. Since then, he has come back as a successful comedian to host the show.
After leaving SNL, David began pursuing his career as a stand-up comedian again. He actively performed around New York, making people laugh with his anecdotes. As a prolific writer, he wrote an episode for Norman’s Corner, a television show. In 1989, he teamed up with Jerry Seinfeld and wrote a pilot episode for NBC titled The Seinfeld Chronicles, later changed to Seinfeld. He decided to bring his Friday’s co-star Michael Richards and SNL alum Julia Louis-Dreyfus to star in the show as the now-iconic characters of Kramer and Elaine, respectively.
The Magic Of Seinfeld
Seinfeld became a phenomenon during the early 90s as the best comedy show on television. As mentioned by IMDB, the plot revolved around a stand-up comedian played by Jerry Seinfeld, the co-creator of the show, and his neurotic friends in New York City. Known as the show about nothing, it is still one of the most popular shows ever made. It changed the landscape of sitcoms and how plots could be about small aspects of life rather than dramatic storytelling. The characters portrayed by Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, and Michael Richards became household names in America.
While he was the co-creator and producer, Larry David only made a five-second cameo once in Season 4. He remained behind the scenes as a writer and wrote sixty-two out of the show’s one hundred and eighty episodes. Most of his earnings came from Seinfeld, as he owned 7.5% backend equity points similar to Jerry Seinfeld. Once the show was at its peak during the 1990s, NBC increased their points to 15% each.
After the show was syndicated in 1998, the deal made $1.7 billion, and Larry David earned $250 million. He consistently earns $40-$50 million every year via DVD sales, merchandise, and, most importantly, syndication. The number climbed higher when Hulu acquired the streaming rights to Seinfeld in 2015 for $180 million, and David made $80 million. To date, the show has made $4 billion in syndication and royalties, which is approximately $17 million for every episode of the show. In 2021, Seinfeld moved to Netflix in a $500 million deal which gave the streaming company its global rights, as stated by The Hollywood Reporter. Larry David made a whopping $75 million from the deal.
Going Beyond Seinfeld
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After the sixth season of Seinfeld, Larry David left the show on friendly terms but returned as a writer for the series finale in 1998 during its ninth season. David left to start his sitcom Curb Your Enthusiasm which HBO has broadcasted since 2000. The story revolves around semi-fictionalized Larry David and his social life in Los Angeles. The series was a hit and received critical acclaim for its stellar cast and writing. The show aired its first eight seasons between 2000 and 2011 and took a six-year hiatus before returning in 2017.
Curb Your Enthusiasm has been a popular sitcom and added a few more millions to David’s already sprawling net worth from Seinfeld. In 2008, he made $55 million from Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm together, as reported by The Things. His much-beloved character is the highlight of the show, which is why it was renewed after a long hiatus.
From beginning his career as a stand-up comedian to building his profile that led him to create Seinfeld, Larry David has made a $400 million fortune from creating shows that have become iconic over the years. He was last seen starring in the season finale in December 2021 of Curb Your Enthusiasm as fans eagerly wait for the show to be renewed for Season 12.
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Sources: Celebrity Net Worth, IMDB, The Hollywood Reporter, The Things
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