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20 Richest Game Show Hosts Of All Time Ranked

Game shows have long been a television institution, comprising some of the earliest examples of the medium and continuing to be a mainstay to this day. It's light, breezy entertainment where you literally just watch people play games. There are the old standbys that stay on the air for decades, and there are the novelty ones that hit hard for a season or two and then fade away. Further, there are also many different types of game shows, from ones that require putting on your thinking cap to ones that are mostly just built around everyone having a good time.

All that being said, there are two main ingredients that tie most game shows together – contestants and hosts. While the game itself is important, the game show host is basically the secret sauce to the success of a series. They are hosting the show for the competitors and the viewing audience and as such, they need to be good at their job to keep things running smoothly and keep people tuning in. Some game show hosts became celebrities through the job, while others were already celebrities who decided to step into game show hosting. 

Either way, it can be a lucrative gig, and many people who have hosted game shows are as financially comfortable as they would be if they were winning the grand prize on their own shows every single episode. Here are the 20 richest game show hosts, ranked.

20. Wayne Brady

Most people first took notice of Wayne Brady when he was a regular cast member on Drew Carey's U.S. version of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" — even though he did appear in a few episodes of the U.K. original. After all, Brady stole the show time and time again, despite being surrounded by performers who had been doing improv comedy on television for a decade or more at that point. He oozes natural talent, charm, and charisma, all of which are traits that made him the perfect candidate to host shows of his own.

His self-titled variety series, "The Wayne Brady Show," didn't catch on. However, Brady soon found himself the host of a new version of the iconic "Let's Make A Deal," a job he's held since 2009. He was also the original host of "Don't Forget The Lyrics!" Most recently, he hosted and executive produced "Game of Talents," though it would only last a few months between March and May of 2021. Between all of his hosting gigs plus his other acting and musical work, Brady's estimated net worth currently sits at around $12 million (per Celebrity Net Worth).

19. Tom Bergeron

Tom Bergeron's game hosting skills go way back to 1983 when he hosted the first season of a PBS high school quiz show called "Granite State Challenge" in New Hampshire. Fast forward 15 years and he would take over hosting gigs for the legendary "Hollywood Squares," a job he did for over one thousand episodes between 1998 and 2004. The early-2000s is when he really started to busy himself with television work, also hosting "America's Funniest Home Videos" as well "Dancing with the Stars," the latter of which he would host for an incredible 14 years.

In recent years, Bergeron seems content with just guesting on shows, showing up on "The Masked Singer," "To Tell the Truth," and "The $100,000 Pyramid," in addition to a number of other non-game reality shows. All told, Bergeron sits comfortably at an estimated $14 million net worth (per Celebrity Net Worth), so he's got plenty of money in the bank even if he decides he's done with full-time hosting work.  

18. Ben Stein

The premise of "Win Ben Stein's Money" was that host Ben Stein had so much cash that he was giving away his own to the winners of his show. In actuality, it was coming out of Stein's $5,000 per episode paycheck (per The New York Times). To fight for his salary, Stein himself was who contestants had to face in the final round, attempting to beat him in trivia when he was clearly a very learned man. It's arguable that Jimmy Kimmel was more of the actual host of the show, but it was still Stein's name in the title and he was the star of the show in a time when Kimmel wasn't quite yet a household name.

Stein's previous fame came from playing deadpan characters in movies like "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and "Ghostbusters II" as well as many television shows. Before entering showbusiness, Stein worked in politics where he was a presidential speechwriter for both Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. In recent years, he is most known for being outspoken about his various political, religious, and socioeconomic opinions on news programs and talk shows. Despite giving away so much of his own money on his game show, Stein is still said to have $25 million in the bank (per Wealthy Gorilla).  

17. Bob Eubanks

Bob Eubanks is best known for hosting "The Newlywed Game" in not only its original 1966 to 1974 run but also multiple revivals that came and went between 1977 all the way through 2010. While that alone would've been enough to cement his place in the game show host pantheon, Eubanks wasn't content to stop there. Throughout his impressive television career that spans the 1960s all the way through the 2020s, Eubanks also hosted the popular 1980s version of "Card Sharks" as well as several other lesser-known game shows.

Eubanks has used his status as a legendary game show emcee in his hosting of NBC's "Most Outrageous Game Show Moments" specials, sometimes introducing clips he himself was a part of. He also frequently plays himself in TV shows and movies, often hosting either one of his shows or some fictional game show within that series or film. Eubanks has also been frequently called on to host other televised and non-televised events, from beauty pageants to parades and beyond. His seven-decade-spanning career has brought him an estimated net worth of $25 million (per Celebrity Net Worth). 

16. Chris Hardwick

Though he occasionally flirts with acting, music, and stand-up comedy, Chris Hardwick's professional career has largely consisted of hosting gigs. He first discovered his niche in 1994, when he hosted the short-lived MTV game show "Trashed." However, it was when Hardwick co-hosted the dating show "Singled Out" alongside Jenny McCarthy – and later, Carmen Electra – that Hardwick really put himself on the map. He would then go on to host shows like "Shipmates," "Web Soup," the popular podcast "Nerdist," and roundtable discussion shows that followed "The Walking Dead," "Breaking Bad," and more.

In terms of game shows, Hardwick finally returned to the format for the first time since "Trashed" when he began hosting "@midnight" in 2013. In it, comedians and other celebrities would attempt to answer questions on the day's news and gossip headlines with intentionally silly answers. Since 2016, he has also hosted the largely luck-based game show "The Wall" on NBC. Between his hosting gigs, his acting, his stand-up, and his part in helping to build the entire Nerdist multimedia imprint, Hardwick is currently worth an estimated $25 million (per Celebrity Net Worth). 

15. Meredith Vieira

Meredith Vieira's television presence is most commonly of a more journalistic nature, with her being the original moderator on "The View" as well as spending five years as the co-host of "Today." In addition, she has worked on news programs like "Dateline" and "NBC Nightly News." However, Viera isn't all current events and seriousness any time she's on your television screen, with the first significant demonstration of this being when she was the first host of the daytime syndicated version of the game show "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" 

After over 10 years of hosting daytime "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" Viera took a few years off from the game show circuit. Then, in 2019, she started hosting the syndicated game show "25 Words or Less," which has three seasons under its belt and is currently confirmed to continue through to at least the 2022-2023 television season (per Deadline). Her many years on television across a variety of different shows have helped Viera to pad out a nice $40 million estimated nest egg (per Celebrity Net Worth). 

14. Anne Robinson

In the case of "The Weakest Link," host Anne Robinson really did take front and center and played a large part in the show's popularity. Her dry wit and subtle burns against underperforming contestants were a big part of the show's appeal, up to and including her signature, "You are the weakest link... goodbye" upon a contestant being voted off. It was the type of fun antagonism that would later be replicated in game shows like "The Chase."

At the peak of its popularity, "The Weakest Link" was second only to "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" in terms of global popularity and the number of different international versions (per BBC News). It definitely made a global celebrity out of Robinson, who had previously only been known in her native England as a journalist and TV show panelist. That level of fame would burn brightly for her for only a short time before both she and "The Weakest Link" saw a sharp decline in popularity in the U.S. Still, Robinson would continue to appear in various subsequent versions of "The Weakest Link" as well as other shows, leading to her building up a net worth of about $45 million (per Wealthy Gorilla). 

13. Howie Mandel

Howie Mandel has been a performer for a lot longer than some people may realize. By the time he broke through as a comedian and voice of Gizmo from "Gremlins" in the mid-1980s, Mandel had already been a series regular for six seasons of the medical drama "St. Elsewhere." In the '90s, he mostly focused on his stand-up comedy and various minor television appearances, but it was in the 2000s when his career saw a major renaissance – thanks in large part to hosting the extremely successful game show "Deal or No Deal." He not only also hosted subsequent syndicated versions himself, but he even also hosted his native Canada's own adaptation of the show — although it only ran for five episodes in 2007.

Mandel was bit by the hosting bug in a big way after that, but none of his other gigs were as prominent or long-lasting as being one of the panelists on "America's Got Talent," on which he has appeared from 2010 to the present. While he isn't the host, he has also appeared on 53 episodes so far of the celebrity game show "Funny You Should Ask" since 2017. The result is an estimated net worth of about $60 million (per Celebrity Net Worth).

12. Pat Sajak

The longest-running still-active game show host is currently Pat Sajak, who has been hosting "Wheel of Fortune" for an extremely impressive 41 years and counting. Prior to that gig, Sajak had spent much of the 1970s doing radio gigs and being a TV weatherman – that is, when he wasn't serving the U.S. Army in Vietnam (via Military.com). Other than a brief stint on "Days of Our Lives" in 1983, the only major screen job Sajak has had since starting on "Wheel of Fortune" was his short-lived 1989 to 1990 self-titled talk show.

Alongside co-host Vanna White, herself on the show since 1982, Sajak has become a legitimate television institution. He may have had other aspirations early on to do other things either instead of or in addition to hosting "Wheel of Fortune," but Sajak obviously made peace long ago with hosting the legendary game show being his primary career and the thing that he will be most remembered for. Certainly, the paycheck doesn't hurt, as Sajak has amassed a net worth of roughly $70 million (per Celebrity Net Worth).

11. Alex Trebek

The whole world was saddened by the death of Alex Trebek in 2020 and had been pulling for him throughout his battle with pancreatic cancer. Such was the connection the "Jeopardy" host had developed with his audience, the kind of celebrity-fan rapport that you just don't see very often. It just felt like he'd always been there and would always be there, and even now – years after his passing – it's hard to believe that he isn't.

Trebek was a fixture on multiple game shows throughout the 1960s and '70s, most notably "High Rollers," before taking over "Jeopardy" in 1984 from previous host Art Fleming. While he did a few other game shows here and there – including "Classic Concentration" — and was the longtime moderator for the National Geographic Bee finals, "Jeopardy" was Trebek's main gig for the remainder of his career and life. His net worth currently sits at about $75 million (per Celebrity Net Worth) and can potentially continue to grow postmortem as old "Jeopardy" reruns continue to be broadcast on television and brought to streaming services.  

10. Bob Barker

For multiple generations of kids, Bob Barker's voice soothed them as they ate chicken soup while staying home sick from school. There was just something about knowing that, amidst a sea of news, soap operas, judge shows, and whatever else was hot in daytime TV at any given moment, there was also that magical hour of "The Price is Right" to look forward to. The show, and Barker himself, rolled right along as other trends popped up and burnt out around them, always ready to check the actual retail price of a living room set.

There really must have been something special for "The Price is Right" to stay so stubbornly on the air — and Barker insisting on continuing to use that skinny, three-foot-long wired microphone — even long after the days in which game shows ruled daytime television hours. Much of that was Barker himself, as his warm, comforting presence made him feel like everyone's grandpa, ready with a smile for even the most overzealous of hugs from the most overexcited of contestants. That's not even taking into consideration his nearly 20 years hosting "Truth or Consequences" before he began his incredible run on "The Price is Right." The result is a net worth of about $70 million (per Celebrity Net Worth), some of which he used in support of various animal rights causes — his other defining legacy. 

9. Jeff Foxworthy

Being a stand-up comedian seems to require a similar skillset to hosting a game show, as many comedians end up doing the job at some point in their careers. It's a transition that makes a lot of sense, given that hosting a show doesn't require the long hours, the travel, or the overall instability that being a touring stand-up comedian necessitates. With that in mind, it's not hard to see why Jeff Foxworthy has largely shifted his career focus from comedy to game shows for a time, though he does still do the former on occasion.

Foxworthy stepped into the hosting game when he was the original host of "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?" working on the show from 2007 until 2015. In 2012, he hosted a second game show called "The American Bible Challenge" for Game Show Network, which ran for three seasons. He has since returned to stand-up comedy as well as scripted and other types of reality television, all of which have earned him an impressive estimated net worth of $100 million — hardly "blue collar" anymore (via Wealthy Gorilla). 

8. Regis Philbin

Regis Philbin holds an impressive world record: The most hours spent on television (per Today). It's a record that he was able to set largely by way of the length of his career and having co-hosted "Live! with..." for 23 years, though he has done plenty more. If there is one thing that might rival "Live!" in terms of what he is best known for, it's being the original host of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" during its popularity peak.

Philbin is a natural at interacting with people in front of a camera, a skill that made him the perfect game show host. He didn't do that job nearly as often as the world might've liked — but in addition to "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" he did also host "Million Dollar Password" from 2008 to 2009. He also appeared in numerous other game shows either as a panelist, contestant, or guest host, including "Deal or No Deal," "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?," and "Celebrity Jeopardy!" So what did that record-breaking number of hours on television get Philbin? It got him an estimated net worth of $150 million (per Celebrity Net Worth). 

7. Drew Carey

Bob Barker left impossible shoes to fill when he finally retired from "The Price is Right" in 2007, and not everyone was sold on Drew Carey being up to the task — including Bob Barker. However, seeing as he's now had the gig for 15 years and counting, it's safe to say that he has more than proven himself capable of continuing to steer one of television's true institutions. CBS offered Carey the job after taping the pilot episode of the new game show "Power of 10," which was Carey's first time hosting a traditional game show (per The New York Times). That series would only last a season, but Carey obviously did just fine without it.

Though not a game show in the traditional sense, Carey did venture into the world of hosting when he fronted the American adaptation of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" on ABC from 1998 until 2007. Even while busy with "The Price is Right," Carey returned to the world of improv when he created and hosted "Drew Carey's Improv-A-Ganza," featuring many of the same performers from "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" which also only lasted one season. Still, when all is said and done, Carey has amassed an impressive $165 million estimated fortune from his hosting gigs as well as the money from "The Drew Carey Show" remaining in near-consistent syndication since going off the air in 2004 (per Celebrity Net Worth). 

6. Don Francisco

Anyone who has watched Spanish-language television in the last 60 years almost certainly knows who Don Francisco is, as he was easily one of the biggest TV stars in the world during that time and still is today. Francisco — whose real name is Mario Kreutzberger — is so famous and has so much screen time under his belt that he's likely recognizable even to people who don't speak Spanish or have never watched a single second of Spanish-language television. 

Francisco is best known for his unbelievable 53-year stint hosting the comedy variety show "Sábado Gigante," originally exclusive to his native Chile but exported to the United States starting in 1986. It's the longest-running variety show in television history in any language (per Guinness World Records). In addition, Francisco was the host of Chile's version of both "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" and "Deal or No Deal." Not surprisingly, Francisco is quite wealthy after a very long, very prolific television career, with an estimated net worth of $200 million (per Celebrity Net Worth).

5. Steve Harvey

Steve Harvey came to the game show hosting world pretty late into his career, after having spent a couple of decades as a stand-up comedian, actor, and author. At one time, he was best known for appearing in the comedy concert film "The Original Kings of Comedy" and his self-titled sitcom – but these days most would identify him either from his daytime talk show or as the current host of "Family Feud."

In the early-2000s, he hosted a competition show called "Steve Harvey's Big Time Challenge," which ran from 2003 to 2005 and was his first real attempt at that type of job. By 2010, he had taken over as the newest host of "Family Feud," a position he still holds, and his tenure is the longest consecutive one in the show's history (per Next TV). He also hosts "Celebrity Family Feud," which typically airs during the summer. Harvey has always been a hard worker but especially so in the last 15 years or so, and it has helped him to reach the eight-figure club with a net worth of about $200 million (per Celebrity Net Worth)

4. Dick Clark

Most people never even get to be the head of one television institution. Dick Clark got to lead up several, most notably his long-running "New Year's Rockin' Eve" celebration as well as the influential music program "American Bandstand." Of course, Clark was also a legendary game show host as well – most notably presiding over multiple iterations of the game show "Pyramid" between 1973 and 2002.

However, over the course of his long career, Clark also hosted many other lesser-known and shorter-lived game shows, including "The Object Is" in 1963, "Missing Links" in 1964, "Scattergories" in 1993, "It Takes Two" in 1997, and "Winning Lines" in 2000. This is on top of numerous appearances as himself in many films and television shows over the years. He also founded Dick Clark Productions, a production company that remains active over a decade after his death. Not surprisingly, Clark's estimated net worth is impressive at $200 million (per Celebrity Net Worth).

3. Johnny Carson

There's no denying that Johnny Carson's primary legacy is that of his acclaimed stint as the host of "The Tonight Show," and to this day he is often still considered the gold standard in that job and the best to ever do it. However, it was his stint as the host of the game show "Who Do You Trust?" which first offered Carson the chance to banter with the contestants and showcased his peerless comedic interviewing talents. It's also on that show that Carson met Ed McMahon, who he'd bring along with as his sidekick on "The Tonight Show."

The board that awarded Carson a Peabody Award in 1985 said it best when it called him "an American institution, a household word, [and] the most widely quoted American." In the current landscape that is absolutely crowded with late night hosts and sees a fairly high turnover rate, it's hard to imagine a time when one man fully ruled that space for as long as Carson did, and that will likely never happen again. In addition to respect and reverence, Carson also earned a lot of money during his career — about $300 million, in fact (per Celebrity Net Worth).

2. Ryan Seacrest

If there is anyone on TV right now angling to be the next Dick Clark, it's Ryan Seacrest. And that's not only because he took over hosting duties of "New Year's Rockin' Eve" in Clark's final years, but because Seacrest is a prolific host of radio, television, music shows, and game shows. While he had already been working in the industry for a few years at that point, it was when Seacrest first started hosting "American Idol" that his career really took off, and he barely seems to have stopped to catch his breath since.

In addition to his time on "American Idol" and his own radio show alongside his hosting duties on "American Top 40," Seacrest also became Kelly Ripa's new permanent co-host of "Live with Kelly and Ryan" beginning in 2017. His first game show hosting gig was in 1997 with the short-lived "Click." In 2013, he hosted the single-season game show "The Million Second Quiz," which was innovative in the way the audience could play along in real time using an app and also awarded the winner with what was, at the time, the largest single cash prize in game show history (per NBC). Seacrest himself is almost the biggest earner among game show hosts in history as well, with a staggering $450 million estimated net worth that will likely only continue to grow for the foreseeable future (per Wealthy Gorilla).  

1. Merv Griffin

Though Merv Griffin is best known for hosting his long-running talk show as well as for creating game shows — most notably "Jeopardy!" and "Wheel of Fortune" – he did host a few in his day. Between 1958 and 1962 he hosted a game show called "Play Your Hunch" and did stints as a fill-in host on both "The Price is Right" and "To Tell the Truth" during that era. Speaking of fill-ins, Griffin was also one of many temporary hosts to front "The Tonight Show" after the end of Jack Paar's stint but before Johnny Carson took over full-time.

Still, even if Griffin had never set foot in front of a camera, his game show legacy would've been more than cemented just by virtue of his creating two of the most successful and longest-running game shows in history, both of which remain on the air 15 years after his death. It shouldn't be surprising that Griffin's estimated fortune is an impressive one, but not many may realize that he had a $1 billion net worth (per Celebrity Net Worth). With neither "Jeopardy!" nor "Wheel of Fortune" seeming to have an end on the immediate horizon, the value of his estate will only continue to grow long beyond his passing.