Jeff Dunham Net Worth

$140 Million

Last Updated:

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What is Jeff Dunham’s net worth? 

Net Worth:$140 Million
Born:April 18, 1962
Height:1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Country of Origin:United States of America
Source of Wealth:Professional Comedian
Last Updated:March 8, 2023


Jeff Dunham is an American actor, stand-up comedian, and ventriloquist, who has made appearances on various television shows, most notably, The Tonight Show and Comedy Central Presents.

His performances invariably leave the audience in stitches. He is known for pushing the limits with his jokes, getting away with sarcastic and cutting remarks as his dummies are the ones who’re usually at fault.

The ingeniousness behind his performance is his unique way of creating personas and characters that you recognize and can’t help but love.

Even when his puppets represent a character that is quite dreadful, he manages to get away with jokes that no one else would dare to try.

As of April 2023, Jeff Dunham’s net worth is estimated to be $140 Million.


Jeff Dunham Facts

  • Jeff’s first big appearance on TV was in 1976, when he was interviewed by Bill O’Reilly, the local TV News reporter.
  • Dunham was adopted in 1962 by a devout Christian couple and was their only child.
  • His big break came after Johnny Carson invited Jeff and his sidekick “Walter” onto the Tonight Show in 1990.
  • Jeff appeared in many TV ads during his high school years and later became famous for his 1996 Hertz commercial.
  • In 1985, he appeared on Broadway in a burlesque variety show called “Sugar Babies,” starring Mickey Rooney.
  • Jeff stole a library book, “Fun With Ventriloquism,” in 1972 and has never given it back.


Early Life 

Jeffrey Douglas Dunham was born on 18 April 1962, in Dallas, Texas, and was adopted at three months old.

He was taken in as a baby by a devout Christian family. His father, Howard Dunham, was a real estate appraiser, and his mother, Joyce, was a homemaker. He was an only child.

This could be the reason behind his finding a ventriloquist doll great company after it was given to him when he was 9 years old.

Jeff received the doll for Christmas, and very shortly afterward, checked out a book from the library on ventriloquism, which, he has revealed, is still in his possession to this day.

Big inspirations for him as a child were Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd, who were the ventriloquism dolls of Edgar Bergen.

From early on, Jeff performed in multiple commercials while still only in high school. By the time Jeff entered university, he was earning over $70,000 annually.

It is little wonder that he was voted most likely to succeed in high school.



Even with Jeff’s jokes being a bit risqué, the puppets seemed to subdue the jokes. In 1976, he was interviewed by a local news reporter and, from there, his popularity skyrocketed.

This interview got him his first big job for a Datsun dealership in Dallas while still in high school.

Once enrolled at university, Jeff soon became busy juggling schoolwork and performances. He would fly all around the country on weekends and attend over 100 shows per year.

In 1985, Jeff got his big break, being asked to join the Broadway show, Sugar Babies.

After graduating, he continued to perform in comedy clubs around the Southwest. After a while, Jeff realized that the main problem with his acts was the lack of development in his humor.

Jeff was inspired by comedians like Jerry Seinfeld and took advice from more experienced performers. He became friends with the owner of The Comedy and Magic Club, where he was able to practice his new comedic acts. This was his first step away from G-rated jokes and on to a more adult-like theme.

After lots of appearances at clubs around Los Angeles, Jeff finally felt confident enough to appear on The Tonight Show in 1990. Jeff’s appearance went extremely well and was the biggest break of his career.

In 1996, he appeared with Ellen DeGeneres on the Ellen show and went on to appear on the Tonight show four more times.

He appeared on Comedy Central Presents in his first solo performance, which was super successful. After a few more shows, Comedy Central decided to air “Arguing with Myself”, which went on to sell two million DVDs worldwide.

Jeff traveled globally with his characters, easily crossing language barriers. This culminated in his 2008 shows performing in front of tens of thousands of people in huge arenas.


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Jeff Dunham’s Career Earnings

Jeff Dunham is cagey about what he earns, but we estimate that he receives a salary of between $15 million and $30 million annually.

Here’s an estimated overview of Jeff Dunham’s annual income:

  • Jeff Dunham’s Salary in 2015 – $15 million
  • Jeff Dunham’s Salary in 2016 – $20 million
  • Jeff Dunham’s Salary in 2017 – $26 million
  • Jeff Dunham’s Salary in 2018 – $17.2 million
  • Jeff Dunham’s Salary in 2019 – $25 million
  • Jeff Dunham’s Salary in 2020 – $28.5 million
  • Jeff Dunham’s Salary in 2021 – $27 million
  • Jeff Dunham’s Salary in 2022 – $30 million

With Jeff’s popularity with a huge segment of the TV audience, he’ll not have any trouble maintaining and even increasing his earnings in the future.


Jeff Dunham’s Net Worth Annually

Jeff is an astute businessman as well as a highly talented performer. By putting his money into real estate and valuable vehicles, he’s managed to grow his net worth to the huge amount it is now.

Here’s a breakdown of Jeff Dunham’s annual net worth:

  • Jeff Dunham’s Net Worth In 2017 – $105 million
  • Jeff Dunham’s Net Worth In 2018 – $110 million
  • Jeff Dunham’s Net Worth In 2019 – $112 million
  • Jeff Dunham’s Net Worth In 2020 – $120 million
  • Jeff Dunham’s Net Worth In 2021 – $130 million
  • Jeff Dunham’s Net Worth In 2022 – $140 million

Given his popularity, Jeff will no doubt continue to amass a fortune from his live shows and TV specials.


Personal Life

In 1994, Jeff married his girlfriend of two years, Paige Brown. He met Paige at the Comedy Corner and they hit it off immediately. They adopted a daughter whom they named Bree and had two daughters, Ashlyn and Kenna.

Unfortunately, with Jeff’s time away performing, they divorced due to the strain his career was putting on them.

On the 25th of December 2011, Jeff married a personal trainer, Audrey Murdick. They had twin boys,  James Jeffrey and Jack Steven, the year after their marriage.

Jeff doesn’t just love building his dummies, but also has a passion for building custom helicopters. He is also the owner of the original Batmobile, which he outfitted to make it street legal.


Awards & Achievements

Building on his early successes, Jeff has become a worldwide phenomenon as a comedian. His wacky humor and relatable characters are popular wherever he goes.

Here are some notable moments to remember from Jeff Dunham’s career:

  • Jeff was named the third highest earning comedian in America in 2009 by Forbes magazine, where he’s listed just behind Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock, the funniest comedian in the world.
  • He earned the accolade of “Billboard’s Top Comedian” three years in a row from 2008 onwards.
  • Jeff Dunham also won the “Ventriloquist of the Year” Award twice, in 2008 and 2009.
  • Dunham has two of Comedy Central’s most viewed specials on record, Minding the Monsters in 2012 and Controlled Chaos in 2011.
  • His Very Special Christmas Special, which aired in 2008, is credited as the highest-rated program of all time on Comedy Central.

Jeff is constantly in the news, with his cutting humor and accurate portrayals of relatable characters. For this reason, we are certain he will be receiving more accolades as the years go by.


How Does Jeff Dunham Spend His Money?

Jeff loves building custom helicopters in his spare time, which isn’t a cheap hobby.

He has also invested quite a bit in real estate as well, having sold a Mediterranean-style home in Encino, California, for $4.1 million.

Jeff has also made a fortune by selling a Del Mar beach-view house for $5.5 million.

As a passionate car enthusiast, it is not hard to explain the original Batmobile in Jeff’s garage. Not only does he have the iconic superheroes’ car, but also many of the most expensive cars in the world along with sports cars and antique vehicles.

You can learn more about what Jeff is doing on his official Instagram account which lists toy collecting as one of his hobbies.



After more than 45 years in showbusiness, Jeff has had many highs and lows in his career. Comedy is a difficult medium and you’re not always going to be popular with everybody.

Here are some of the best highlights of Jeff Dunham’s career: 

  • Jeff’s big break came when he first appeared on The Tonight Show, which opened the floodgates. He returned to the show four more times.
  • His solo appearance on Comedy Central Presents jump-started his worldwide appeal.
  • One of Jeff’s puppets, Achmed the Dead Terrorist, was introduced a year after the tragedy of 9/11 and was a huge hit.
  • Jeff himself financed his 76-minute performance on DVD, Arguing with Myself, which gave Comedy Central massive ratings in 2006.

His humor is timeless while at the same time touching on relevant and newsworthy current events. This is the source of his great success and what his fans have come to expect and love.


Favorite Jeff Dunham Quotes

As a performer and comedian, Jeff is known for his commentary on life and current events. Many of his quips are spot on, finding their target and eliciting a wry smile at their accurate assessment of events and characters.

Here are our favorite quotes from Jeff Dunham:

  • “I always try and do everything I can to the best of my abilities, every single aspect has to be perfect. ” – Jeff Dunham
  • “You never know how long your fifteen minutes of fame is going to last. ” – Jeff Dunham
  • “When a bad experience happens, you just chalk it up to the great fact that you just got five more jokes in the show. ” – Jeff Dunham
  • “I hate the beach – I’m a mountain guy. I’d much rather face a bear than a shark. ” – Jeff Dunham
  • “I don’t aim it at anybody specific. I don’t aim for my characters to make old people laugh or young people or professionals or blue-collar. Just whatever I think is going to be funny and it just happens like that. ” – Jeff Dunham


3 Amazing Lessons From Jeff Dunham

Jeff has had to develop a thick skin as his critics are always waiting for him to misstep. Despite this, Jeff has managed to build an enormous fortune and leave his mark on the comedy landscape.

Now that you know all about Jeff Dunham’s net worth, here are some of the best success lessons to learn from Jeff Dunham:


1. Ignore The Critics

No matter what other people say, follow what you believe in.


2. Be Persistent

Never give up, no matter the obstacles in the way. It is never easy to break new ground, but the ability to keep going when the going gets tough is what makes for great success.


3. Be True To Yourself

Do what you want to do for yourself, not for anyone else. In the final analysis, you need to make yourself happy, because no one else can.



Jeff Dunham has put a unique spin on the comedy industry. He’s proven that props can make a huge difference, especially when it comes to risqué jokes.

By working hard to perfect his humor, he’s elevated his performance to an art form that has wide audience appeal. It is an impressive feat to start from such a young age doing small shows, and then end up as one of the richest comedians of all time.

Not only is Jeff Dunham a role model for comedians everywhere, he’s an inspiration to anyone who has a passion for entertainment and wants to earn a lot of money into the bargain.

As of April 2023, Jeff Dunham’s net worth is estimated to be $140 Million.

What do you think about Jeff Dunham’s net worth? Leave a comment below. 

John Mulder
John Mulder
John is a professional accountant with a passion for writing. When not helping clients identify tax and financial opportunities, you can find him writing, sailing offshore, or flying a plane. He’s worked and partied with the rich and famous from around the world, getting an inside look at the secretive lifestyles of high-net-worth celebrities.


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