“I spent half my money on gambling, alcohol, and wild women. The other half I wasted.” – W.C. Fields
Comedians have been telling money jokes for generations. It’s a rich and enduring topic, especially for those experienced with money and the rest who’d like to be.
Check out these quips from 50 top comics — and have a laugh:
1. John Oliver: Know where you stand
“Income inequality: A good way to figure out which side of it you’re on is whether you’re currently paying for HBO or stealing it.”
“The federal estate tax does not apply to 99.4 percent of all farm estates, it also doesn’t apply to 99.86 percent of anyone’s estates. Basically, if you’re not comfortable calling your accumulation of [stuff] an estate, the estate tax probably doesn’t [expletive] apply to you.”
— John Oliver, “Last Week Tonight”
2. Steve Martin: Holiday wish
“If I had one wish I could wish this holiday season, it would be for all the children of the world to join hands and sing together in the spirit of harmony and peace. If I had two wishes I could make this holiday season, the first would be for all the children of the world to join hands and sing together in the spirit of harmony and peace; and the second would be for $30 million a month to be given to me, tax free, in a Swiss bank account.”
— Steve Martin, from “Saturday Night Live”
3. Erica Rhodes: What problem?
“I know money doesn’t solve all my problems, but it sure seems to solve everybody else’s. If I had more money I could make a lot more jokes at my own expense.”
— Erica Rhodes, stand-up
4. Jerry Seinfeld: Buying too much
“There are too many things. I’m a thrower-outer.
“‘Where’s the wedding album?’
“‘I thought you were done with it.’
“That was wrong. I admit that now.
“All things on Earth only exist in different states of becoming garbage. Your home is a garbage processing center where you buy new things, bring them into your house and slowly crapify them over time. … Objects start at the highest level, visible in a living area. From there it goes down to a closet, cupboard or drawer — we have those so we don’t have to see all of the huge mistakes we have made. From the closet it goes to the garage, one of the longest phases in trashification but most definite. No object has ever made it out of the garage and back into the house.
“The word garage seems to be a form of the word garbage. Once you’re living in the same room as the garbage cans, it won’t be much longer now
“Really, eBay is the only thing that can save the object at this point. EBay, another great step forward in human culture. Why don’t we mail our garbage back and forth to each other? Why talk to your family at night when you could be bidding $8 to $10 on a troll doll from Thailand?
“Or a personal storage unit, the saddest of all. Now instead of free garbage, you pay rent to visit your garbage.”
— Jerry Seinfeld, stand-up
5. Louis C.K.: Whose money is it?
“I never viewed money as being ‘my money.’ I always saw it as ‘the money.’ If it pools up around me, then it needs to be flushed back out into the system.”
— Louis C.K., stand-up
6. Kevin Hart: How to dodge overspending
“I stay in my financial lane. You start to make money. When you make money you meet other people that make money. When you meet other people who make money, you want to hang out with these people. Naturally, you want to spend money the way they spend money, and you realize you don’t make the same kind of money as these [other] people make.
“You got to stay in your lane. … [After an expensive night of partying] I tell my friend I can’t do the same [thing] two nights in a row because the way my bank account is set up, the thing is I’ve got a checking and a savings, but all my money is in the savings, so I gotta switch it to my checking, but it’s going to take three business days. I don’t think it’s going to go through.”
— Kevin Hart, stand-up
7. Joe DeVito: Check it out
“If a check comes with a lot of directions for cashing, that is a bad check.
“Did they repeatedly mention the difference between calendar days and business days? That is a bad check.
“Was there a lot of coughing, throat clearing, and eye-darting when they confirmed the amount? That is a very, very bad check.
“Make sure you cash it at their bank, not yours. If it bounces, you’ll avoid overdraft fees and dirty looks from tellers who know you.”
—Joe DeVito, stand-up
8. Mia Pinchoff: B.I.G. lesson
“I get my financial advice from the Notorious B.I.G. He told me, ‘The mo’ money we come across, the mo’ problems we see.’ That’s why I got into comedy — no money and no problems … except on the first when rent is due, when I need to buy groceries, and paying for internet and stuff. But that’s no Biggie!”
— Mia Pinchoff, “2Dumb2Tame” podcast
9. Mike Gaffney: Helping the kids
“My son asked me to help with his math homework. ‘Dad, what’s X divided by Y?’ Sorry buddy, the only math I’ve been doing since high school is subtraction. I get a check minus bills equals zero dollars left.”
“My daughter asked me for $120 for a pirate costume. I said, ‘You’re 18 years old. Go as a broke adult.’ If I spend 120 bucks on a costume, you’ll wear that to EVERY event. You’ll be the only pirate at your prom.”
— Mike Gaffney, stand-up
10. Amy Schumer: Coming to terms
“I actually prefer the term ‘new money’ because it’s a way of saying, ‘Yes, I am trash and I’m embracing it!’ I am new money. … We use our new money for stupid [stuff] like spa treatments where eels eat the dead skin off our toes or baby seal fat is injected into our [behinds] so we look young again.”
— Amy Schumer, from her book “The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo”
11. Jonathan Katz: Kids, what a concept
“My daughter has recently become very materialistic. I tried to explain that some things are more important than money, but it’s very hard for an 8-year-old to grasp the concept of equity.”
— Jonathan Katz, animated TV series “Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist”
12. Joy Behar: What really counts
“Once you start making your own money, then you know how to handle money. When you are mixing money with your husband’s, something about that gets blurry.
“Once I started to make my own money, really make it — in the beginning when I started stand-up I would make $20 to get on stage at Catch a Rising Star, or I’d make $100 on the weekend if I was emceeing. My rent was only $275 in those days, so I was really living within my means, and I learned that it’s not how much you make, it how much you spend that counts.”
— Joy Behar, “The View”
13. Alec Baldwin: Wealth of knowledge
“I never thought of myself as a wealthy person. I’ve thought of myself as a person who has had a lot of luck. I don’t have the same stress that other people have, but there are too many things I could have done differently if wealth was what I was after. If I was all about money, I would have lived in L.A.”
— Alec Baldwin, from interview
14. Whoopi Goldberg: Disappearing act
“Know what your money is doing. There was a time when I didn’t pay attention, and my money disappeared. You can’t just assume that a company or financial adviser has your best interests at heart. … Financial literacy is a big problem: We (black folks) didn’t get to accumulate wealth and are playing catch-up. We’ve got to learn how the stuff works. … We’ve all got to be more empathetic with each other when it comes to money.”
— Whoopi Goldberg, from interview
15. Paul Reiser: Cans and can’ts
“Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you a car. And with that car, you could go out and try to get happy.
“Also, you could buy the names of people who connect you to happy-making things. So, it’s not a bad thing.
“People look down upon money. No, money can’t buy happiness, but lack of money can buy unhappiness. I’m going to get that printed up on a mug.”
— Paul Reiser, from interview
16. Anthony Anderson: Smart money
“We all have money worries, regardless of what our professions are. But I’ve been at this game for two decades. So I’ve been able to secure certain things, by investing and being smart with my money.
“I drive a Mercedes S550, not because I went out and bought it, but because of my relationship with Mercedes. So I drive a $97,000 car for free.
“I don’t go out and try to keep up with the Joneses because my last name is Anderson. What they do in their household, or over there on their property lines, is what they do. I’m not chasing someone else’s dreams. That’s why I don’t have the worries (that other people have).”
— Anthony Anderson, from interview
17. Ty Burrell: Creepy guy in a van
“I had just gotten out of college. It was in Pennsylvania, I had just graduated from grad school. … I was getting these jobs for $200 a week — so, because I couldn’t afford rent, I decided to live in my van. I was rousted a lot (by police). I moved almost every night. I had a whole routine where I would go shower at the gym. … And then I would go cruise the buffet table for breakfast at, like, a hotel.”
“I may have had one date during that whole period, which was about a year on and off.”
“Basically, when my date figured out I was living in my van, I didn’t hear from her again. The funniest thing was, I was confused about why. I was like. ‘What’s the problem?’ I didn’t realize I was the creepy guy in a van. What could possibly be holding up this relationship? The van pretty much eliminated my dating life completely.”
— Ty Burrell, from interviews
18. Jen Kirkman: No-kids advice
“Instead of saving for someone else’s college education, I’m currently saving for a luxury retirement community replete with golf carts and handsome young male nurses who love butterscotch.”
“Sometimes I feel like if two parents were given $100, and a child-free person was given $100, everyone would assume that the parents would invest their money wisely because they’re smart. And people like me would just go buy candy.”
— Jen Kirkman, stand-up
19. Ahmed Bharoocha: Degree of richness
“I graduated college with a degree in theatre. And I’m unemployed because I have a degree in theatre.
“They still charge you the same amount, like a real degree. That’s ridiculous.
“The guy in front of me in line said, ‘Can you teach me how to be a scientist?’
“And they said, ‘Yeah, $40,000.’
“Then I said, ‘Can you teach me how to make pretend?’
“And they said, ‘Yeah, $40,000.’
“So I said, “I guess I’ll just pretend to pay you back.”
— Ahmed Bharoocha, stand-up
20. Rodney Laney: Investment control
“I tried online investing. With one click on the mouse, $5,000 gone! I tried everything I knew to get it back. Backspace … Control-Alt-Delete!”
“I don’t know anything about investing. Someone asked me what a mutual fund is. I answered, ‘That’s when we’re both having a good time.'”
— Rodney Lane, stand-up
21. Steve Harvey: Why men earn money
“To us, your power comes from one simple thing: You’re a woman, and we men will do anything humanly possible to impress you so that, ultimately, we can be with you. You’re the driving force behind why we wake up every day.
“Men go out and get jobs and hustle to make money because of women. We drive fancy cars because of women. We dress nice, put on cologne, get haircuts and try to look all shiny and new for you. We do all of this because the more our game is stepped up, the more of you we get. You’re the ultimate prize to us.”
— Steve Harvey, from his book “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man”
22. A.J. Jamal: Bank on it
“At the bank, you seen white people goin’, ‘Oh, how ya doin’, Bob?’ ‘Ah, no ID with me today. No, I forgot my ID.’
‘Just go ahead –$5,000.’
Brothers be at the bank — he’s got his birth certificate, Social Security card, his lotto tickets, his pictures his kid drew, and they’re still over in the back going, ‘I don’t think that’s him. I’ll tell you what, give him $28.'”
— A.J. Jamal, stand-up
23. Amy Snowden: Overdrawn
“I might be broke, but I am not cheap. I will spend the last money I have for food on my phone bill because I would rather have nothing to eat than no one to call to talk about how hungry I am.
“I never have any extra money. When I call the bank the lady’s like, ‘Your balance is $54.62′ – and I’m like, ‘Wow’ — and she’s like, ‘overdrawn.'”
— Amy Snowden, stand-up
24: Chris Rock: ‘In God we trust’?
“Americans worship money. … Separate God from school, separate God from work, separate God from government, but on your money it says, ‘In God we trust.’
“All my life I’ve been looking for God, and He’s right in my pocket.
“Americans worship money, and we all go to the same church, the church of ATM. Everywhere you look there’s a new branch popping up, reminding you about how much money you got and how much money you don’t got. And if you got less than $20, the machine won’t even talk to you. The machine is like, ‘You better go see a teller.’
“You ever go to a teller and try to take out $8.50? Oh, it’s disgusting. … Oh man, you gotta wait on that long line, people doing real transactions in front of you, you get up to the front, you fill out your form, $8.50.
“The teller looks at it, she look at you, she looks at the check, she don’t even take the money out of the drawer, she take it out of her pocket, ‘Here you go, get outta here.'”
— Chris Rock, stand-up
25. Rita Rudner: Just how rich?
“Someday I want to be rich. Some people get so rich they lose all respect for humanity. That’s how rich I want to be.”
— Rita Rudner, stand-up
26. Tina Fey: What it’s all about
“Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am all about money. I mean, just look how well my line of zodiac-inspired toe rings and homeopathic children’s medications are selling on Home Shopping Network.”
— Tina Fey, from her book “Bossypants”
27. Chris Hardwick: What’s your motivation?
“If you say, ‘I want a million dollars,’ it’s not the money you want but the feelings it will bring you. Your feelings are rooted in your emotions, and herein lies your ability to play with your motivations. To your brain, wanting a million dollars is meaningless. You have no emotional connection to that.
“Consider the following two options:
- I want a million dollars!
- I want a million dollars to save an orphanage! (or replace your nipples with diamonds. Whatever. I’m not judging you.)
“In Option 2, you’ve modified your motivation. You’re working toward that money for a cause that you care about, not just the idea of possessing a thing or scratching something off your list. If you care enough about that cause, you’ll happily do whatever needs to be done to make it happen.”
— Chris Hardwick, from his book “The Nerdist Way”
28. Mindy Kaling: Big-spending dreams
“I spent a great deal of my youth fantasizing about entertaining. In my early 20s I would spend hours poring over cookbooks at the Seventh Avenue Barnes & Noble in Park Slope, planning elaborate parties that I would throw when I was older and had money.
“Now I am older and have money, but I almost never entertain. I have yet to throw my Great Gatsby-themed Super Bowl viewing party, but when I do, it will be a big hit, as will be my Daisy Buchanan slow-cooker chicken enchiladas.”
— Mindy Kaling, from her book “Why Not Me?”
29. Rachel Dratch: Poetic license
“I experienced that thing that happens in improv, when the line comes out of your mouth before your brain has registered what you are about to say. We were doing some sort of group poem about money of something, and I said, ‘I’m so rich that it’s no surprise, when I’m tired, I get Gucci bags under my eyes.”
— Rachel Dratch, from her book “Girl Walks Into a Bar …”
30. Stephen Colbert: Dilution delusion
“Wall Street guys get the most money because they work right next to all the money. Every dollar in the world flows right through their offices so, naturally, they get first dibs on dipping their ladles in the stream. It’s only fair. Meanwhile, if you’re sitting on your keister way out in a St. Louis public school, you can’t be surprised if, by the time the money flow reaches you, it’s slowed to a dribble. Or that someone upstream pooped in it.”
— Stephen Colbert, from his book “America Again (Re-Becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t”
31. Jon Stewart: Get the best advice
“If I had only followed CNBC’s advice, I’d have a million dollars today, provided I started with a hundred million dollars. How do they do it?”
— Jon Stewart, from “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart”
32. Lewis Black: Sorry about Social Security
“As for Social Security for you kids out there, I’m really sorry.
“Apparently my parents’ generation passed that on to my generation, and nobody told us we were supposed to pass that on. So, good luck. I wish somebody had told us.
“The reason Social Security doesn’t work is very simple. It’s not what the Democrats say, and it’s not what the Republicans say. It’s because it’s math, and it’s really hard math. It’s a lot of long division, many of you don’t remember what that is. …
“All the money in the Social Security system, that’s a really long number. That number goes on forever. Then divide it by another big number, all the people in the Social Security system. Now you look at this number, and you look at that number, and you go, ‘Whew!’ It’s time for a nap.”
— Lewis Black, stand-up
33. Leslie Jones: The age of success
“You can achieve your dreams at any age. Did you know that Harrison Ford at 30 was a carpenter, Vera Wang didn’t design her first dress until she was 40. Even Captain Crunch joined the Navy at 50. You youngins are running around here trying to be somebody when you don’t even know who you are yet.
“You know what happened to Oprah at 23? She got fired. Imagine firing Oprah. It wasn’t [a mistake]. She wasn’t Oprah. She was just some 23-year-old punk who needed to get fired so she could become Oprah. Sometimes you’ve got to fail to succeed. I did. … I was fired from some temp jobs, UPS, but I’m glad I got fired. Lorne Michaels created ‘SNL’ 41 years ago, but maybe if he had gotten fired, like Oprah, he wouldn’t be working the same damned job.”
— Leslie Jones, “Saturday Night Live”
34. Bill Murray: The scoop on taxes
“The best way to teach your kids about taxes is by eating 30 percent of their ice cream.”
— Bill Murray
35. Margaret Cho: Don’t buy the image
“You know when you look in the mirror and you think, ‘Oh, I’m so fat, I’m so old, I’m so ugly.’ Don’t you know, that’s not your authentic self? But that is billions upon billions of dollars of advertising, magazines, movies, billboards, all geared to make you feel [awful] about yourself so that you will take your hard-earned money and spend it at the mall on some turn-around cream that doesn’t turn around [anything].”
— Margaret Cho, from her live show “Notorious C.H.O.”
36. Samantha Bee: Simply put
“Don’t judge me. I made a lot of money.”
— Samantha Bee, “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee”
37. Jimmy Fallon: Thy neighbor’s garbage
“Thank you, yard sales, for being the perfect way to say to your neighbors: ‘We think we’re important enough to charge money for our garbage.'”
— Jimmy Fallon, “The Tonight Show”
38. Jim Gaffigan: You call this a vacation?
“Remember when you went on vacation as a kid, and you’d think to yourself, ‘Why is Dad always in a bad mood?’ Well, now I understand. It’s amazing how much money it costs to be uncomfortable all day [at a theme park] and listen to your children whine and complain.”
— Jim Gaffigan, from his book “Dad Is Fat”
39. Will Smith: You really need that?
“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t want to impress people they don’t like.”
— Will Smith, quoting humorist Will Rogers in interview
40. Mayim Bialik: Not spending
“I don’t have a housekeeper or a nanny to take my kids while I attend a Pilates class. I’d never pass judgment on those who do because that’s none of my business. Those things just aren’t right for me. I honestly like to cook our meals and clean up after them. There’s something relaxing about taking a break from the hustle and bustle to fold laundry or vacuum.”
— Mayim Bialik, from interview in Live Happy magazine
41. George Carlin: Our new national pastime
“How do people feel about living in a coast-to-coast shopping mall? Just [expletive] dandy.
“Americans love the mall. That’s where they get to satisfy their two most prominent addictions at the same time: shoppin’ and eatin’. Americans are fatally attracted to the slow death of fast food. These people are efficient professional compulsive consumers; it’s their national pride, their civic duty.
“Consumption is the new national pastime. People spending money they don’t have on things they don’t need, money they don’t have so they can max out their credit cards and spend the rest of their lives paying 18 percent interest on something that cost $12.50. And they didn’t like it when they got it home anyway.”
— George Carlin
42. Joan Rivers: Unlock happiness
“People say that money is not the key to happiness, but I always figured if you have enough money, you can have a key made.”
— Joan Rivers
43. Phyllis Diller: Talk is cheap
“If [my husband] Fang weren’t the cheapest man alive, we wouldn’t have a problem. The last time I said, ‘Let’s eat out,’ we ate in the garage. You talk about cheap, he buys one Christmas card and sends it out as a chain letter.”
— Phyllis Diller
44. Richard Pryor: On generosity
“Sure, I have friends, plenty of friends, and they all come around wantin’ to borrow money. I’ve always been generous with my friends and family, with money, but selfish with the important stuff like love.”
— Richard Pryor
45. Bob Hope: Bank on it
“A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it.”
— Bob Hope
46. Jackie Mason: What’s important
“Money is not the most important thing in the world. Love is. Fortunately, I love money.”
— Jackie Mason
47. Robin Williams: How much is too much
“Cocaine is God’s way of saying you’re making too much money.”
— Robin Williams
48. Mae West: Man discount
“A man in love is like a clipped coupon – it’s time to cash in.”
— Mae West
49. Groucho Marx: It’s up to you
“While money can’t buy happiness, it certainly lets you choose your own form of misery.”
— Groucho Marx
50. Dorothy Parker: On a roll
“Money cannot buy health, but I’d settle for a diamond-studded wheelchair.”
— Dorothy Parker
Do you feel like money talks, but all it says is goodbye? Share your favorite money lines in comments below or on our Facebook page!