Chris Rock Net Worth: How the Oscars Host Could Lose Millions in 2016

Chris Rock Net Worth

Chris Rock net worth of $70 million hopefully won’t take too much of a hit following his hosting of the 88th annual Academy Awards.

The comic’s second stint as host was not exactly well-received by viewers, with ratings hitting an eight-year low with 34.3 million viewers, which sounds like a lot, but it was actually the third-lowest viewership in the event’s history. Reviews from critics on his performance were mixed, with special attention paid to some of Rock’s racially insensitive humor.

Not that Chris Rock is new to jokes based around a person’s race; it’s one of the reasons he has become such a prominent comedian. Much of Rock’s stand-up routine is based around his race, whether it be in relation to current events, differences between African-Americans and other races, or his own experiences. He also covers topics that include politics, relationships, and family. Much of his content is autobiographical, drawing from his childhood experiences; he even had a sitcom, Everybody Hates Chris, based on his youth.

Aside from stand-up and Oscar hosting duties, Chris Rock is also a noted actor, having been a Saturday Night Live cast member, television producer, and movie star. However, his comedy remains what he is best known for, regularly making lists of the top comedians, as well as similar lists of the most financially successful comedians.

Source Estimated Earnings
New Jack City (1991 movie) $11,000
Lethal Weapon 4 (2008 movie) $2 million
Everybody Hates Chris (2009 syndication deal) $42 million
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (2012 movie) $5 million
Grown Ups 2 (2013 movie) $17 million
Host for 2016 Oscars $15,000
Chris Rock Net Worth in 2016 $70 million

*Values are estimates based on gross earnings and co-star salaries

An Early Start

Christopher Julius “Chris” Rock III was born on February 7, 1965 to mother Rosalie, a teacher and social worker, and father Julius, a newspaper deliveryman and truck driver who passed away in 1988. He was born in Andrews, South Carolina, though his family moved to Crown Heights, Brooklyn before settling in Brooklyn’s Bedford–Stuyvesant neighborhood a few years later. Rock’s two younger brothers are also in the entertainment business and he claims to have been influenced by how his grandfather, a preacher, would address his congregation.

young chris rock rapping


As a child, Chris Rock attended school in primarily white neighborhoods and was frequently subject to poor treatment, including bullying and violence, and it reportedly only got worse as he got older. This treatment eventually led to him dropping out of high school entirely, earning his GED at a later date. He would work at fast food restaurants before beginning to do stand-up comedy in 1984, quickly being recognized as an up-and-coming act. This eventually led to minor film and television roles, including appearing in Beverly Hills Cop II, thanks to his friendship with Eddie Murphy. This was arguably the start of Chris Rock’s rising net worth.

Joining Saturday Night Live

In 1990, Chris Rock’s comedy and acting chops landed him a membership in the esteemed cast of Saturday Night Live alongside the likes of Adam Sandler and Chris Farley. He also came out with his first comedy album in this time, Born Suspect. His fame and net worth benefited greatly from being on SNL, though he ended up leaving the show out of frustration three years later. Rock then transitioned into focusing on movie appearances, but when work dried up, he went back to stand-up comedy.

Rock would return to the spotlight with Big Ass Jokes, a comedy special that aired on HBO, as well as its follow-up, Bring the Pain, which aired in 1996. For the latter, Rock won two Emmy Awards, also being nominated for his appearances on Politically Incorrect. His relationship with HBO continued, even landing a talk show for the network at one point, which won another Emmy.

Going Back to Film

chris rock hosting show

The TV success translated into an increase in film roles, helping Chris Rock’s net worth considerably. He starred in a variety of movies, including The Longest Yard, Dogma, and Lethal Weapon 4. He has continued to get high-profile roles up to the present, most recently appearing in A Very Murray Christmas as himself. But he wouldn’t abandon television entirely, serving as the executive producer with Everybody Hates Chris for UPN, a sitcom that ran for four seasons based on his childhood, including the aforementioned mistreatment due to going to a white school. He also had a cameo on Empire playing a vicious criminal—a different character for Chris Rock, but one that was very well received. This is in addition to other side projects, including music videos, Broadway acting, and his Academy Awards hosting duties. Although we don’t know exactly how much Chris Rock made from hosting the Oscars, some estimates say it’s at least $15,000, possibly even well into six-figure digits.

It should be noted, though, that Chris Rock’s net worth might not sit at $70 million for much longer. In 2014, he filed for divorce from his wife, Malaak Compton-Rock; the pair signed a prenup, but it expired before the divorce filing, meaning they will have to split their assets. It’s a safe bet that he has made more than she has, meaning this split could impact his net worth significantly. It also doesn’t help that she’s reportedly gunning for a huge payout that is “commensurate with the marital standard of living,” according to the court filings.



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