Jimmy Kimmel wows Washington's 'Nerd Prom.' What's he get paid for that? (+video)(Read article summary)
A little sleuthing of public documents from past White House Correpondents' Dinners suggests the night's entertainment, Jimmy Kimmel, netted in the vicinity of $50k for his comedic services.
Jimmy Kimmel was pretty much en fuego on Saturday night, wasnât he? As our own publicationâs report said of his appearance as headliner at the White House Correspondentsâ Dinner, he had them ârolling in the aislesâ of the huge Hilton ballroom.
Weâre pretty sure thatâs a figure of speech. They cram so many tables into that event you couldnât roll a foot without knocking a waiter into Lindsay Lohanâs lap.
Anyway, Kimmel was bipartisan in his targets. Of failed GOP hopeful Rick Santorum, he said, âI guess it just wasnât Rickâs year. Rickâs year was 1954.â He said libertarian Ron Paul âlooks like the guy who gets unhooded at the end of every Scooby Doo episode.â Prior to telling a risque joke about the Secret Service, he told President Obama to cover up his ears, âif thatâs physically possible.â
Looking out over the assembled journalists, government officials, lawmakers, lobbyists, and celebrities, he sighed and said, âEverything that is wrong with America is here tonight.â
Very nice. Maybe "The Colbert Report" will be able to work you in, Jimmy. But hereâs our nerdish question: How much did Kimmel get paid for that? Is it lucrative to fly to DC and entertain a roomful of former student body vice presidents, and their guests?
Looks like it is to us. The exact amount of Kimmelâs pay isnât public, or at least not yet. But you can get a pretty good idea of the financials of this whole dinner by leafing through the paper the WHCA has to file with the IRS. (Tax-exempt groups file a Form 990 thatâs available to the public.)
We figure he made around $50,000, give or take ten grand.
In 2009, the latest year for which that form is available, the White House Correspondentsâ paid $43,233 for the entertainment at their annual dinner. Since the headline comedian is the main entertainment, weâll assume they get most of that.
In 2009, that comedian was Wanda Sykes, who was also pretty funny. But Ms. Sykes is not as big a star as Kimmel. Her talk show got canceled. His âJimmy Kimmel Live!â appears to be going strong. So weâll guess that Kimmel got a bit more than she did, a few years ago. Thatâs where our $50,000 estimate comes from.
The dinner expense data from 2008 and 2007 confirm this general estimate. Overall, the entertainment at the journalistsâ dinner gets paid more than many journalists.
The dinner itself is a big financial deal. Gross receipts are about $600,000, which is more than twenty times what the WHCA takes in from other sources. About half of that pays for the room and meals, though, and $200,000 of it is used for journalist scholarships and other charitable endeavors.