Wanda Sykes’ Net Worth Includes Her Oscars Salary—Here’s How Much She’s Paid as Host

After over three decades in the industry, it’s no surprise that Wanda Sykes’ net worth is where it’s at today. So, how much does Sykes make from shows like Netflix’s The Upshaws and hosting gigs like the Oscars?

We’re diving into everything there is to know about Wanda Sykes’ net worth below, but first, let’s take a look back on her early life and career that got her to where she is now. Long before she became a beloved comic, Wanda Yvette Sykes was born on March 7, 1964, in Portsmouth, Virginia to parents Marion and Harry Sykes. Wanda’s mother was a banker, while her father was a United States Army colonel who worked for the Pentagon. She has one older brother, who shares their father’s name. When Sykes was still in elementary school, she and her family relocated to Maryland, where she continued her schooling through high school. She went on to enroll at Hampton University nearby in Virginia to study marketing. Finally, after graduating with her bachelor of science and becoming a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, Sykes got her first job working for the National Security Agency in Washington, D.C.

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Working for the NSA is a far cry from the work of a comedian, and after five years of working for the government agency, Sykes desired a change. While working in D.C., Sykes started to dip her toes into the world of stand-up comedy. Her first appearance in front of a live audience came in 1987, when she entered a stand-up talent competition. After feeling the rush on stage, Sykes was hooked. She quit her job at the NSA and moved to New York City to pursue a career in comedy full-time—and the rest, as they say, was history.

Since then, Sykes has earned a Primetime Emmy Award for her writing on The Chris Rock Show and worked as the host of her own talk show, The Wanda Sykes Show. She has also enjoyed a successful career acting in film and television, appearing in movies like 2005’s Monster-in-Law, 2006’s My Super Ex-Girlfriend and 2007’s Evan Almighty, along with her roles on CBS’ The New Adventures of Old Christine, HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm and Netflix’s The Upshaws, which premiered in May 2021, among others. Needless to say, Wanda Sykes’ net worth is looking impressive after so many projects under her belt. But what is it, exactly?

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Keep on reading below for what we know about Wanda Sykes’ net worth, including how much she’s making from hosting the 2022 Oscars and more.

How much did Wanda Sykes get paid to host the Oscars in 2022?

Image: Gilbert Flores/PMC.
Image: Gilbert Flores/PMC.

What did Wanda Sykes get paid to host the Oscars in 2022? Sykes was one of three hosts for the 94th Academy Awards in March 2022, alongside Amy Schumer and Regina Hall. The event, which was the first time the Oscars had a host since 2018, was also the first time the awards show had three women to host the Academy Awards. While Sykes’s salary to host the Oscars hasn’t been confirmed, Jimmy Kimmel—who hosted the Academy Awards twice in 2017 and 2018—revealed in an interview with Sykes on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in March 2022 that he was paid $15,000 to host the Oscars.

“I was really excited about [hosting], but then I realized that out of all the jobs that I have, this one is actually gonna cost me money,” Sykes told Kimmel, who responded, “It is going to cost you money—will you say how much you get paid for this?” Sykes joked that she made the minimum SAG-AFTRA union members could get paid. “I don’t even know, it’s, like, scale probably,” she responded, to which Kimmel noted that he was paid “less than” scale when he hosted the Oscars. “It’s less than that,” he said. “I got paid $15,000 to host the Oscars. And there’s one of me! You guys will probably have to split that,” he said. Kimmel then told Sykes to renegotiate her deal. “You’re getting robbed, you know what? Hold out right now because they need hosts, you know?” he said, to which Sykes joked that her plan to make her money back was to “steal an Oscar.”

In an interview on the “Kevin & Bean” radio show in 2017, Kimmel revealed that his pay was so low to host the Oscars that year because he was one of the last choices. “I think it’s illegal to pay nothing,” he said. “I’m not sure I was supposed to reveal this. But nobody told me not to. I consider this their fault.” He continued, “They asked like 14 people and they all said no and then there was me. I absolutely was surprised.” Kimmel also revealed that Billy Crystal—who hosted the Oscars nine times in 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1997, 1998, 2004 and 2012—and Chris Rock (who hosted the Oscars twice in 2005 and 2016) were also paid $15,000 for the gig.

According to a 2013 report in The Hollywood Reporter, the average Oscars host salary is between $15,000 to $25,000. The magazine also reported that Seth McFarlane made more than $15,000 SAG-AFTRA minimum when he hosted the Oscars in 2013. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter at the time, Alec Baldwin, who hosted the Oscars with Steve Martin in 2009, hinted that his pay was low and on par with other Oscars hosts. “They don’t pay you any money; the Oscars pay you like chicken feed,” he said. “It’s all about the honor of helping to extol film achievement.”

What is Wanda Sykes’ net worth in 2022?

So, what is Wanda Sykes’ net worth? According to Celebrity Net Worth, Wanda Sykes’ net worth is $10 million as of 2022. While Sykes’ net worth includes her Oscars 2022 salary, it is also the product of decades of hard work in film, television and live performances on-stage. Her breakthrough came in 1997, when she signed on to write for The Chris Rock Show. During her tenure on the series, the writing team received four Emmy nominations and won one for Outstanding Writings for a Variety, Music or Comedy Special in 1999. In the years since, Sykes has even launched her own solo projects—including the shortlived 2003 Fox network comedy, Wanda at Large, and The Wanda Sykes Show, which ran for one season in 2009. Outside of her work in film and television, Sykes is also an author. She wrote Yeah, I Said It, a book of comedic observations, published in September 2004.

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