Forbes Magazine has released their annual list of the highest paid actors, although, is it me, or does Forbes release this list every other week? If tradition holds, the highest paid actresses will arrive tomorrow, then highest paid celebrities, then highest paid movie stars, then a combination of all three. Then they’ll start all over in November.
It doesn’t really matter; all three lists seem consist of the same 25 largely untalented people every year. Hell, just to demonstrate how little turnover their is on this list, among the 10 Highest Paid actors this year is Ray Romano, who is on there because of royalties for a show that ended its run seven years ago (likewise, Tim Allen — also on this list — gets most of his money from royalties from his old show and not his crappy new one).
Anyway, instead of trotting out all the usual names you expect to see on this list, I thought we could create a fictional universe where List of the 10 Highest Paid Actors were paid on the basis of actual talent, where the best shows received the highest ratings, and maybe where pizza, cake, and burritos were staples of a healthy diet.
The Actual Highest Paid Actors
10. Johnny Galecki — $8 million; 9. Jim Parsons — $8 million; 8. Patrick Dempsey — $12 million; 7. Jon Cryer — $13 million; 6. Tim Allen — $14 million; 5. Mark Harmon — $15 million; 4. Alec Baldwin — $15 million; 3. Ray Romano — $18 million; 2. Hugh Laurie — $18 million; 1. Ashton Kutcher — $24 million.
In a Just World, Who SHOULD Be the Highest Paid Actors
10. Nick Offerman — In our fictional universe here Nick Offerman is the 10th highest paid actor on television, Parks and Recreation is also the highest rated comedy on network television, receiving a 14 share and 21 million viewers a week. Offerman has also received two Emmy awards.
9. H. Jon Benjamin — In our fictional world, H. Jon Benjamin — who does lead voice work on both Bob’s Burgers and Archer — has already been inducted to the animation Hall of Fame, and Archer attracts the biggest crowds at Comic Con each year, which is now held in Qualcomm stadium to accommodate all the fans.
8. Peter Dinklage — In our fictional world, Peter Dinklage makes $10 million a year playing Tyrion Lannister, is an executive producer on the show, and the Dungeons and Dragons-like Game of Thrones fantasy game has overtaken fantasy football as the most popular fantasy game in the United States. Women have also been known to throw themselves at Dinklage’s feet.
7. Charlie Day — In our fictional world, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is a high-paying side job for Day, who is also the most popular comedy actor in feature films. The box office is dominated by movies that feature awkwardly funny Hitler jokes. Gourmet stickers are sold in every Starbucks.
6. Joel McHale — In our fictional world, Community is the most popular show on HBO, receiving 18 million viewers a week, and the lax content standards on premium cable allow Alison Brie and Gillian Jacobs to do nude scenes. They do so every week. Dan Harmon is not only still the showrunner, but he’s exec producer of two other sitcoms, which help to form HBO’s monster Must-See TV comedy block on Thursdays.
5. Louis C.K. — In our fictional world, Louis C.K’s show gets 25 million viewers a week, and the show’s budget is $5 million a week. In fact, major feature film directors like David Fincher have directed a few episodes. Unfortunately, there are only 10 episodes per year because Louis C.K. is so busy with his sold out stand-up tours, which are simulcast in movie theaters nationwide. Masturbation is still America’s most popular past time.
4. Aaron Paul — In our fictional world, Breaking Bad is on Showtime, its final season is currently airing uninterrupted, and Aaron Paul is this universe’s Ryan Gosling, one of the more popular feature film actors in Hollywood. Breaking Bad is also the highest rated drama on television, and 20 percent of the show’s monster profits go to support clinics that treat meth addicts.
3. Jon Hamm — In our fictional world, Jon Hamm is similar to the Jon Hamm in the real world, only much, much richer. Also, the Greatest Event in Television History received Super Bowl-like ratings on Adult Swim, Hamm frequents on 30 Rock, and he hosts Saturday Night Live once a month, where Charlie Day used to be a cast member.
2. Timothoy Olyphant — In our fictional world, cowboy hats are one of the nation’s most popular accessories, thanks to Justified, Winona was killed off the show two seasons ago, Timothy Olyphant is nominated for an Emmy every year (but always loses out to the top choice here), and Olyphant spends his time between seasons being an actual trigger-happy U.S. Marshall. Fugitive escapes in the United States are down 90 percent.
1. Bryan Cranston — In our fictional world, Bryan Cranston is the highest paid actor — television or movies — in America. He makes $123 million a year; he stars one of Dan Harmon’s other brilliant sitcom during the Breaking Bad hiatus; and he directs feature films over the summer. The Walter White character also has a line of clothing; action figures; and there’s a Walter White toy in every McDonald’s Happy Meal that speaks. It says, “THIS FOOD IS THE DANGER.” Vince Gilligan is also the highest paid showrunner on television, and Breaking Bad reruns air every night on TBS.