Nick Cannon’s sketch comedy series Wild 'N Out has featured some big-name comedians and entertainers over its 15 seasons, but despite the improv game show’s continued success, a few cast members have revealed in interviews that their salaries aren’t what they used to be.
What is the 'Wild 'N Out' cast's salary?
Not every performer makes the same amount of money per episode, a fact that was confirmed by Spanky Hayes, who appeared on the series’ first six seasons. The 35-year-old shared that during Season 1 on MTV, his co-star Katt Williams was earning $50,000 an episode while he averaged about $27,000.
"I was making dope man money weekly… It was phenomenal," Spanky told Comedy Hype in January. But when Wild 'N Out went on hiatus in 2007 and returned six years later on MTV2, the budget took a major hit.
Spanky said he decided to quit when he started pulling in just $1,000 per episode. "[It] f--ked my lifestyle up in a way," he admitted of the pay decrease. The Detroit native also acknowledged that the series "just wasn’t as fun anymore."
Comedian Chico Bean, who joined the cast in Season 5 while it was still airing on MTV2, agreed that the salary isn’t really what makes entertainers stick around. "People thinking I know Nick Cannon for real, that’s the best part," the 33-year-old confessed to BOSSIP in 2014.
"Getting some of that residual fame off of him. I can ride that for as long as he’s famous, ‘cause the pay really ain’t nothing," he added. "You know how you got paid on your summer job, like when you first got [a] job and you can just afford school clothes? That’s what Wild 'N Out is."
The salary of the 'Wild 'N Out' Girls is unknown.
Viewers clearly watch the show to satisfy their sketch comedy fix and catch musical performances, but there's also another reason why fans tune in weekly: the Wild 'N Out girls.
The ladies help the cast in various skits throughout the show and serve as the ultimate form of eye candy. And while some of the girls, like Amber Diamond, have also crossed over to becoming recurring cast members, their salaries on the show are unknown.
It's true that being a Wild 'N Out girl comes with many benefits, such as getting exposure for modeling deals and acting gigs. However, it's not clear if the ladies receive a salary. If they do, it's likely that they make the least amount on the show, since the ladies act as assistants to the cast.
Nick Cannon says his 'Wild 'N Out' brand is worth $500 million.
In a recent interview with Vibe magazine, the father-of-three explained that every move he’s made with Wild 'N Out since its 2005 debut has been strategic. "I always knew how to operate from a business aspect and seeing an idea start from its conception to its fruition," the actor told the publication in April 2020.
"Now, with having this almost half-a-billion-dollar brand that I built, I get the concept of being able to get as much out of the brand as possible but still staying true to it without over-exploiting it," he continued.
"I think that’s what we’ve done extremely well with Wild 'N Out, from the careers that it’s helped birth to the marketing to the branding, from everything that we do with the tours, the restaurants, barbershops — we’re doing so many things with the brand."
Nick also called his brainchild the "most progressive show" on television, claiming that's what attracts huge guest stars like Chance the Rapper, Wiz Khalifa, and Travis Scott season after season.
"It’s probably the only place that’s left where comedians can come and speak their mind and not have to worry about cancel culture or people getting offended," Nick stated. "It’s the only place where you’ll actually see someone who is homophobic battle rap someone from the transgender community, and at the end of the day, they hug it out."
Wild 'N Out airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST on VH1.