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Should your kid become a comedian or a member of Congress? Neither requires a college degree

By Dian Vujovich

The dream of many parents whose little darlings are heading off to college is that their kids will learn enough to earn a good living. The other day I came across some info that spoke to that issue. One listed the highest paid comedians, the other the previous professions of members in the 113th Congress.  Given that there are plenty of jokesters in D.C., sharing the data made sense to me.


Okay, we all know that Al Franken, (D, MN) used to be a professional comedian. Now he’s just working with a bunch of clowns.  (Ba-da boom!) And from what I can guess, must have taken a pretty hefty cut in pay to get that Washington gig. After all, the average salary for members of Congress is $174,000 a years. Headliner  comics make millions.


Recently, Wealth-X just posted a list of the wealthiest comedians. While there is no indication of the annual salaries of the top five on the list, the comparison of a comic’s annual salary to that of a member of Congress is certainly not an apples-to-apples one. But then again, this is a blog. However, I promise if you read the entire piece, you’ll get my point.


So the richest five comedians, btw all are guys, are: Larry David has a net worth of $900 million; Jerry Seinfeld, $800 million; David Letterman, $390 million; Bill Cosby, $360 million; and Adam Sandler, $290 million, according to Wealth-X.


Clearly, TV viewers really did love “Seinfeld” the half-hour show about nothing.


As for that job in Congress, if being a public servant is a goal, while getting there takes bundles of bucks and moxie and the ability to handshake, smile, and self-promote, having a college degree isn’t necessary.


(You might say that the same is true for becoming a successful comic—except for having to have bundles of bucks—that’s not a requirement.)


In fact, among the 539 members of the 113th Congress, it might surprise you to learn:


• 21 Members of the House and 1 Senator have no educational degree beyond a high school diploma.


• 7 Members of the House have associate’s degrees as their highest degree.


• 1 House Member has an L.P.N. (nursing) degree.


Those with degrees include 102 educators of one sort or another; two doctors, three psychologists; five ordained ministers; 33 former mayors; 10 former governors; eight lieutenant governors; seven former judges; 32 former prosecutors; one former Cabinet Secretary; and two Ambassadors. All according to the CQ Roll Call Member Profiles.


Bottom line: College, Congress or the Comedy Corner, it’s your pick. Whatever you decide, the joke is on us either way.

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