Overpaid or underpaid? You make the call.
In our latest call for cash sanity, the theme is television personalities.
DAVID LETTERMAN, CBS late night talk show host
Salary: $32 million per year
Our view: In his prime, which ended about 10 years ago, Dave was aworthevery cent he earned. His unique brand of comedy was always fresh, but as he’s aged his political agenda has gotten in the way of his comedy. That said, he’s still much funnier and entertaining than Conan O’Brien over on NBC’s sinking ship. For the first time in years, Letterman is No. 1 in the late-night ratings. Of course, going up against Conan is like shooting fish in a barrel.
Verdict: Overpaid, but only slightly.
CHARLIE SHEEN, star of CBS sitcom “Two And a Half Men”
Salary: $20 million per year.
Our view: Despite his personal demons, Charlie remains hilarious on screen and is perfect for this role. Without him, this show would not even be on the air. With him, it’s a classic.
Verdict: Give him a raise.
SIMON COWELL, “American Idol” judge and media mogul
Salary: $50 million to $100 million per year.
Our view: Too bad Simon and Oprah couldn’t switch roles. I’m certain what he has to say would be far more interesting. Plus, I’m sure he would not try and impose his will on all of humanity, much like Oprah.
Verdict: He obviously needs a raise, judging by his limited wardrobe on Idol.
OPRAH WINFREY, syndicated talk show host and media mogul
Salary: $320 million per year.
Our view: Sorry, I’m not an Oprah fan. I think she envisions herself as this bigger-than-life personality who is attempting to control too much of society.
Verdict: Way-y-y-y-y-y-y-y overpaid.
SETH McFARLANE, creator of “Family Guy” and voice of lead character Peter Griffin
Salary: $100 million per year.
Our view: This is the best animated series on television. Sorry about that, Simpson lovers.
Verdict: Worth every cent.
JERRY SPRINGER, television host
Salary: $3 million to $4 million per year.
Our view: Jerry’s original combative contestant shows were far more entertaining than his current pay-per-view efforts.
Verdict: Jerry makes absolutely no contribution to society, but at today’s prices, he remains a bargain.
ZACH BRAFF, star of the “Scrubs” sitcom, last seen on ABC
Salary: $6.5 million per year.
Our view: It’s a terrible show, and he’s a terrible actor.
Verdict: Fire him, unless he’ll work for free.
KEITH OLBERMANN, MSNBC talk show host
Salary: $4 million per year.
Our view: Highly intellectual and entertaining, and if you can get past his ultra-left leanings, he’s a tremendous on-air personality.
Verdict: Give him a raise and pair him with Ann Coulter. Now THAT would be entertainment.
JUDY SCHEINDLIN, star of “Judge Judy”
Salary: $30 million per year.
Our view: Are you kidding me? $30 million?
Verdict: Tell her to clean out her desk and turn in her robe.