The Richest The Talk Host Might Surprise You

The daytime chat show "The Talk" has been the setting of many a controversial moment since it first aired on CBS in 2010 with a lineup of Sara Gilbert, Holly Robinson Peete, Leah Remini, Julie Chen, and Sharon Osbourne. One by one, the original hosts began to retire from the panel and make way for new faces, and by the time Season 11 premiered in 2020, Osbourne was the only one remaining. She wouldn't be there for much longer, however.

Osbourne's decade-long tenure on the show came to an undignified end after a March 2021 episode of "The Talk," in which she defended her old friend, Piers Morgan. The Brit was under fire for casting doubt on claims that Meghan Markle made during her bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, and Osbourne ended up in a heated debate with co-host Sheryl Underwood over the issue. "Don't you try and cry," Osbourne told Underwood after she became upset. "Sharon's behavior toward her co-hosts during the March 10 episode did not align with our values for a respectful workplace," CBS said in a statement (via the Independent).

Morgan called it "woke cancel culture bulls***," but he could do nothing to stop it, and the last of the old guard was gone. The panel underwent another reshuffle in the months that followed, leaving us with a lineup of Underwood, Amanda Kloots, Jerry O'Connell, Akbar Gbajabiamila, and Amanda Kloots. Here's how they got there — and how much cash they've made along the way.

Amanda Kloots

Amanda Kloots joined "The Talk" alongside Elaine Welteroth after the pair enjoyed a successful spell as guest hosts. Welteroth proved more popular than Kloots (who Nicki Swift readers said was the co-host they would most want to remove from the panel in a July 2021 survey), though she left the show after just a single season. Kloots remained in place, and she is now "making mid-six figures" as a co-host, an insider told The Sun. "The Talk" is not her only source of income, however. Kloots is a Broadway actor by trade, having performed in "Good Vibrations," "Follies," "Young Frankenstein," and "Bullets Over Broadway," in which she met her late husband, Nick Cordero.

Cordero died of complications from coronavirus after a lengthy hospital stay, which Kloots documented via her social media. Her profile grew as the public became invested in her husband's recovery, and followers were heartbroken when she confirmed Cordero's death in July 2020, just weeks after their son's first birthday. One year later, she revealed that she was dating again during an episode of "The Talk" — and was harshly criticized online as a result. When someone commented "that was fast" on her Instagram (via CNN), Koots replied: "How dare you judge anyone especially someone going through this process."

According to Closer Weekly, Kloots has an estimated net worth of $1 million, though she released a memoir and appeared on "Dancing with the Stars" in 2021, so expect that number to keep rising.

Sheryl Underwood

When Sheryl Underwood sat down with the Los Angeles Times to discuss her journey from stand-up comedy to "The Talk" in 2017, she revealed the secret to her success: not dunking on men all the time. When she started out, she noticed that a lot of other female comics were filling their sets with "my man" and "I ain't got no man" jokes, she told the Times, but she didn't want her comedy to be based on her gender. "I wanted to be the guy with the tuxedo on with a cigarette with the drink in his hand just talking," Underwood said. "I didn't look at myself as a girl comic, although I knew I was a female."

Her approach worked. In 1989, Underwood became the first woman to reach the finals of the Miller Lite Comedy Search, kickstarting her career. She overcame the death of her husband and went on to win a Platinum Mic Viewers Choice Award at the BET Comedy Awards before taking her chair on "The Talk," which she's held since 2011. She's built up a respectable fortune in that time (she has a net worth of $4 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth) — though, despite being the longest-serving panelist by a considerable distance, she's apparently not the best paid.

Underwood is also an occasional actor and an Emmy winner — she shared the Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Host Award with her "The Talk" co-hosts in 2017.

Akbar Gbajabiamila

Former NFL star Akbar Gbajabiamila didn't have much growing up in South Central Los Angeles, so when he earned his first football contract, he needed some advice. "I still remember my first year — $225,000 in 2003," he told CNBC. "I was like, 'Oh my goodness, this is a lot of money, what am I going to do?'" He was told that the best way to safeguard his future was to invest his money instead of using it to support a flashy lifestyle, and Gbajabiamila listened. He said: "I'm glad I took the time to be patient and invest in this and now look, I'm reaping the benefits." He was wise to invest his money, because his football career came to an end sooner than he'd anticipated.

The former Raiders, Chargers, and Dolphins man was financially sound when he hung up his cleats for the final time, but he's since added to his fortune with his TV work: he's an NFL Network analyst, a commentator on "American Ninja Warrior" (and the spinoff "American Ninja Warrior Junior"), and, of course, a co-host on "The Talk." Gbajabiamila joined the panel in September 2021 ahead of Season 12, having won everyone over during his previous visits. "His engaging personality, openness, and quick wit really impressed us when he appeared as a guest co-host last season," executive producer and showrunner Heather Gray told Deadline.

At the time of this writing, Gbajabiamila has a net worth of $7 million.

Natalie Morales

She was a staple at NBC News for 22 years, but in October 2021, Natalie Morales left her job to become a co-host (and the new moderator) on "The Talk." While it was a hard decision to come to, her firstborn son was about to leave for college, and the veteran journalist felt ready for a change of scenery herself. "The time is right, (before the second half of my life) to spread my own wings and to pursue a new adventure," she told colleagues in a statement (via NBC News). "I have so much to be thankful for and for every one of you who helped me get here ... muchísimas gracias mis amigos."

Morales got into journalism because she's always loved current affairs and traveling. "Having lived in Panama, Brazil, and Spain as an AF (Air Force) brat, I knew I needed a job that would let me see the world and make a difference," she revealed in a Facebook live chat (via Today). She began at NBC affiliate WVIT and worked her way to the top — and she's made a load of cash along the way. According to Celebrity Net Worth, she was earning $6 million a year at the time of her departure from NBC and has a net worth of around $18 million. CBS pulled out all the stops for her first full-time appearance on "The Talk," having her almost kill James Bond in a hilarious intro video.

Jerry O'Connell is The Talk's richest host

Edging out Natalie Morales by a few million dollars, Jerry O'Connell is the richest co-host on "The Talk." The New York-born actor, who replaced Sharon Osbourne on the show, has been working in Hollywood since childhood. He made his movie debut in the '80s classic "Stand By Me" and went on to appear in films like "Jerry Maguire," "Scream 2," "Piranha 3D," and "Scary Movie 5." In terms of TV, we've seen him in "The Big Bang Theory" and "Billions" in recent years, and he's been plying his trade from the recording booth for the animated series "Star Trek: Lower Decks," voicing Commander Jack Ransom.

All in all, he's worth around $20 million, Celebrity Net Worth estimates (though the website points out that his wife, "X-Men" actor Rebecca Romijn, contributed to their shared fortune). According to one insider, his Hollywood pedigree allowed him to join "The Talk" on a salary of "close to $2 million," which didn't go down well with some. "Jerry's salary is less than half of Sharon's salary, but more than Sheryl," the source told The Sun. "Expect the women to ask for raises to equal his salary ... To be paid less than a man does not sit well with any of the ladies." O'Connell (who debuted on "The Talk" as a guest in 2021 during the show's Men of May special and is the first permanent male co-host ever) is reportedly pulling in between $35,000 and $40,000 per week.