Sam Kinison Net Worth at Death – Salary, Income, Earnings

Sam Kinison Net Worth 

Sam Kinison had an estimated net worth of $800 thousand at death. Sam Kinison was an American comedian best known for his crass humor and trademark scream. The Grammy-nominated comedian received his first break from fellow comedian Rodney Dangerfield. He earned most of his income from his comedy albums. 

Sam Kinison, known for his crass humor and trademark scream, got his first break from comedian Rodney Dangerfield. His popularity grew, and he was invited to appear on Late Night with David Letterman and Saturday Night Live. Kinison received a Grammy nomination for his comedy album in 1988. On April 10, 1992, he was killed in a car accident at the age of 38.

To calculate the net worth of Sam Kinison, subtract all his liabilities from his total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity he has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as personal loans and mortgages, are included in total liabilities.

Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:

Name: Sam Kinison
Net Worth: $800 Thousand
Monthly Salary: $20 Thousand
Annual Income: $300 Thousand
Source of Wealth: Comedian, Actor, Screenwriter

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Early Life

Sam Kinison, an actor and comedian, was born on December 8, 1953, in Yakima, Washington. Kinison’s intense comedic performances stunned and amazed audiences. For this controversial comic, no subject was off-limits, and his sharp barbs were frequently punctuated by his trademark primal scream. “People know I’m triple-X rated, so obviously I’m not a role model for impressionable youth,” Kinison told People magazine at the time.

Kinison, the son of a preacher, spent much of his childhood in Peoria, Illinois. Kinison was only three years old when he was hit by a truck, causing brain damage. When he was 12, his parents divorced, and he went through another type of trauma. Sam and Kevin stayed with their mother, while their older brothers Richard and Bill moved in with their father.

Kinison was uninterested in school. He was quite rebellious in his early adolescence, skipping classes and engaging in some shoplifting. Kinison was sent to the Pinecrest Bible Training Center in Utica, New York, when he was 15 years old. Around this time, he discovered a love of music and taught himself to play the guitar. Kinison returned for a brief visit after the school year ended before striking out on his own. He wandered around the country for a few years.

Kinison decided to become a preacher after his father died in 1972. Kinison’s older brothers were already preachers, and he had occasionally played music for them during their sermons. While he was serious about his religious calling, he had a great sense of humor and was a big fan of Richard Pryor.

Early Comedy Career

Kinison married for the first time at the age of 21. The union was brief and unsatisfactory. Kinison was preaching in a rough section of Chicago by 1977, but he soon left the ministry to pursue his dream of becoming a comic. The following year, he went to Houston for a comedy workshop and ended up staying. Kinison was one of the city’s top stand-up comedians by 1979, knocking audiences out with his rants about marriage and religion. He was a frequent performer at the Comedy Annex. Rodney Dangerfield caught Kinison’s act one night and encouraged the young comic.

Kinison decided to relocate to Los Angeles in 1980 after being named the funniest man in Texas twice by the Dallas Morning News. However, he struggled for several years as he attempted to break into the local comedy scene. Kinison began performing for free and soon became a regular at the Comedy Store, where he met and eventually befriended comics such as Robin Williams and Jim Carrey. Kinison married Terry Marrs around this time, which proved to be another difficult relationship for him. The couple split up after two years, but they did not divorce until 1989.

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Big Break

Dangerfield gave him his first big break by casting him in his HBO comedy showcase. Kinison took over the nation’s airwaves for several minutes in 1985 to share his comic rants about marriage and world hunger. Viewers who had never seen anyone quite like the husky, beret-wearing comic with the razor-sharp wit were ecstatic. Kinison was soon appearing on Saturday Night Live and Late Night with David Letterman.

The following year, Kinison released a successful comedy album, Louder than Hell, and he appeared in the Dangerfield comedy Back to School. In the film, he played a college history professor who snaps. However, Kinison’s brash comedy style got him in trouble with television censors that fall.

The censors told him not to do his routines about the drug war and religion before his appearance on Saturday Night Live in October 1986. Kinison, ever the rebel, ignored their requests and performed his act exactly as he desired. While his remarks were broadcast to the East Coast audience, the NBC television network changed the program for its West Coast broadcast. Nonetheless, the remarks caused quite a stir, prompting Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels to ban Kinison from the show. Michaels later reversed his decision after receiving numerous letters and phone calls from Kinison supporters.

Kinison aspired to be a film director, but he had little success after Back to School. His role in the comedy Three Amigos (1986) was cut, and his plans to star in another film were scrapped. On television, he did well with his first HBO special, Sam Kinison: Breaking the Rules (1987).

Career Speedbumps

Away from the spotlight, Kinison was known for his wild partying. He was well-known for binge drinking and drug use. Kinison “lived more like a rock star than a comic” for much of his career, according to his brother and manager Bill Kinison in his book, Brother Sam: The Short, Spectacular Life of Sam Kinison. Kinison was also known for his voracious appetite for women, and he had affairs with Jessica Hahn, Penny Marshall, and Beverly D’Angelo over the years. Kinison had feuds with fellow comedians Bobcat Goldthwait and Whoopi Goldberg, among others, during his career.

Kinison’s decision to combine comedy and rock’n’roll was not surprising given his long-standing interest in music. His cover of the Troggs’ single “Wild Thing” was a hit in 1988, and the video was frequently played on MTV. Kinison was nominated for a Grammy Award in the same year for his comedy album Have You Seen Me Lately? (1988).

Kinison did not appeal to everyone. Some were turned off by his crass and crude style, while others were offended by the topics he chose to discuss in his act. Many people found his rants about women offensive. Nothing sparked as much debate as his jokes about the AIDS virus. Death threats were made against him, and some of his public appearances were picketed. Kinison settled a lawsuit with United Artists over an earlier failed film around this time. In 1988, his younger brother Kevin committed suicide, dealing him another blow.

Despite his personal difficulties, Kinison kept up his hectic stand-up comedy tours and released his third album, Leader of the Banned (1990), to mixed reviews. His comic routines were praised, but his musical efforts, which included covers of rock classics such as “Highway to Hell” and “Mississippi Queen,” were largely panned.

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Struggles with Drugs and Alcohol

Kinison went through some personal difficulties. According to the book Brother Sam, he was involved in several car accidents in 1990 as a result of driving while intoxicated. Malika Souiri, his long-term girlfriend, was allegedly raped in the Los Angeles home they shared by a man the two met at a club earlier that evening. Souiri fired several shots at her assailant, using one of Kinison’s guns. Kinison was unconscious in another room of the house at the time, so he had no idea what was going on.

While he never completely stopped using drugs or drinking, Kinison did moderate his wild behavior in his final years. For a time, he even tried Alcoholics Anonymous. In an attempt to resurrect his dwindling career, Kinison made a guest appearance on the sitcom Married With Children, which received rave reviews. He soon began talks with the Fox television network about starring in his own sitcom.

On Charlie Hoover, which premiered in November 1991, Kinison played the boisterous, miniature alter ego of a middle-aged accountant (Tim Matheson). Even though the show only lasted a few months, it helped rekindle interest in Kinison. When his career came to a tragic end, he was reportedly negotiating a two-film deal with New Line Cinema.


Kinison married his girlfriend Souiri in Las Vegas on April 5, 1992. Kinison had a gig in Laughlin, Nevada, so the couple honeymooned in Hawaii for a few days before returning to California. Kinison and Souiri left for Laughlin on April 10, followed by Kinison’s brother Bill and several others in a van.

Kinison’s sports car was hit by a pickup truck driven by a 17-year-old about 200 miles east of Los Angeles. He was awake for a short time after the accident. Kinison’s final words, according to Brother Sam, were “Why now? I don’t want to die. Why?” He then stopped breathing, and efforts to revive him were futile. One of America’s most distinctive comedians died from his injuries at the age of 38.

Whatever anyone thought of his material, there is no denying that Kinison broke new ground in the world of comedy. “Sam was a forerunner of Howard Stern’s kind of raunch humor,” friend and fellow comedian Richard Belzer explained to Entertainment Weekly.

There have been several attempts to make a film about Kinison’s life since his death. Howard Stern, a friend, had an option on Bill Kinison’s book Brother Sam. Producer David Permut acquired the rights to the biography in 1997. For years, he and director Tom Shadyac attempted to make a film about Kinison. After reaching an agreement with the HBO cable network, the project was finally launched. Variety reports that Dan Fogler has been cast as the legendary loud-mouthed comic.

Further Reading

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