Can a Normal Guy Join the 1%?

Comedian Barry Rothbart explores what it takes to become a member of the 1% in this video. After a tremendously funny but fruitless quest to make piles of cash, he finds out he’s in the 1% worldwide just by making $35,000 per year.

Hired to create a video on the top 1% of wealthiest people, comedian Barry Rothbart decided to dig into the question by attempting to become one of the 1%. Doing a little research, he discovered he would need to earn about $450,000 a year to be part of the top 1% in California. He says he then “discovered” there were 52 weeks in a year, which meant he would have to earn about $9,000 a week. He then searched the internet for the only financial adviser he could find who had TV credits.

The ensuing conversation is hilarious. Rothbart asks the financial adviser what percentage of people are in the 1%. Predictably the adviser quickly discovers he wants no part of the comedian’s ventures.

Rothbart next goes on Craigslist and types in the words, “make money.” He finds an offer for 200 pairs of designer sunglasses for $250. He calls the guy who placed the ad, finds he is located nearby, and meets him at his place of business – a seedy video store.

Rothbart attempts to sell the bag of sunglasses to major retailers like Sunglass Hut and fails. Next, he tries to sell them to employees at Buzzfeed. He accosts several staff members with the sunglasses, asking them if they think it’s “bright in here,” telling them they look great in the sunglasses and asking if they listen to rap. One employee tells him “fish” is not a brand. He fails spectacularly, not selling even one pair of the sunglasses and being in the hole for $250.

Rothbart tries other ways of making $9,000 in a week, including visiting a sperm bank and creating a large piece of modern art with 250 pairs of sunglasses and some PVC pipe and trying to sell it online for $9,000. His verdict after a few days: “Sales are low.”

Then a co-worker approaches him and tells him that just being an American who makes $35,000 a year puts him in the top 1% worldwide. He says in only one week he became a member of the 1% because he figured out that the world was so poor and ends with, “Thank you America.”

To see how you stack up against a famous one percenter, see our article “Bill Gates vs You: Net Worth Showdown.”