"My first contract was $1,500 a show. You think of the enormous salaries athletes and stars get. We started low in those days. Everybody thinks we got big money... I earned 50 grand a show. But there's taxes, managers, PR people, agents, assistants, household bills. You end with less than 50 per cent." The Mary Tyler Moore Show star Ed Asner is astounded by the massive salaries of stars these days.