How was a court jester paid?
The biggest payment that a medieval jester received was food and a permanent place to live. So safety and security were much needed during the medieval times and were guaranteed to the court jester. His payment in the form of money depended on his performance. If he managed to make the king happy, he was paid very well. However, there was no set income for a court jester.
The Darker Side
Even tough their life was paid in advance and they would have a lovely life living near the high nobles, there was always a dark side. They didn’t have much authority and they could become expendable. If a king was having a bad time he might take it out on the poor jester.
Jesters were also used for espionage, they have used them to spy at the court. They could send reports on what is going on with the king and those close around. If the king was sick he could report it and they could use it for their benefit. The jester would know all the information and know whats going on inside the walls.
Jesters were in a close position to everyone, they could have been used for assassination purposes, but there are little evidences regarding this theory.