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EXCLUSIVE: Craig Ferguson Show Paying Audience Members!

Feb. 25 2010, Published 7:14 a.m. ET

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The mountains of praise Craig Ferguson is receiving for his “no audience” trial show may be undeserved: Ferguson is the only late night show to pay audience members, RadarOnline.com has exclusively learned.

The Craig Ferguson Show is currently using a service for their audience procurement,” an insider tells RadarOnline.com. “They have 100 seats, of which 10 are reserved for house guests, and 30-40 members are through requests for tickets. The rest of the seats, about 50-60, are each paid for by the show. At around $20 per person, that’s almost $1,000 per hour-long taping, which is one expensive laugh machine.”

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Ferguson claimed the quiet set was a “nod to his predecessor, Tom Snyder, who went audience free for years,” but in reality, insiders tell RadarOnline.com that the show simply can’t fill the seats and wants to save money.

“No one else in late night pays for any portion of their audience. There’s beyond enough of a demand for tickets to Jay Leno, David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon,” said our source. “They regularly have too many people who want to attend,” adding that their studios are much larger, averaging around 200 seats or more.

“Why Craig has to pay people to sit through his show is beyond me. It’s even more funny that when he stopped, everyone is lauding him for ‘breaking the mold.’ He hasn’t done anything original!” laughed our source. “This was a decision based solely on need.”

Ok, but we still think he’s hilarious.

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