Master magician David Copperfield couldn't fill the rows of empty seats for the taping of his CBS-TV special.
So production personnel started calling local temporary job agencies.Several hundred people showed up late last week at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, where they were handpicked to be in the audience for the show.
But dozens of Tampa's jobless who had been promised a free magic show and a minimum of four hours' work didn't make the cut.
"They were drunk, they were unclean. They were rude and crude, and David Copperfield doesn't need that kind of audience," said production coordinator Karen Woods.
"They should have known these are working people," responded Mike Burger of the Labor World temporary job agency.
Eighty of the 87 people he rounded up were rejected.
"Apparently they just made mass calls and picked out the best dressed in the 18-to-40 age bracket," Burger said.
Woods said the producers went "above and beyond the call of duty" in compensating those who were turned away.
"Even though they were drunk, unclean and verbally abusive, we ended up paying them a percentage of the mileage for coming out here," she said. "We paid the minimum."