Simon Cowell is prime time’s best-paid guy -- but who invited David Caruso?

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Simon Cowell we understand. David Caruso? Not so much. Forbes has released its list of the 10 men who bring home the most prime-time bacon, and we must say the results are intriguing as well as bothersome.

The surly ‘American Idol’ judge leads the list, and this makes sense, because who among us wouldn’t pay a pretty penny (think $75 million) to a guy who isn’t afraid to say out loud all the things we’ve been thinking?

Donald Trump at No. 2? He’s a businessman, so that’s almost cheating -- but it makes sense. Ryan Seacrest at No. 3? Sleeps maybe three hours a week and spends the rest of the time working -- makes sense. Sticking with the ‘guys who say things we only wish we could’ metric, Hugh Laurie, Kiefer Sutherland and Steve Carell seem to make sense as well.

But Charlie Sheen batting cleanup? And not one but two comics who now host game shows?

And -- David Caruso?

Click here for a photo gallery of the entire Top 10 list, which actually goes to 11, and includes salaries. And click onward in this post for a classic video, especially if you’re wondering what David Caruso ever did to us.

-- Christie D’Zurilla

We had always assumed Horatio Caine got paid by the one-liner, until our In-House Consultant pointed out the obvious:


The writers control the script -- but the actor controls the sunglasses.

Those puppies have definitely been taken off at least 10 million times by now.