Drew Carey

Drew Carey (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Drew Allison Carey (born May 23, 1958) is an American actor and comedian recognizable by his crew cut and black-rimmed glasses. After making a name for himself in stand-up comedy he eventually gained popularity starring on his own self-titled sitcom, The Drew Carey Show, and serving as host on the U.S. version of Whose Line Is It Anyway?.

Early life

Carey was born and raised in the Old Brooklyn neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio. Drew had two older brothers and when he was eight years old his father, Lewis Carey, died from a brain tumor widowing his wife, Beulah Carey. According to his autobiography, he was born with 6 toes on his right foot, played the cornet and trumpet in the marching band of James Ford Rhodes High School and graduated in 1975. Carey was subjected to sexual abuse by a male member of his extended family as a child, and is one of very few male public figures to speak openly about being a sex abuse survivor. He continued on to college at Kent State University and was expelled twice for poor academic performance. He joined the Delta Tau Delta fraternity, but left it when he dropped out of KSU after three years. After leaving the university, Carey joined the United States Marine Corps Reserve in 1980 and served for six years. He also relocated to Las Vegas for a few years in 1984, and for a short time worked as a bank teller and a waiter at Denny's.

Stand-up career

In 1985, he began his comedy career by following up on a suggestion by a friend to go to the library and borrow books on how to write jokes. In 1986, after winning an open-mic contest, he became emcee at the Cleveland Comedy Club. For the next few years, he performed at multiple comedy clubs in Cleveland and Los Angeles. He was first brought to the national eye as a comedian when he competed in the 1988 Star Search. Carey was working as a stand-up comedian in 1991 when he appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. His performance that night so impressed Johnny Carson that he invited Drew to sit on the couch near his desk for the rest of the show, which was a rare honor for a comedian on the show. Carey claims he reached the limit on his credit card the next day returning calls from interested casting directors and he credited Carson with making his career. In that same year, Carey also appeared on the 14th Annual Young Comedians Special on HBO and made his first appearance on Late Night with David Letterman. In 1994, Carey wrote his own stand-up comedy special which aired on Showtime, entitled Drew Carey: Human Cartoon, for which he won a Cable Ace Award for Best Writing.

Acting career

Early roles

With the success from his early stand-up career, he subsequently appeared in a number of supporting roles on television shows, in which he developed the character of a hapless middle-class bachelor. In 1993, Carey had a small role in the movie Coneheads as a taxi passenger. Turning his attention to television, in 1994, Carey co-starred with John Caponera in The Good Life, a short-lived sitcom that aired on NBC. After the show's cancellation, Carey joined up with writer Bruce Helford (who was also a writer for The Good Life), who gave Carey a job as a staff writer for The Gaby Hoffman Show.

The Drew Carey Show

Main article: The Drew Carey Show
After Carey gained sitcom writing experience, Carey and Helford then began to develop the storyline and co-produce The Drew Carey Show. The show first premiered on September 13, 1995 on ABC which featured Carey and Kathy Kinney in their previous characters. Carey played the assistant director of personnel at a department store in Cleveland, Ohio while Kinney played the obnoxious secretary (named Mimi) of Carey's boss. In his autobiography, he revealed his frustration with having to deal with censors and being unable to increase the usage of dirty humor which is prevalent in his stand-up comedy. Carey initially earned $60,000 per episode in the first seasons, then renegotiated for $250,000, and near the end of the show, he was earning $750,000 per episode. The show had high ratings for its first few seasons, and then declining ratings and production costs of around $3 million per episode eventually resulted in the cancellation of the show. The program had a total of 233 episodes and lasted from 1995 to 2004 for nine complete seasons. Drew was the only character to appear in every episode.

Whose Line Is It Anyway?

Main article: Whose Line Is It Anyway?
In 1998, Carey hosted the United States version of the improvisational comedy show Whose Line Is It Anyway?. He would announce the improv guests, direct the games, and then would usually involve himself in the final game of the show. The show ran for a total of 215 episodes between 1998 and 2006. Also in 1998, the New York Friar's Club hosted the Comedy Central Roast of Drew Carey. Drew's fellow actor and friend, Ryan Stiles (The Drew Carey Show & Whose Line Is It Anyway?) served as the roastmaster.

Improv All-Stars

Drew Carey has also helped to create the improv comedy group, the Improv All-Stars, which is composed of eleven other members. The members of the group have joined Carey in both of his two improv shows, Whose Line is it Anyway? and Drew Carey's Green Screen Show and some had major roles or guest starred on his previous shows. The group has traveled on several comedy tours performing at various comedy clubs within the last year.

Other roles and appearances

Carey began appearing in commercials for A&W Restaurants in Canada with The Great Root Bear, but his two-year contract with A&W Food Services of Canada was cut short in November 1998 after promoting McDonald's in an episode of The Drew Carey Show.

In April 22, 1999 at Disney-MGM Studios, one of the parks that make up Walt Disney World Resort, Carey debuted a twelve-minute attraction entitled Sounds Dangerous. In the show, a camera follows Carey through a day as an undercover detective when his video camera fails and the audience is left in complete darkness wearing earphones, following his adventure through sound cues. The attraction is presently running.

In 1999, Carey made a cameo appearance in Weird Al Yankovic's music video, All About the Pentiums. In 2004, he would make an appearance in another video, in Fountains of Wayne's Mexican Wine. He gave an introduction to the video as if it were on a stage.

In 2000, Carey starred in the TV film, Geppetto for an ABC presentation of the Wonderful World of Disney.

Drew Carey provided the entertainment for the 2002 Annual White House Correspondents dinner. Once Drew completed his standup routine for the 1,800 guests, President George W. Bush made a joke of his own noting Drew's improv work, "Drew? Got any interest in the Middle East?" In 2003, he joined Jamie Kennedy to host the WB's live special Play for a Billion, which was sponsored by Pepsi and aired on September 12, 2003.

For The WB's 2004-2005 prime time schedule, Carey co-produced and starred in Drew Carey's Green Screen Show, a spin-off of Whose Line Is It Anyway?. It was cancelled by the WB, but picked up shortly afterward by Comedy Central.

In 2005, Drew Carey was in three different films. He provided a voice-over for the character Crank in the animated film Robots, in The Aristocrats to retell a dirty joke along with other celebrities and was interviewed in the documentary Fuck.

On June 8, 2006, Drew Carey's Sporting Adventures debuted on the Travel Channel. Carey travels throughout Germany to photograph multiple FIFA World cup soccer games while he immerses himself in the culture of towns and states he visits.

On April 13, 2007, Carey was selected to host the CBS game show pilot The Power of 10, where contestants could win a potential $10,000,000 top prize. In May 2007, it was announced that the show was picked up for a summer run, with Carey as host.

Carey has also made a cameo appearance in the computer game The Sims, but only in the House Party expansion pack. To make him appear, the Sims must throw a successful party, which will cause a limo to show up and he will join the festivities. Drew is a fan of The Sims series and during one April Fool's episode of The Drew Carey Show, a scene takes place completely within The Sims.


Carey has a history of writing throughout his career including developing his stand-up comedy routines in his early stand-up career, and then moving on to assist in writing sitcoms. In 1997, Carey published his autobiography, Dirty Jokes and Beer: Stories of the Unrefined where he shared memories of his early childhood and of his father's death when he was eight. He also revealed that he was once molested, had suffered bouts of depression, and had made two attempts at suicide by swallowing a large amount of sleeping pills. He also wrote of his college fraternity years while attending Kent State University, and of his professional career up to that time. The book featured large amounts of profanity and, as the title suggests, includes multiple dirty jokes (there was one at the start of each chapter) and references to beer. The book was featured on the New York Times bestseller list for three months.

Personal life

A former United States Marine reservist, he adopted his crew cut hair style during his time in the service. Carey has had refractive surgery to correct his vision and therefore did not really require glasses (any glasses he wore in public were merely props to help the audience recognize him), however, whilst this was true for several years, on the May 17, 2006 episode of the Jimmy Kimmel Live show he revealed that when he turned 40, he actually developed a need for bifocals.

Political involvement

Carey is also known for his Republican leanings and has expressed support for the Libertarian Party. The Drew Carey Show often presented a libertarian critique of political correctness, government regulations, racism, sexism, and homophobia, with storylines involving Carey's cross-dressing brother, dating a bisexual woman (played by Illeana Douglas) for two episodes, ongoing criticism of the Boy Scouts of America's exclusionary policy against gay men, and support for same-sex marriage.

Drew has spoken about his various political beliefs in several interviews and in 1998, he led a "smoke-in" in defiance of a no smoking ordinance.

In a guest appearance on Blue Collar TV, he said (presumably tongue-in-cheek) "That's why I'm a Republican" during one of the skits.

Since the show ended its nine-year run on ABC in 2004, however, Carey has clarified that he is more of a conservative with libertarian leanings, and that he presented himself as a libertarian to avoid what some critics of the entertainment industry have characterized as a general Hollywood bias against conservatives. On the August 18, 2006 Penn Radio show with Penn Jillette, Carey did however say he was indeed libertarian.

This joke perhaps illustrates his political views: "I don't believe there should be laws against drugs. I don't think the government has the right to limit the ways I can hurt myself!"

Sports involvement

Carey is known for being a devoted Cleveland Browns, Indians and U.S. Soccer fan. When he promoted The Drew Carey Show in 1995, at the same time the Indians were making a miraculous run at the World Series, he poked fun at the rest of baseball by saying, "Finally, it's your team that sucks!" He also showed his support for the team by throwing the first pitch at an August 12, 2006 Indians game against the Royals. He was rewarded by the Cleveland Indians for being "the greatest Indians fan alive" with a personal bobblehead doll made in his likeness given to fans. Carey responded to his bobblehead likeness by saying "Bobblehead Day, for me, is as big as getting a star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame."

He is also a season ticket holder with the Los Angeles Galaxy and follows Scottish football club Rangers.

In 2001, Carey was the first TV star (as opposed to wrestler or athlete) to ever enter World Wrestling Federation's 30-man "Royal Rumble" match which he entered to promote an improv comedy pay-per-view at the time. He appeared in a few backstage segments before his brief participation in the match; he eliminated himself by offering money to Kane and then fleeing the ring.

In 2003, Carey competed against five other celebrities in the first celebrity edition of the World Poker Tour. He placed fifth, only beating out comedian/actor/rocker Jack Black. Carey won $2,000 for his charity.


Carey is known for his support of libraries, crediting them for beginning his successful comedy career. On May 2, 2000, in a celebrity edition of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, he selected the Ohio Library Foundation to receive his $500,000 winnings. He later went on to win an additional $32,000 on the second celebrity Millionaire, making him one of the biggest winning contestants on Millionaire that did not win the top prize. Carey also has played on the World Poker Tour in the Hollywood Home games for the Cleveland Public Library charity. In June 2007, Carey offered to donate up to $100,000 (in $10,000 increments) if anybody could beat him at the video game FIFA Soccer 07 for the Xbox 360. He challenged five players from both the U.S. Men's and Women's National Teams to compete against him.


Carey can sometimes be seen on the sidelines of U.S. National Team soccer games as a press photographer. His images are sold via wire services under the pseudonym Brooks Parkenridge. He was at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in the summer of 2006, for his television show Drew Carey's Sporting Adventures. His favorite soccer team is the Scottish team Rangers and L.A. Galaxy.

Awards and honors

  • He won the Cable Ace Award for Best Writing for his work on Drew Carey: Human Cartoon.
  • He was named one of the "10 Hottest New Faces of '95" by TV Guide.
  • Carey received an honorary Ph.D. from Cleveland State University in 2000.
  • Drew won the People's Choice Award for Favorite Male Television Performer for his work in The Drew Carey Show, in both 2000 and 2001.
  • On February 21, 2003, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His star can be found at 6664 Hollywood Blvd.
  • In 2004, Comedy Central ranked him #84 on its list of the 100 greatest standups of all time.


Carey has starred in only a few television shows and films, but also has numerous guest star appearances in a variety of other sitcoms and comedy shows.

Television work

Year Title Role Notes
1994 The Good Life Drew Clark
1995 The Drew Carey Show Drew Carey
1998 Whose Line Is It Anyway? Himself (host)
2000 Geppetto Geppetto
2004 Drew Carey's Green Screen Show Himself
2006 Drew Carey's Sporting Adventures Himself
2007 The Power of 10 Himself (host)


Year Title Role Notes
1993 Coneheads Taxi passenger
2005 Robots Crank (voice only)
The Aristocrats Himself
Fuck Himself (documentary)


This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Drew Carey". Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions this article may contain.

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