Drew Carey is a famous American comedian, actor and sports show host. He initially made a name for himself in stand-up comedy while serving in the US Marine Corps and later started his own sitcom, ‘The Drew Carey Show’. He also hosted the American version of the show, ’Whose Line is it Anyway’, which was aired on ABC. He has since appeared in many television series, movies, music videos and even a computer game. He is known for his love for sports and has worked as a photographer with the US National Soccer Team. He has hosted the game show, ‘The Price is Right’ since 2007 on CBS. He is also a minority owner of the soccer team, ‘Seattle Sounders FC’. He is outspoken and has expressed his political philosophy by saying, “I believe the answers to all the problems we face as a society won’t come from Washington, it will come from us. So the way we decide to live and our decisions about what we buy or don’t are much more important than who we vote for”. He openly expressed dissatisfaction with the Bush administration and their approach to the Iraq War. He supported the Libertarian Party and in 2016 was made an Honorary Chair for the campaign in California.
Childhood & Early Life
He was born on May 23, 1958 to Lewis and Beulah Carey who had three sons, of whom Drew was the youngest. His father died of brain tumour when he was eight years old and the three boys were brought up by their mother in Old Brooklyn neighbourhood of Cleveland, Ohio. The loss of his father at an early age left him depressed because his mother could not fill the void as she struggled to support the family.
He graduated from James Ford Rhodes High School in 1975, where he played the trumpet and cornet in the marching band. He went on to Kent State University to complete his studies but had to leave after three years due to poor academic performance. He remained depressed through his early years and even attempted suicide on two occasions. However, he pulled himself out by reading humour books and taking interest in board games.
In 1979 he enlisted in the US Marine Corps Reserve and served for four years from where he moved on to Las Vegas in 1983 and worked as a bank teller and waiter. During his days with the Marine Corps, he developed physically as well as gained self-confidence to put himself back on track.
He started a career in comedy by writing jokes for his friend, David Lawrence and went on to win the ‘Open Microphone Contest’ after which he became the Master of Ceremonies at the Cleveland Comedy Club.
He performed in comedy clubs in Cleveland and Loss Angeles over the next few years and got recognised when he competed in the 1988 ‘Star Search’. He joined the 14th Annual Comedian Special on HBO and made his first appearance on the ‘Late Night with David Letterman’ show.
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In 1994, Carey wrote his own stand-up comedy, ‘Drew Carey : Human Cartoon’, which was aired on Showtime and won a ‘Cable AEC Award’ for Best Writing.
Gradually he developed the character of a middle-class bachelor and took part in supporting roles on television. In 1994 he co-starred with John Caponera in ‘The Good Life’, a sitcom on NBC. The show got cancelled and thereafter he got hired as a consultant for the television show, ‘Someone Like Me’.
In 1995 ‘The Drew Carey Show’ premiered. It revolved around a fictionalised version of himself as he took on the stresses of life and work with a group of childhood friends. The programme had 233 episodes and ran for over nine years.
In 1998 he started the American version of the comedy show, ‘Whose Line is it Anyway’. The show ran for 220 episodes till it ended in 2006. His income by now led to his inclusion in the Forbes list of highest paid entertainers of 1998 at 24th with $45.5 million.
He co-produced and starred in ‘Drew Carey’s Green Screen Show’ for Warner Brother’s during 2004-05 prime time. The show was dropped by Warner Brothers and picked up by Comedy Central subsequently.
Based on his earlier shows and experience he began hosting ‘Drew Carey’s Improv-A-Ganza’ in 2011, which was filmed in MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada.
He was one of the founders of the ‘Improv All Stars’ that is a group of eleven actors who perform in unscripted skits. The group of actors also appeared in his earlier shows. They toured the whole of the United States, performing at various comedy clubs.
In 2007 he began hosting game shows. ‘Power of 10’ was his pilot show featuring contestants who had to predict how a cross-section of Americans respond to questions covering a wide variety of topics on polls conducted by CBS.
After the ‘Power of 10’ he was hired by CBS to host ‘The Price is Right’ in place of Bob Barker who announced his retirement.
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He now began to regularly appear in shows and commercials including The Great Root Bear and A&W Foods Services of Canada. He was dismissed by A&W Food Services because one of his episodes of the ‘Drew Carey Show’ featured Mc Donald’s.
He has written his autobiography, ‘Dirty Jokes and Beer: Stories of the Unrefined’, which is about his early life and television career. It featured in the New York Times list of bestsellers for three months.
He has made guest appearances and hosted various shows. His TV shows include ‘Drew Carey : Human Cartoon’, ‘The Good Life’, ‘The Drew Carey Show’, ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch’, ‘Whose Line is it Anyway’, ‘Power of 10’ and ‘The Price is Right’.
He also appeared in a number of films including ‘Coneheads’, ‘The Big Tease’, ‘Robots’, ‘The Aristocrats’ and ‘Jack and Jill’.
Awards & Achievements
Cary has won a number of individual as well as collective awards. His individual awards include ‘Cable Ace Award’ for Best Writing: Drew Cary Human Cartoon (1994), ‘Satellite Award’ for Best Actor – Musical / Comedy / Series (1998), ‘People’s Choice Award’ for Favourite Male Television Performer (2000) and ‘Best Advocacy Journalism Award’ (2011).
His name was also inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame and WWE Hall of Fame in 2003 and 2011 respectively.
He is two time winner of ‘Daytime Emmy Award’ for Outstanding Game Show : The Price is Right (2013 & 2016), four time winner of the ‘Lamar Hunt US Open Cup’, as part owner of the ‘Seattle Sounders’ (2009, 2010, 2011 & 2014) and MLS Cup winner 2016, again as part owner of ‘Seattle Sounders’.
Personal Life & Legacy
Although Carey made his spectacles his trademark, he had corrective surgery at an early age and did not really need glasses, till later on in life when he needed reading glasses. He adopted a crew cut from his days with the United States Marine Corps and practiced Buddhism.
Although he proposed to Nicole Jaracz in 2007, he never got married and their engagement got called off in 2012. He, however, remains a father figure to her son, Connor, from a previous marriage and has no children of his own.
His weight has been a topic for a lot of his jokes and he had to undergo coronary angioplasty after suffering from chest pain in August 2001. In 2010 he began a crash diet and started exercise, which he claims cured him of Type 2 Diabetes.
He was a devoted fan of US National Soccer and became a minority owner of the ‘Seattle Sounders’ who began to play Major League Soccer in 2009 and won the 2016 MLS Cup.
He was the first television actor to enter the World Wrestling Federation ‘Royal Rumble’ match, which he did to promote his comedy ‘Pay Per View’.
Carey wrote throughout his career to develop his stand-up comedy and sitcoms. In his autobiography he revealed that he had made two attempts at suicide by swallowing an overdose of sleeping pills. He was once molested and suffered from bouts of depression.
He completed the ‘Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon’ in May 2011 and went on to finish the ‘Marine Corps Marathon’ in October the same year. He also ran the ‘Disneyland Half Marathon’.
He was often seen on the sidelines of the US National Soccer Games as a press photographer. His work was sold under a pseudo name.
He dedicated $500,000 of his winnings from ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’ to the Ohio Library and $160,000 to the Mooch Myernick Memorial Fund as a result of a challenge in which he lost at the FIFA Soccer video game 2007. He also made large donations to charity out of the auction of @drew Twitter account.