|Birth Date||23 May 1958|
|Known For||Comedian & Actor|
|Highest Score||31 (Cha-Cha-Cha)|
|Lowest Score||21 (Foxtrot & Jive)|
Carey is the youngest of Lewis and Beulah Carey's three sons and raised in the Old Brooklyn neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio. When Drew was eight years old, his father died from a brain tumor. He played the cornet and trumpet in the marching band of James Ford Rhodes High School, from which he graduated in 1975.
He continued on to college at Kent State University (KSU) and was expelled twice for poor academic performance. He left KSU after three years. After leaving the university, Carey enlisted into the United States Marine Corps Reserve in 1980 and served for six years. He moved to Las Vegas for a few months in 1982, and for a short time worked as a bank teller and a waiter at Denny's.
In 1985, he began his comedy career by following up on a suggestion by David Lawrence (a disc jockey friend who had been paying Drew to write jokes for David's radio show in Cleveland) to go to the library and borrow books on how to write jokes. The following year, after winning an open-microphone contest, he became Master of Ceremonies at the Cleveland Comedy Club. He performed at comedy clubs over the next few years 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 when he appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in November 1991. His performance that night impressed Carson, who invited Carey to the couch next to his desk; this was considered a rare honor for any comedian. In that same year, Carey joined 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, Drew Carey: Human Cartoon, which aired on Showtime and won a CableACE Award for Best Writing.
His early stand-up career led to supporting roles on television shows, during which he developed the character of a hapless middle-class bachelor. In 1993, Carey had a small role in the film Coneheads as a taxi passenger. In 1994, Carey co-starred with John Caponera in The Good Life, a short-lived sitcom on NBC. After the show was cancelled, Bruce Helford, a writer on the show, hired Carey as a consultant for the television show Someone Like Me.
The Drew Carey Show
After their stint on Someone Like Me, Carey and Helford developed and produced the storyline for The Drew Carey Show. The sitcom revolved around a fictionalized version of Carey, as he took on the stresses of life and work with his group of childhood friends. The show premiered 13 September 1995 on ABC. In his autobiography, Carey revealed his frustration with having to deal with censors and being unable to employ the off-color humor common in his stand-up routines. Carey initially earned $60,000 per episode in the first seasons, then renegotiated for $300,000. By the final season, he was earning $750,000 per episode. The show had high ratings for its first few seasons, but declining ratings and increasing production costs (around $3 million per episode) precipitated its cancellation. The program had a total of 233 episodes over its nine-year run and Carey was one of four actors to appear in every episode. The show starred (in order of episode appearances) Carey, Diedrich Bader, Kathy Kinney, Ryan Stiles (all in every episode); Craig Ferguson (starring role in seasons 2–8 and guest appearances in 9); Christa Miller (seasons 1–7); and Ian Gomez (semi-regular from seasons 1–9) and John Carroll Lynch (semi-regular from seasons 3/4–9).
While still starring in The Drew Carey Show, in 1998 Carey began hosting the American version of the improvisational comedy show Whose Line Is It Anyway? He would announce the improv guests, direct the games, and would usually involve himself in the final game of the episode. The show ran for a total of 220 episodes until the show's cancellation in 2006. In 1998, the New York Friars' Club made Carey the newest inductee of the group's Comedy Central Roast. His friend Ryan Stiles (who costarred in The Drew Carey Show and Whose Line Is It Anyway?) served as the roastmaster. Carey's income from Whose Line Is It Anyway? and The Drew Carey Show led to his inclusion on the Forbes list of highest-paid entertainers of 1998, at 24th with $45.5 million.
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 canceled by the WB, but picked up shortly afterward by Comedy Central. The show's premise relied on the use of a green screen for all of the actors' improv interactions. Animation on the screen was inserted during post-production.
In April 2011, Carey began hosting a new primetime improv show, called Drew Carey's Improv-A-Ganza. It was filmed at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada and first aired 11 April. The show takes on the premise of Whose Line? and Drew Carey's Green Screen Show in that it features many of the same performers from both shows and they do improv based on audience-provided suggestions.
Carey was one of the founders of the Improv All-Stars, a group of eleven actors who perform in unscripted skits. The group joined Carey in all three of his improv shows, Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Drew Carey's Green Screen Show, and Drew Carey's Improv-a-ganza and some members had major roles or guest starred in The Drew Carey Show. The Improv All-Stars travel on comedy tours, performing at comedy clubs throughout the United States.
Carey began appearing in commercials for restaurants in the late 1990s 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 an episode of The Drew Carey Show featured McDonald's. As a result of his dismissal, Carey sued A&W for compensation.
Disney's Hollywood Studios (then "Disney-MGM Studios"), part of Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, debuted a twelve-minute attraction in 1999 titled Sounds Dangerous! In the show, a camera follows Carey through a day as an undercover detective. When his video camera fails, the audience is left in complete darkness wearing earphones, following his adventure through sound cues. The attraction is now closed.
In 2000, Carey was given a cameo appearance in the House Party expansion pack of the computer game The Sims. To make him appear, the characters in the game must throw a successful party, which causes Carey to arrive in a limo and join the festivities. Carey 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 made several other cameo appearances in music videos, including "Weird Al" Yankovic's "It's All About the Pentiums" and Fountains of Wayne's 2004 video for "Mexican Wine", giving an introduction to the video as if it were on a stage.
On 21 January 2001, Drew entered as Vince McMahon's guest entrant in the Royal Rumble match.
Although primarily known for his television work, Carey has done limited film work, with his first appearance in 1993's Coneheads. His next film was the 2000 television film, Geppetto that debuted on The Wonderful World of Disney. The film, an adaptation of Pinocchio, included actor Wayne Brady who had joined Carey on his improv shows. Carey took singing lessons to prepare for the role. In 2005, Carey appeared in three films: the animated film Robots, where he provided a voice-over for the character Crank; The Aristocrats where he retold a dirty joke along with other celebrities; and the documentary, Fuck, where he was interviewed.
Carey provided the entertainment for the 2002 Annual White House correspondents' dinner. Once Carey completed his standup routine for the 1,800 guests, President George W. Bush, noting Carey's improv work, made a joke of his own: "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. In September 2003, Carey led a group of comedians, including Blake Clark and The Drew Carey Show's Kathy Kinney, on a comedy tour of Iraq.
On 8 June 2006, Drew Carey's Sporting Adventures debuted on the Travel Channel. In this series, Carey traveled throughout Germany to photograph multiple FIFA World Cup soccer games while he immerses himself in the culture of the towns and states he visits. In early 2008, Carey appeared in Matt Groening's The Simpsons as part of the episode "All About Lisa" as a guest in The Krusty the Clown Show. He also surfaced in the second season of Community, playing a well liked former boss to Jeff Winger.
On 14 December 2020, it was announced that he will compete in Celebrity Wheel of Fortune, which will air 7 January 2021.
Carey has routinely written 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 wherein 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 suicide attempts by swallowing a large amount of sleeping pills. The book discusses his college fraternity years while attending Kent State University, and his professional career up to that time. The book featured large amounts of profanity and, as the title suggests, includes multiple dirty jokes (there is 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.
He adopted his crew cut hair style while serving in the United States Marine Corps. 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, while this was true for several years, on the 17 May 2006 episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! he revealed that when he turned forty, he actually developed a need for bifocals. As of 2007, Carey resides in Los Angeles and New York City.
Carey is a father figure to Nicole Jaracz's son, Connor, from a previous relationship. They have no children together. Nicole and Connor have appeared alongside Carey on The Price Is Right several times. Although he proposed to Jaracz in 2007, the pair never wed as the engagement was called off in January 2012.
After suffering chest pains while filming The Drew Carey Show in August 2001, Carey went to the hospital where he underwent a coronary angioplasty. Although his weight was a comedic topic throughout his sitcom and improv shows, in 2010 he began a diet and exercise plan, resulting in an extensive weight loss (similar to former TPIR announcer Rod Roddy). He also claimed that he cured his Type 2 diabetes.
Dancing with the Stars 18
It was announced 4 March 2014 on Good Morning America that Carey would compete in the 18th season of Dancing with the Stars. He was partnered with professional dancer Cheryl Burke. The couple was eliminated on the sixth week of competition, finishing in 8th place.
|Week #||Dance/Song||Judges' Scores||Result|
|1||Foxtrot / "Money (That's What I Want)"||7||7||7||No elimination|
|2||Jive / "You Can't Sit Down"||7||7||7||Safe|
|3||Waltz / "Fade into You"||7||7/81||8||Safe|
|42||Cha-Cha-Cha / "Sugarfoot"||8||8/93||8||No elimination|
|5||Quickstep / "Friend Like Me"||7||7/74||7||Safe|
|6||Tango / "Super Freak"||8||95/7||8||Eliminated|
1 Score by guest judge Robin Roberts.
2 For this week only, as part of the "Partner Switch-Up" week, Drew Carey did not perform with Burke and instead performed with Witney Carson. Burke performed with James Maslow.
3 Score by guest judge Julianne Hough.
4 Score by guest judge Donny Osmond.
5 Score by guest judge Redfoo.
- On 14 January 2021, he competed in the second episode of Celebrity Wheel of Fortune alongside Teri Hatcher and Chrissy Metz. He won $55,550 for his charity Greater Cleveland Food Bank.
- He is the second contestant named Drew to be paired with Cheryl Burke.