It’s been almost 10 years since Drew Carey replaced the legendary Bob Barker as host on “The Price Is Right.” What was the comedian thinking as he considered taking the job back in 2007? In our recent interview at CBS Studios near Hollywood (watch above), he admits, “I knew the show had been on so long and was part of the American fabric. And I didn’t want to be the one to screw it up. It wasn’t about being as good as Bob Barker because I knew I was going to be different no matter what. If I do this show, am I going to screw it up and get it cancelled? That’s all I didn’t want to do was to be the one that ruined it.”
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The long-running game show has been a staple of CBS daytime programming for 45 years. Under the Carey years, it has won Daytime Emmy Awards for Best Game Show recently in 2013 and 2016. When first approached about becoming the emcee a decade ago, he at first dismissed the idea completely. Now that he’s had the job for a long while, one of his favorite parts of the show is working with the contestants themselves. He says, “I see people up here getting excited about winning $5,000 or $10,000, which isn’t life-changing money but it’s month-changing money. I know what it means to win that kind of money. That’s a lot of money to a lot of people, including me still.”
Leading up to his current hosting gig, Carey had lots of guest starring roles on such shows as “Lois and Clark,” “Home Improvement, “Coach,” “The Larry Sanders Show,” and “Ellen.” He began his popular “The Drew Carey Show” in 1995 and starred for nine seasons on ABC. He also hosted the improv program “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” for ABC from 1998 to 2007. In our chat, we also discuss the moment that changed his life when he debuted on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” in November, 1991, just months before Carson retired the following May.
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