Story – Robert McKee's Creative Storytelling Magazine Issue 005 – Drew Carey - Page 69

CAREY MCKEE INTERVIEWS DREW CAREY Drew Carey is one of the most successful television comedians and game show hosts of the past 20 years. Drew was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. At an early age, however, his father passed away and his mother was compelled to work long hours outside of the home. Drew found solace in cartoons and comedy albums. As a teenager, he enrolled in Kent State University, but crises in his personal life got him expelled twice. Finally, dropping out of college, he found new direction and discipline upon joining the Marine Corps. His six-year military stint gave him new confidence and focus. Upon leaving the service, a close friend of Drew’s, who worked at a radio station, asked him to write a few jokes to use on the air. From there, Drew honed his wit and channeled his enormous energy into comedy, doing stand-up and working as an emcee at the Cleveland Comedy Club. Drew’s career-defining moment came in 1991 when an appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson changed his life forever. After the set, Drew was called over to the couch to sit next to the great Johnny Carson, the ultimate coup for any young comedian. A series of HBO specials and television appearances soon fol- Story Magazine // Issue 005 lowed, and then, in 1995, Drew joined forces with writer/producer Bruce Helford to create The Drew Carey Show. Drew’s loyalty to his hometown and everyman persona endeared him to audiences as The Drew Carey Show became one of the most popular sitcoms on television, running for over nine years and 200 episodes. In 1997, Drew published his autobiography, Dirty Jokes and Beer: Stories of the Unrefined. In 1998, Drew began hosting the improvisational game show, Whose Line Is it Anyway? The show ran for eight years, winning an Emmy with four more nominations. In February 2003, Drew received the highest of honors: a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2004 and 2005, Drew developed and starred in a whole new form of television improvisation, Drew Carey’s Green Screen Show on the WB network. In 2007, he was selected to host the CBS nighttime game show, Power of 10. Just as that series was coming to an end, Bob Barker, the famous host of the long-running game show The Price is Right, retired. When CBS offered Drew the job, at first he declined. But then, on The David Letterman Show, he announced that he was taking over.