Drew Carey

Drew Carey Headshot

Actor • Comedian • Game Show Host

Birth Date: May 23, 1958

Age: 65 years old

Birth Place: Cleveland, Ohio

Husky, blond, and bespectacled comedian Drew Carey hit pay dirt in 1995 as the star of his own sitcom, "The Drew Carey Show" (ABC, 1995-2004), but the comic's road to stardom was marked by a difficult childhood and a long struggle to make his mark in the brutally competitive world of stand-up comedy. After a failed attempt at earning a degree at Ohio's Kent State University, the young Carey - struggling with depression and a lack of direction - enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. The experience seemed to have been a positive one for Carey, who came out of the service more self-assured, later writing jokes for a local radio station at the urging of a friend. It was not long before he was performing stand-up comedy at clubs around the country, eventually appearing on the televised talent competition "Star Search" (syndicated, 1983-1995). From there it was on to a comedy special on HBO, followed by a slam-dunk guest spot on "The Tonight Show" (NBC, 1962- ), where Carey made a most favorable impression on late night king, Johnny Carson. Of course, it all led to the 1995 premiere of "The Drew Carey Show," a vehicle that would soon make him a household name. After the Cleveland-based series left the airwaves, the comic brought his affable, "life-of-the-party" persona to several series and game shows - most notably as host of "The Price is Right" (CBS, 1972- ), where after a highly publicized search, he replaced the venerable Bob Barker. When asked about his decision to take on the mantle of game show host, the comedian's response was typically laid back and 100 percent Drew Carey: "They told me all I would be doing all day is giving away prizes, and I thought, you know, that's not such a bad thing to be known for."
The youngest of three brothers born to Lewis and Beulah Carey, Drew Allison Carey was born on May 23, 1958 in Cleveland, OH. What later surprised fans of his fun-loving persona was the fact that his early years were marked by sadness and loneliness - in no small part due to Carey losing his father to a brain tumor when he was only eight, as well as enduring sexual abuse at the hands of a family member. In order to make ends meet, Carey's mother worked long hours, leaving him to find solace in television and comedy records, or practicing with the school marching band. Though Carey developed a reputation among friends as a comic wit, in private, he suffered from depression to such a degree that he even attempted suicide on two separate occasions. After graduating from James Ford Rhodes High School, Carey made a go at higher education when he enrolled at Kent State, but was expelled twice for poor grades, eventually dropping out short of earning his degree. This less-than-rewarding experience deepened his depression, prompting Carey to return to Cleveland with no goals and little optimism as he looked to his future. In 1980, he joined the Marine Corps., in the hope that it would build up some personal discipline and self-confidence. By all accounts Carey's time in the service did just the trick, as he emerged six years later with a healthier and more positive outlook on life.

Carey's route to a career in comedy began when a friend asked him to write some jokes for a local radio program. Having no experience in writing, he went to the local library and read as much as he could on the subject. Eventually, Carey felt confident enough in his material to try it out before live audiences. A win at an open mic contest led to a steady gig as the emcee at the Cleveland Comedy Club. Soon afterwards, Carey's brand of humor - broad, bawdy, self-deprecating; but rooted in an everyman attitude - earned him live dates at comedy clubs across the country. In 1988, he gained national exposure as a contestant on "Star Search" (syndicated, 1983-1995). Three years later, he was a featured talent on "The14th Annual Young Comedians Show" (HBO, 1991) hosted by neurosis-ridden comedian Richard Lewis, and alongside future heir to the throne of political comedy, Jon Stewart. The following year, Carey's rise to fame was all but guaranteed when Johnny Carson gave him the coveted, rare honor of inviting him to sit on the guest couch after a performance on "The Tonight Show" (NBC, 1962- ). Within days, Carey was fielding calls from casting agents. His ascent to the big time could not have come a moment too soon, as Carey had by then reached the end of his savings.

After a successful cable comedy special, "Drew Carey: Human Cartoon" (Showtime, 1993) - which earned him a Cable Ace Award - he made his first foray into acting with small roles on television series and in feature comedies like the misbegotten comedy, "Coneheads" (1993). All these efforts led to a supporting part on the sitcom "The Good Life" (NBC, 1994), an office comedy starring fellow stand-up John Caponera. The series lasted just 13 episodes before cancellation, but the experience proved invaluable, as it introduced Carey to former "Roseanne" (NBC, 1988-1997) writer Bruce Helford, who partnered with him to develop a sitcom based on Carey's persona and comedy. The result was "The Drew Carey Show" (ABC, 1995-2004), which centered on the lives of nice guy Drew and his friends - improv veteran Ryan Stiles and actors Dierdrich Bader and Christa Miller - and co-workers - Scottish comic Craig Ferguson and comedian Kathy Kinney as Drew's garishly dressed foil, Mimi - as they endured their jobs while pursuing happiness and romance. A ratings hit during its early seasons, Carey and Helford soon found themselves stifled by the rigid format of a sitcom - to say nothing of Standards and Practices' requirements for "clean" humor. This led them to frequently break the mold with special episodes like "What's Wrong with This Episode?" offering a prize to the viewer who could name all the deliberate mistakes throughout its running time. Carey and crew also mounted a challenging live episode that was performed separately for East and West coast audiences. A 2001 episode titled "Drew Carey's Rock & Roll Back to School Special" broke away from the storylines entirely, putting the characters through a string of skits that also included guest appearances by Jenny McCarthy, Amanda Bynes and Eric Clapton. In addition to serving as executive producer for the series, Carey also wrote and directed several episodes.

It was a good time for Carey, with his growing popularity allowing him to experiment with a variety of different performance venues and projects. He penned a best-selling autobiography, Dirty Jokes and Beer (1997), in which the comedian candidly revealed much of his troubled past. In 1998, Carey had begun hosting duties on "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (ABC/ABC Family, 1998-2006), an improvisational game show that featured many of his "Drew Carey" cast mates and fellow comics. The program proved popular enough to warrant a regular touring company of improv comics culled from the show's ranks, with Carey joining them on numerous live dates across North America. For the most part, Carey met with success in these side endeavors, such as showing off his vocal skills - a talent Carey had demonstrated when he performed his sitcom's theme song, "Moon Over Parma," during the show's original opening - or in the title role of "Geppetto" (ABC, 2000), a "Wonderful World of Disney" TV-movie based on the children's story of Pinocchio. On the other side of the entertainment spectrum, Carey surprised everyone when he stepped into the wrestling ring for the World Wrestling Federation's "Royal Rumble" (2001), during which Carey offered money to his opponent, the man-mountain known only as "Kane," just before he fled the arena. A longtime supporter of various charities in his home state of Ohio, Carey won $500,000 for the Ohio Library Foundation from an appearance on a celebrity edition of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" (ABC/syndicated, 1999- ), and competed in the World Poker Tour for the Cleveland Public Library charity in 2003. Even after receiving an honorary doctorate from Cleveland State University in 2000 and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003, he stated in an interview that his greatest award was a bobble-head doll in his own likeness from the Cleveland Indians for his unflagging support. Perhaps the only downside to this period was a brief health scare in 2001, when Carey underwent emergency open-heart surgery to repair a blocked artery.

Eventually, declining ratings and rising production costs spelled an end to "The Drew Carey Show," and after nine years and 233 episodes, the series left the air in 2004. But Carey would not be unemployed for long. That same year, Carey returned to television to produce, host and appear in "Drew Carey's Green Screen" (The WB/Comedy Central, 2004-06), an improv show that shared much of the same cast and premise as "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" with one added concept: the skits were performed in front of a green screen, which would, unbeknownst to the performers, feature film footage and animation. However, the expense of the series led to its early demise, even after Comedy Central showed its support by picking up the show when the WB dropped it. Carey also made several forays into feature films at this time, lending his voice to one of the automaton characters in "Robots" (2005) and contributing to three documentaries - the hilarious "Aristocrats" (2005), about a long-standing and appalling in-joke in the stand-up world; "F*ck" (2005), which focused on the impact and usage of the word in comedy and everyday life; and "Patriot Act: A Jeffrey Ross Home Movie" (2005), in which Ross documented Carey's trip to Iraq as part of the U.S.O. The latter picture highlighted one of the more controversial aspects of Carey's personality - namely, his conservative political leanings. In the late 1990s, Carey was frequently labeled as a Republican - in 2002 he had hosted the White House Correspondents' dinner, much to the delight of President George W. Bush - but in subsequent years, he dubbed himself a Libertarian, voicing his support for such non-right-wing subjects as same-sex marriage, gay rights, and government regulation of drugs and cigarettes.

A longtime sports fan, Carey found time to produce and host "Drew Carey's Sporting Adventures" (The Travel Channel, 2006), a five-part series that provided a behind-the-scenes look at the World Cup. Carey also enjoyed a side career as a sports photographer at numerous U.S. National Soccer Team events. In 2007, Carey shot the pilot for "The Power of 10" (CBS, 2006-08), a game show which asked contestants to guess how Americans would react to polls about politics and popular culture. The show would not last long, but by then Carey had landed a much more high-profile game show gig when he was selected by CBS in 2007 to replace the iconic Bob Barker as the new host of "The Price Is Right" (CBS, 1972- ). The announcement followed months of speculation with names like Rosie O'Donnell and George Hamilton being bandied about in the press. Carey continued to keep busy with guest spots on other series, like the comic roundtable talk show "The Green Room with Paul Provenza" (Showtime, 2009-11), and in an episode of the hit sitcom "Community" (NBC, 2009-15; Yahoo!, 2015), in which he played a sleazy corporate lawyer.

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After MidnightStream

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The Game Show ShowStream

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A Grammy Salute to the Beach Boys

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Who's Talking to Chris Wallace?Stream

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The Jennifer Hudson Show

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American VeteranStream

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The Price Is Right Celebrates 50 Years

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Kids Say the Darndest Things

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Celebrity Wheel of FortuneStream

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The Price Is Right at Night

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I Can See Your VoiceStream

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The Drew Barrymore ShowStream

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The Price Is Right at Night With RuPaul

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The Price Is Right at Night: A Holiday Extravaganza With Seth Rogen

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The Price Is Right at Night: A Holiday Extravaganza With the Cast of SEAL Team

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The Kelly Clarkson ShowStream

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Lights Out With David SpadeStream

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Today With Hoda & Jenna

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Nerdist Presents Set List

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Game Changers

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Daily Blast Live

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STEVE on Watch

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Live with Kelly and Ryan

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Bill Nye Saves the World

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American HousewifeStream

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The Price Is Right Primetime Special - The Amazing Race Edition

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The Price Is Right Primetime Special: Big Brother Edition

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The Price Is Right Primetime Special - Survivor Edition

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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Show

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At Midnight With Chris HardwickStream

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The Late Show With Stephen ColbertStream

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Celebrity Family FeudStream

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WrestleMania XXVIII: Once in a Lifetime -- The Rock vs. John Cena

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WWE WrestleMania 29

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The Late Late Show With James Corden

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This Is Not HappeningStream

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The Late Late Show

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Laugh Lessons With Kevin Nealon

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ScorpionStream

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The Arsenio Hall Show

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WWE WrestleMania: The History of WWE in New York City

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Live! With Kelly and Michael

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Brand XStream

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CBS This Morning: Saturday

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Drew Carey's Improv-A-Ganza

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Lafflink Presents: The Platinum Comedy Series

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The Talk

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Lopez Tonight

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The Wanda Sykes Show

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Let's Make a DealStream

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CommunityStream

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The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien

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Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

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The Bonnie Hunt Show

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Today With Kathie Lee & Hoda

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Power of 10

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World's Greatest Stand Ups

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Rachael Ray ShowStream

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Dancing With the StarsStream

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The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson

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RobotsStream

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The Aristocrats

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Drew Carey's Green Screen Show

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Drew Carey's Green Screen Show

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Drew Carey's Green Screen Show

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Blue Collar TV

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Tavis Smiley

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2004

NCISStream

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John Ross
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2003

Play for a Billion

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The Ellen DeGeneres Show

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On the Spot

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The Price Is Right Million Dollar Spectacular

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Jimmy Kimmel Live!Stream

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Crank YankersStream

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Live With Regis and Kelly

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Nikki

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Wonderful World of Disney

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Geppetto

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The Early Show

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Norm

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Family Guy

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The Big Tease

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Drew's Dance Party: A Drew Carey Show Special

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Whose Line Is It Anyway?Stream

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Whose Line Is It Anyway?Stream

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Dharma & Greg

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The Weird Al ShowStream

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The View

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King of the HillStream

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Sabrina the Teenage WitchStream

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The Drew Carey ShowStream

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The Drew Carey ShowStream

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Un Viernes de Miedo

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EllenStream

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The Good Life

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Grace Under FireStream

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Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of SupermanStream

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The Larry Sanders ShowStream

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The 14th Annual Young Comedians Show

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Home ImprovementStream

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The SimpsonsStream

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CoachStream

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48 HoursStream

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The Bold and the BeautifulStream

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Entertainment Tonight

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Good Morning America

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1972

The Wonderful World of Disney

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1962

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny CarsonStream

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1962

News aboutDrew Carey

Price is Right contestant wins Temptation

‘The Price is Right’ Stunner as Contestant Wins ‘Temptation’ for First Time in 3 Years

Drew Carey on Price is Right

‘The Price is Right’ Contestant Is Bumped Off Show After Failing to Spin Wheel Correctly

Nicholas on Price Is Right

‘The Price is Right’ Fans Slam ‘Stupidest Contestant Ever’ After Ridiculous Bid

Drew Carey on red carpet

Drew Carey on Retiring From ‘Price Is Right’ & His ‘Wheel of Fortune’ Advice for Ryan Seacrest

Cheryl Burke in 'Dancing With the Stars'

‘Dancing With the Stars’ Cheryl Burke Reveals She Had Three Romances With Celebrity Partners

Drew Carey at Emmys

Drew Carey Opens Up About His Suicide Attempts & Mental Health Struggles

Drew Carey and Bob Barker

Drew Carey Shares How Bob Barker Inspired Him

Drew Carey and Bob Barker on The Price Is Right

How ‘The Price Is Right’ Paid Tribute to Bob Barker

Henry and Alice on The Price is Right

See ‘Price Is Right’ Contestant Dislocate Shoulder While Celebrating Win (VIDEO)

The Price Is Right

Your Definitive How-To Guide on Becoming a Game Show Contestant

Who Is the Best Game Show Host Currently on TV? (POLL)

Coach - Craig T. Nelson and Bill Fagerbakke

11 Stars Who Appeared on ‘Coach,’ Which Ended 25 Years Ago

Drew Carey and Mike Richards

Drew Carey Believes Ousted ‘Jeopardy!’ Producer Mike Richards Can Make A Comeback (VIDEO)

The Price Is Right - Drew Carey
Preview

What to Expect From ‘The Price Is Right’ 50th Anniversary Special

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‘The Price Is Right’ Celebrates 50th Season With 2-Hour Primetime Special

Bill Nye revealed as Ice Cube with Craig Robinson on The Masked Dancer

Bill Nye, Tony Hawk and More of the Most Shocking ‘Masked Singer’ & ‘Dancer’ Reveals

Adam DeVine - The Price Is Right Primetime Special
Exclusive

‘The Price Is Right’ Sneak Peek: How Well Does Adam DeVine Know Snacks? (VIDEO)

Let's Make A Deal - Wayne Brady

‘The Price Is Right’ & ‘Let’s Make a Deal’ After Dark: Primetime Specials Set for 2021

Drew Carey in The Price is Right

‘The Price Is Right’ to Return With Major Changes to Set and No Audience

Drew Carey and Diedrich Bader
Exclusive

First Look: ‘American Housewife’ Hosts a ‘Drew Carey Show’ Reunion (PHOTOS)

THE PRICE IS RIGHT
Preview

How ‘The Price Is Right’ Motivates Its Kids Week Contestants

price-is-right-fall

WATCH: Excited Contestant Knocks Over Drew Carey & 4 More of the Funniest ‘Price Is Right’ Moments

THE PRICE IS RIGHT

Drew Carey on Why He Loves Hosting ‘The Price Is Right’

The Price is Right - Drew Carey

CBS Reveals Reality All-Stars Competing on ‘The Price Is Right’ Primetime Specials