Drew Carey's Reign Begins on 'Price Is Right' On Monday, comedian Drew Carey will become host of the longest-running TV game show, The Price Is Right. Carey takes over from Bob Barker, who hosted the program for 35 years. Carey talks with Robert Siegel about what he has planned for the show.
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Drew Carey's Reign Begins on 'Price Is Right'

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Drew Carey's Reign Begins on 'Price Is Right'

Drew Carey's Reign Begins on 'Price Is Right'

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SIEGEL: How many years was he doing this program?

CAREY: 30, 35 years.

SIEGEL: 35...

CAREY: He started when he was 49, the same age I am now.

SIEGEL: You're going to do it for 35 years?

CAREY: I don't know. He was a lot healthier than I am, you know? It's a debate who's healthier, the 83-year-old Bob barber or the 49-year-old Drew Carey. He was a vegan and he actually worked out. He did karate and stuff, and had a nice physical regimen going. I never work out at all. My diet's bad. But we'll see how far I last.


SIEGEL: Okay. When you're up there, I mean, you're - I assume that you're role is to encourage. I mean, you're not just a dispassionate emcee...

CAREY: No. I want them to win.

SIEGEL: ...you want them to win.

CAREY: Yeah. It's not my money. Take it. I'm like the guy that works third shift at 7/11. You want to take my money? Go ahead.


CAREY: It's all yours.

SIEGEL: I heard you're saying that the atmosphere reminds you of being in church when you were a kid, when you were a teenager.

CAREY: Yeah. I used to belong to a Pentecostal Church when I was in junior high in high school, on an Assembly of God Church. And it's really, really close to that. It's kind of, like, a revival meeting. Everybody's there, you know, clapping and dancing and jumping up. And when people come down, they raise their hands. It's like they're testifying, honestly. It's - people get really filled with joy and happiness when they're there.

SIEGEL: But while it may be an ecstatic experience, the people aren't getting, they're not getting salvation, they're getting luggage or they're getting, you know.

CAREY: Yeah. Well, you know, plus they get to be on TV and they get to be, you know, you get that feeling of joy that you get and that all that stuff that you get from the audience. That's worth more than any kind of material good if you ask me.

SIEGEL: Now, I'm going to ask you a question about whatever direction the program might take with you being the emcee. We here hear, frankly, that our audience - I'm just talking about it, our audience sometimes they say we're a little bit shy on the 18 to 35-year-old...

CAREY: Yeah, yeah.

SIEGEL: ...we tend to skew a little gray. I get the impression that, you know, a daytime TV game show will make our audience look like the schoolyard in terms of who's watching. So do you have some mission to rejuvenate the audience in some...


CAREY: I, I do get a bonus if the ratings go up among the younger people.


SIEGEL: That could either be a joke or be totally true. So far as I...

CAREY: It's totally true.

SIEGEL: Totally true.

CAREY: I'm - hopefully, that'll happen. You know, the show is so set in its ways in some ways. I think it was one of the reasons why older people watch it is because they - it's the same thing, you know? It's something they could count on. So maybe they said we'll shake it up a little bit. But we - like, this is the first year that "The Price is Right" theme was in stereo. Can you believe that?


CAREY: Thirty-five years, they never touched the theme song. And I remember the first - I was - like, it was the thing, I was there. They were playing the theme and, like, hey, do you hear that? And I go, what's the big deal? And he goes - and the guy goes, it's in stereo. And I'm, like, yeah, and? It's the first time it's in stereo. They had to re-record it, hire a band.


CAREY: And I was like, are you kidding? You could have knocked me over with a feather. That's what the show is like. It's like this show that's been there, it's been the same and a lot of change. But now that they got a new host, people are starting to open their eyes and think of ways they can change it, like, the new shag carpeting and the stereo thing and cordless microphone.

SIEGEL: I gather the carpeting - this was a big deal, changing the carpeting?

CAREY: It was a big deal. That's how the show is. That's - things like that are a big deal on "Price is Right."

SIEGEL: Well, if you're on a 35-year hotstreak, 36-year hotstreak, I guess, the tendency is to...

CAREY: Yeah.

SIEGEL: ... stick with the rag that run under your (unintelligible) or whatever.

CAREY: Well, you know, Bob Barker, they told me, doesn't have a cell phone or a computer. Producer Roger Dobkowitz, he doesn't have a cell phone and he doesn't have cable. The producer still doesn't have cable and I looked at him like he was from Mars, and he goes, oh, I have so much TV to watch just my regular shows, if I had cable, I would be watching too much TV. That was his excuse. The guy that does the contestant coordinating that picks the contestant, he doesn't have cable.

One of the P.A.'s on the show, he doesn't have cable, you know? I brought in my iPhone, and people were looking at it like the obelisk from, you know...


CAREY: ...2001. It was just crazy. Now, we're going to have a Web site and everything that's going to - we got PriceIsRight.com is going to start.

SIEGEL: Oh, my.

CAREY: It's going to be great. I know.

SIEGEL: Well, it's going to be a brave new world.

CAREY: That's what it seems like.


SIEGEL: And before I let you go, you should explain that you're going to be signing off in the, well, in the Bob Barker fashion and in tribute to Bob Barker.

CAREY: Yeah. It's, you know, I'm going say, please don't forget to spay and neuter your pets. And it's, you know, It's been part of the show. It would be a total mistake. Anybody in broadcasting who would say to get rid of that should be fired. I'm more than happy to honor his presence and honor everything he did for his 35 years and show some respect to that.

Now, the least I can do is say, spay and neuter your pets. It's a good message anyway.

SIEGEL: There you go. Well, thank you very much for talking with us.

CAREY: Thanks, man.

SIEGEL: That was comedian Drew Carrey. On Monday, he takes over as host of the TV game show "The Price is Right."

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