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The Drew Carey Show is an Americanmarker sitcom (set in Cleveland, Ohiomarker) that aired on ABC from 1995 to 2004 and was known for its "everyman" characters and themes. The show revolved around comedian Drew Carey, an office worker who has had a long-life working experience, and the highs and the lows of both his romances and his relationships to long-time friends, Lewis, Oswald and Kate.

The show was created by Drew Carey, who had both stand-up comedy and writing experience, and Bruce Helford, who was once a writer for Roseanne. It was the first television show to have an episode simulcast on the Internet.

Cast and characters

Drew Carey (Drew Carey) - Drew Carey is the main protagonist of the series. He is a perpetual "nice guy." For most of the series, he works in the human resources department of Winfred-Lauder, a multinational department store chain. He's portrayed as a lovable loser, though he's the most successful of his group of friends. Drew is the founder and co-owner of Buzz Beer, a special coffee-containing brew. He has a long-standing feud with Mimi Bobeck; his pranks have included destroying her clothes, shredding her vacation requests, and masquerading as Antonio Banderas to taunt her. In the last seasons of the show, the real Drew Carey was earning $600,000 to $750,000 per episode.

Mimi Bobeck (Kathy Kinney) - Mimi Bobeck is Mr. Bell's (and then later, Mr. Wick's) assistant / secretary and the main antagonist of the series. She is an overweight woman, who wears a lot of make-up, yet has a very high but unstable self-esteem. (As an in-joke, Mimi's mother was played by Tammy Faye Bakker.) Mimi is Drew's arch-nemesis; she vowed to make Drew's life a living hell after Drew denied her a job based on her makeup. Mimi's pranks have included gluing Drew's hand to a pornographic magazine, covering Drew's desk with garbage, and eventually sending Drew to Chinamarker while he is unconscious. She is also known for calling him "Pig" and "Doughboy." Mimi's past has a lot of connections to the world of music; she often talks about being a roadie for Foghat and was married to Eddie Money for two weeks after appearing at his first concert. Additionally, she admits to sleeping with both Joe Walsh and Peter Frampton. Frampton still carries a torch for Mimi; he has a tattoo of her likeness on his chest. Later on, Mimi becomes more of a friend to Drew (they agree to put their feud on hold while Mimi dates/marries Steve) and a good, if unconventional, mother to Gus. Early in the series, it was revealed that Mimi was of Polishmarker ancestry, and inherited the title of Duchess of Krakówmarker after her aunt died. However, the episode with this content received a great deal of complaint from the Polish community, and all mention of Mimi's heritage has been removed from the show (with alternative footage placed over these bits in syndication). In 2009, Mimi resurfaced as a guest model on Drew's game show The Price is Right during the show's April Fool's episode.

Lewis Kiniski (Ryan Stiles) - Forms a double-act with Oswald. Lewis, who is tall, lanky, and red-headed, is in his forties and can be counted on to nonchalantly say bizarre and offensive things. Ryan Stiles once described Lewis as "Not even a character at first, just a creep really." He possesses an IQ of 162, but works as a janitor for a company called DrugCo. Due to accidentally releasing a strain of bacteria into the population, he was busted down to janitor from a position that required him to wear a lab coat. It's uncertain if he was a scientist or lab assistant, though it's possible he was joking. At one point, he posed as Drew to take his physical exam for him, unexpectedly taking a psychiatric exam as well. He tried to give answers which he thought suited Drew's life and situation, and the results showed him to be mentally unstable and possibly criminally insane. He mentioned in one episode he was adopted.

Oswald Lee Harvey (Diedrich Bader) - Lewis's slightly shorter, dark-haired friend is the dumb one of the double-act, which tends to be his most distinguishing characteristic. Lewis described him once as a "man-child stuck in a sort of prolonged adolescence." At one point Oswald trained to be a nurse, but he proved unsuitable. Oswald was a deejay at the beginning of the first season but later on became a delivery driver for Global Parcel (a fictional package-delivery service whose uniforms are modeled after those of UPSmarker). His name is a play on Lee Harvey Oswald. In the episode Bus-ted, it is revealed that Oswald joined the group of friends to replace Adam, a childhood friend who fell through the ice on a lake.

Kate O'Brien (Christa Miller) - Friends with Drew, Lewis, and Oswald since they were kids. Kate is a bit of a tomboy and a hothead. She and Oswald almost got married at one point, but she called it off just after Oswald threw her a surprise wedding (essentially leaving Oswald at the altar). Kate later found out about Drew's long-standing crush on her at their high school reunion, and she realized that she had feelings for him too. They dated for a season (even becoming engaged) but broke up when they disagreed about having kids. Drew and Kate were married for a short time in a later season, although this was illegal, as Drew had just become married to his old girlfriend, Nicki. Eventually, Drew's sham was discovered and Kate felt betrayed. Drew eventually regained Kate's trust and they became friends again. Kate left at the beginning of the eighth season, marrying a Naval aviator and moving from Cleveland to Guammarker.

Nigel Algernon Wick (Craig Ferguson) - Drew's boss after the first season, replacing Mr. Bell (Kevin Pollak). English, crude, boisterous and offensive, he was also a cocaine addict before he was forced to go into rehab. For some time, he and Drew were in a same-sex marriage (technically a civil union) in order for Mr. Wick to get his Green Card and Drew to get his job back. When he first appeared on stage in guest episodes in the last two seasons he was greeted with thunderous applause. Wick always had unusual methods of firing employees (and nearly always fired someone named Johnson). He is almost always referred to as "Mr. Wick," and his first name is rarely used. In the show's first April Fools episode, Mr. Wick was shot in the crotch with a crossbow and had to have one of his testicles removed (a gag that was referred to for the rest of the series). Wick also lost a toe and a nipple in a fox hunt that went terribly wrong. Craig Ferguson initially auditioned at Warner Brothers for a role as a Hispanic photographer on Suddenly Susan, and after he failed his audition, the casting director referred him to The Drew Carey Show which was auditioning across the studio.

Steve Carey (John Carroll Lynch) - Drew's cross-dressing brother. He came to Cleveland and got a job in the cosmetics department at Winfred-Lauder. He fell in love with Mimi and after one season of dating they married in a ceremony in Drew's backyard, with Drew officiating along with an online minister from an Internet website. In later seasons the concept of Steve being a cross-dresser is abandoned entirely with little explanation (though it is hinted that he gave it up to make Mimi happy). He left, along with Kate and Wick, early in the eighth season.

Kellie Newmark (Cynthia Watros) - Drew's childhood friend. She has had a crush on Drew since high school but never told him. She was married but her husband cheated on her with her sister. Her mother is an alcoholic and leaves her father, eventually hooking up with Lewis. After Kate leaves, Drew realizes that he loves Kellie. Drew is afraid to tell Kellie because it may ruin their friendship like it did with Kate. After Lily leaves Drew, they confess their feelings for each other. When Kellie comes out while Drew is talking to his dad and asks Drew what they are going to do about their feelings for each other, Drew's dad falls off the roof and dies. Eventually during the beginning stage of their relationship Kellie finds out she is pregnant with Drew Jr. but won't marry Drew because she doesn't think he is ready for marriage. During the finale she decides Drew is ready. But her water breaks and she and Drew get married right when the baby is born.

Drew's marriages

Much of the show's humor revolved around Drew's single life (in real life, Drew was engaged for the first time in 2007, shortly after becoming a game show host). However, Drew was married a number of times during the show's run. His spouses during the series were:

  • Diane (Nicole Sullivan) - A cocktail waitress Drew met on a business trip to Las Vegasmarker. She tricked Drew into marrying her because she believed having a husband would give her an edge in winning custody of her children. Drew agreed to help her with the social workers, and they divorced a week later.


  • Mr. Wick - Drew's boss for the majority of the series, desperately wanted a spouse when his visa expired and he was threatened with deportation. He bribed Drew with a promotion and several benefits to get Drew to marry him in Vermontmarker (technically, this is considered a civil union and not a wedding and US Immigration law does not recognize either civil unions or same-sex marriages performed in any jurisdiction). They stayed married for just over a year to throw off any suspicion from the INS. Drew kicked Mr. Wick out of his house once Wick became too "clingy" with Drew's friends and life.


  • Nicki Fifer (Kate Walsh) - A real estate agent whom Drew dated and became engaged to; she dumped him after gaining a large amount of weight while they were dating (and, in her own words, "couldn't be with a man who loved to eat"). She lost the weight, got married and came back to Drew after her divorce (when Drew had just left a mental institution). Drew asked her to marry him on an impulse, and she agreed. Unfortunately, Drew also got married to Kate soon after (thus becoming a bigamist) and she left him. Nicki returned later, having regained all her previous weight, and attempted to kill Drew because she blamed him for all the recent problems in her life. Drew let Nicki stay at his house until she could get back on her feet, after which she was never seen or heard from again.


  • Kate - The love of Drew's life and his best friend since childhood, Drew and Kate first broke off their engagement after a disagreement about having kids. After Drew's stint in the mental hospital, Kate realized that she still loved Drew and asked him to marry her. Drew agreed (despite having recently married Nicki and still being married to Mr. Wick) and kept both his marriages a secret for a time. Both wives discovered the situation, and Kate, furious, dumped Drew and told the newspapers about the situation; Drew became known as "The Impotent Bisexual Bigamist."


  • Lily (Tammy Lauren) - A Southern belle who met Drew after Oswald and Lewis started a campaign to find him a wife. Drew brought Lily to Cleveland and attempted to establish a relationship with her, but found it difficult to deal with Lily's night terrors. Drew ended up proposing to Lily on three different occasions: once in his house, another in a movie theater, and finally, back at his home again. After Drew tore up all of his pre-determined wedding plan receipts, Lily agreed to marry him. Lily left Drew after the wedding, driving off without him after giving Drew his ring back. At the reception, Drew and Kellie expressed their hidden love for each other and began their relationship, which would also lead to Drew's final marriage.


  • Kellie Newmark - Drew's childhood friend who was introduced in the eighth season. Drew went to a strip club and discovered that Kellie was working as a stripper to support herself after her divorce from her husband. Drew takes her into his house and their friendship blossoms. They were both reluctant to confess their feelings for another, but they became a couple after Drew & Lily's wedding. Kellie soon becomes pregnant, but refuses to marry Drew for another eight months. On their wedding day and the series finale, Kellie gave birth to Drew Jr.


Other characters

Larry Almada (Ian Gomez) - bad co-worker. One of Drew's co-workers, Larry is a bumbling and somewhat unprofessional employee who is often willing to resort to less than savory methods to gain the upper hand. During a competition to determine the new employee representative on the Winfred-Lauder board of directors, he managed to obtain the position by having sex with Mrs. Lauder, a practice that he repeats several times after being dumped by his wife. He loses his job on the board shortly after receiving the promotion, but continues his secret relationship with Mrs. Lauder. He also ends up in jail for selling drugs, but is released and continues his job at the department store. After leaving Winfred-Lauder, he set up a reasonably successful dating service which later expanded into a television chat show.

Gerald Hawthorne Bell (Kevin Pollak) - Drew's boss for the show's first season. Mr. Bell only appeared in person for his last appearance. He gets caught having relations with a woman in his office and he and Mrs. Lauder have to talk it out, but when he appears, he is wearing a Santa costume. We only heard his voice on Drew's speakerphone, despite the fact that Drew had his desk very close to Mr. Bell's office. Little was known about him, but he did not come across as a nice person. He seemed sexist and self-centered and had an office romance with a staff member (unlike Drew's romance with Lisa, Bell was only after the sex). In the last episode of the first season, Mr. Bell finally appeared on camera as he was seen leaving his office after getting fired from the store.

Fran Lauder (Nan Martin) - Mrs. Lauder is one of the executives' "cougar" and partial namesake of the Winfred-Lauder corporation who originally inherited the store from her dead husband. She is the CEO of the company that owns the department store, and retains her position even after the corporation is brought out by a larger company located in Amsterdam. As the head of the store, she thinks very little of Drew, and openly expresses surprise at the assertion that he still has dreams of becoming more successful, although on occasion she doesn't hesitate to refer to Drew as a good employee. Mrs. Lauder occasionally gives him minor promotions throughout the series, but his personality clashes with her ruthless and businesslike nature. She is last seen accompanying Mimi and Steve on their honeymoon, but is removed from power shortly after when a member of the board improvises a speech slurring every major ethinic group. The insulted employees begin to riot, gaining the attention of the bosses in Amsterdam, who fire and replace her along with the entire board of directors except for Mr. Wick.

Robert Soulard (Mark Curry) - One of Drew's bosses at Winfred-Lauder, Mr. Soulard was appointed by the Dutch as Mrs. Lauder's replacement after the latter was fired along with the original board of directors. Slightly more open-minded than his predecessor, Mr. Soulard agrees to listen to the employees after he is made the new boss, and quickly appoints Drew to be the new Store Manager when Mr. Wick's incompetence gets him sent to Toledo for retraining.

Beulah Carey (Marion Ross) - Drew's and Steve's mother married to George Carey (Stanley Anderson).

King Augustus Antonio Carey - Gus is Steve and Mimi's son as well as Drew's nephew, who saved Mimi from being fired by Drew in the episode "Drew Pops Something On Kate". Just as Drew is about to fire Mimi, he kicks while in the womb for the first time, causing him to feel compassion for Mimi and preventing him from firing her. Gus was born while Drew was in a coma, and his spirit (voiced by Jon Polito) met Drew up in Heaven before being born. After hearing Drew make jokes about how horrible Mimi was, Gus was afraid to be born. Drew convinced him that Mimi would be a good mother by going back down to Earth and spending time in the baby's body. Drew told this story to the others after coming out of his coma, but nobody believed him. Gus was an infant for most of his time on the show, but received an age boost (putting him somewhere between 5 and 6 years old) for the final season. He burns down his house, initially thought to be with a wood-burning kit that Drew gives him as a gift. Since Mimi and Gus had nowhere to live, Drew offers his home to them, and they stay there almost until the end of the show. It was later discovered that Gus was a pyromaniac and intentionally started a fire in the house.

Lisa Robbins (Katy Selverstone) - Drew's girlfriend from season one, she is prevented from dating him as the rules at Winfred-Lauder do not allow management to participate in romantic relationships with their employees. Although this initially forces them to hide their relationship in public, they eventually find a way to overcome this obstacle. She vies for a job as the head of the personal shopper department to become a member of the store's management, prompting a competition with fellow applicants Kate and Mimi. Lisa begins dating Drew after she gets the job, but after a failed attempt to live together they agree to break up. She leaves her dog, Speedy, behind to stay with him and departs for good after her marriage in the second season.

Lord Mercer (Jim Piddock) - A extremely wealthy Englishman, who bought Winfred-Lauder and became the new owner after the Dutch divested themselves of the company/store(s). He also brings back Mr. Wick, saying only Englishmen know how to run a business.

Christine Watson (Wanda Sykes) - Hired to replace Nigel Wick as manager, falls in love with Drew.

Jay Clemens (Robert Torti) - Kate's boyfriend from season one.

Evan (Kyle Howard) - Co-owner of Never Ending Store with his brother, Scott (of the two bosses, he is regarded as the 'nice' one). He is a Zen-seeking Buddhist who promotes peace and support, although he himself has a life coach, sees a family therapist with his brother, and takes anti-anxiety pills. He has a tenuous relationship with Scott because they spend so much time together.

Scott (Jonathan Mangum) - Co-owner of Never Ending Store with his brother, Evan. He is more business-minded than Evan, and can get very irritated by Evan's peace-seeking way of life. He teaches computer classes during the summer.

Mrs. Wick (Richard Chamberlain) - Nigel Wick's "Mum" Maggie.

Guest Stars

  • Penn & Teller as Genn and Feller in "Drew Meets Lawyers" (Season 1, Episode 6) and "See Drew Run" (Season 2, Episode 17)
  • David Cross as Earl in "Drew and the Unstable Element" (Season 1, Episode 13) and "Two Drews and the Queen of Poland Walk Into a Bar" (Season 2, Episode 20).
  • Nikki Cox as Drew's cousin Kirsten, who briefly dates Mr. Wick in "Drew's Cousin."
  • Tim Allen as Himself in "The Front" (Season 1, Episode 17)
  • Norm McDonald as Simon Tate in "The Bully You Know" (Season 2, Episode 4)
  • Joey Ramone, Dave Mustaine, Slash, Lisa Loeb, Dusty Hill, Johnny Lang, Rick Nielsen, Michael Stanley, Matthew Sweet and Roy Clark as themselves in "In Ramada da Vida" (Season 4, Episode 2)
  • Triple H as Wrestler Sponsor for Buzz Beer
  • Henry Rollins as E-Bay Ass Kicking Guy and Amy Farrington as Bonnie in "Hickory Dickory... Double Date" (Season 8, Episode 5)
  • Gregory Jbara as Ron in "Drew and the Conspiracy" (Season 4, Episode 1) and "Golden Boy" (Season 4, Episode 3).
  • Charles Nelson Reilly as Mr. Hathaway, Lewis's boss, in "The Salon" (Season 3) and "DrugCo" (Season 4)
  • Joe Walsh, in numerous episodes, as Ed.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic as himself in "Drew Between the Rock and a Hard Place" (Season 4)
  • Rush Limbaugh as himself in "The Salon" (Season 3)
  • French Stewart as Buddy in "Drew's Best Friend" (Season 9, Episode 10)
  • Colin Mochrie as Eugene in "She's Gotta Have It", "Drew Live", and "Drew Live II"
  • The Reverend Horton Heat as The Underprivileged in "That Thing You Don't" (Season 3, Episode 10)
  • Susan Saint James (Christa Miller's real life aunt) as Kate's mother in "Drew and Kate and Kate's mother".
  • Carol Channing and Donald Trump as themselves in "New York and Queens".
  • Jamie Lee Curtis as Sioux in "Playing a Unified Field".
  • Steve Buscemi as Mimi's lawyer in "Mr. Louder's Birthday Party".
  • Adrienne Barbeau as Oswalds mother. (6 episodes)
  • Daffy Duck as himself (Applies at Drew's work place for a job in scene before opening title) in "My Best Friend's Wedding".
  • Julia Duffy as Lindsey Mercer, Lord Mercer's ex-wife who takes control of Winfred-Lauder as a part of the divorce agreement, but sells it back to Lord Mercer after W-L begins to go down. (April 10, 2002 - Season 7, Episode 23: "Rich Woman, Poor Man")


Eras

The Drew Carey Show ran for nine years. Like many shows with long runs, the shows run can be broken down into several "eras."

"Moon Over Parma"/Chemistry Titles Era (1995–1996)

The first season of The Drew Carey Show was significantly different from the rest of the series. Drew and Mimi worked at Winfred-Lauder under Mr. Bell, who existed only as a voice on Drew's speakerphone. Mr. Bell was never seen until the last episode of the season after he was fired by the new owners. Other characters that appeared exclusively in this era were Drew's hillbilly neighbor, Jules, and his family. Drew's first girlfriend, Lisa, was introduced in this season, and she remained with the cast until the early episodes of the second season.

Nine of the episode titles were related to chemistry in some way with names such as "The Joining of Two Unlike Elements Is a Mixture" and "Isomers Have Distinct Characteristics". No explanation for this was ever given, and the tradition was abandoned by the end of the season. After episode 19, "Atomic Cat Fight", the remainder were given names relevant to their story line (such as, "Drew and Mrs. Lauder"). Episode 10's title, "Science Names Suck", pokes fun at the scientific type names.

Season One also had a three episode arc involving a seemingly innocuous comic strip Drew displayed in his cubicle which led to a hostile workplace lawsuit.

Buzz Beer, beer that had caffeine and tasted like coffee, was invented by the main characters in the last episode of the first season. The concept stayed with the series until the very end.

The first season's opening credits consisted of a caricature of Carey—consisting of his face (complete with glasses) and a yellow tie—singing the Robert McGuire-penned "Moon Over Parma." The song—actually sung by Carey—was trimmed for the opening sequence, and the reference to Eastlakemarker in the line "Guide her to Eastlake underneath your silvery light" was changed to a reference to Cleveland.

Wick Era (1996–2002)

The second season was notably different from the first. The opening theme used in season one, "Moon Over Parma," was replaced by "Five O'Clock World" by The Vogues for episodes 10-22 and 24. The theme song for episode 8 was "What is Hip" by Tower of Power; other episodes contained "Moon Over Parma." The opening sequence was initially shown in full as the cold open of the second-season opener, "We'll Remember Always, Evaluation Day," which used "Moon Over Parma" as the main theme. These themes were then replaced in season three by "Cleveland Rocks", a cover by The Presidents of the United States of America of an Ian Hunter song although the theme did not make its first appearance until episode 3 of that season (the original was later used in a bloopers-filled episode).

Season two also introduced the concept of the music video-like opening as the cast danced and sang around the various sets of the show. In the second episode of the second season Nigel Wick was introduced to replace Mr. Bell.

Lisa and Drew moved in together early in the second season, but it didn't work out. However, this allowed the introduction of Speedy, Drew's dog, whose presence remained until the end of the series. Steve, Drew's cross-dressing brother, was introduced during this period. He eventually fell in love with Mimi and they had one child, Gus.

Drew was promoted several times, taking away Wick's job. However, Wick always managed to return and take Drew's job back from him. At the end of this era, Wick and Drew were co-managers of the Winfred-Lauder department store. Drew was also fired once, but got his job back by "marrying" Wick in Vermontmarker, allowing him to get his green card. This was also the era in which series regular Kate and Drew got romantically involved. They were on the verge of getting married, but they called it off when they realized they didn't feel the same about the prospect of children.

In the episode when Drew lost his job, he remarked: "How am I gonna get my job back? I'm sick and tired of watching game shows. Someone come on down and kill me!" This was a reference to The Price is Right, which is well-known for the catchphrase spoken by all of its announcers. In the wake of Bob Barker's retirement, Carey was named the show's new host in 2007.

The season four premiere featured an appearance from Daffy Duck, a character created by the animation division of the show's main production company, Warner Bros., in 1937. At the time, ABC was also airing a number of post-1948 Looney Tunes cartoons on Saturday morning.

This era of the show was also known for its special events episodes. Virtually every season had two such episodes: "What's Wrong With This Episode?" and "Drew Live". The first contained a large number of deliberate mistakes; the person who could catch them all and mail in the correct answers would win a prize. The second was a live show that was performed three times (Eastern/Central, Mountain, and Pacific Time zones), heavily featuring cast members from Whose Line is it Anyway?. These episodes had very loose plots, interrupted at regular intervals by improvisational games. Brad Sherwood, Wayne Brady, Greg Proops, Chip Esten, Kathy Greenwood, Jeff Davis, and Laura Hall all joined for several games including Irish Drinking Song, Quick Change, a variation on Props, and some new games.

There was also the season 5 finale "A Very Special Drew", in which the cast indulged in intentionally manipulative and syrupy melodrama in a facetious attempt to get an Emmy nomination. This episode also breaks the fourth wall when Craig Ferguson touts the Emmy prospects of Nigel Wick, leading Kathy Kinney to snap "You'll never get an Emmy. Your character is too cartoonish." When the Emmy quest fails, Drew borrows about $50 from his friends, takes some money from his own wallet for a total of $80, and heads out to buy some Golden Globe awards.

By far the most extreme was the Drew Carey's Back-to-School Rock 'n' Roll Comedy Hour which was shown a few weeks before the first episode of the 2001 season. The show was a series of sketches which was far closer in content and tone to Saturday Night Live or MADtv than The Drew Carey Show.

This tradition of bizarrely themed episodes was parodied by Carey's friend "Weird Al" Yankovic in his song "Couch Potato" (itself a parody of Eminem's "Lose Yourself"), which referred to "a special all-Pig Latin episode of Drew Carey".

Neverending Store Era (2002–2004)

In the fall of 2002 the show returned. The concept of Winfred-Lauder and the characters' jobs there was abandoned completely. Show openings alternated with a total of nine different re-recordings of the previous theme songs, accompanied by remixes of the credits and logo; however, the opening was still a montage of various moments from past seasons of the show. The new concept involves Drew getting a job at the company that rented the building occupied by Winfred-Lauder, an Internet start-up department store called "Neverending Store," a possible pun on the novel Neverending Story. Mimi gets a job as well, and Mr. Wick gets the only job he's qualified for; janitor. However, Wick stopped appearing altogether after a few episodes; it has been said that Craig Ferguson—who portrayed Wick—was away filming a movie at the time, so this would be the reason for Wick's disappearance. Steve was also phased out in the same way. The most notable change, however, was when Kate O'Brien, played by Christa Miller, one of the show's main cast, left to have a recurring guest-star role on her husband Bill Lawrence's show Scrubs. She was quickly replaced with Kellie, an old high school friend of Drew's who had been working as a stripper.

Drew's bosses were a set of twenty-something Internet geeks. The combination of high intelligence, low social skills, and hacker naïveté created a very different sort of humor for the show. However, they weren't the main focus. Like in the first season, Drew's life outside the office took center stage once again. The show began featuring cameos from reality-TV participants in the final two seasons, such as former Road Rules star Timmy Beggy, The Real World alumna Cara Khan, and The Amazing Race winner Reichen Leikmeuhl.

Tony the Bus Driver (Bill Cobbs) became a main fixture, appearing in virtually every episode of the last two seasons. He typically played a role similar to a smart-alecky bartender that Drew could tell his problems to. (One of the first lines he uttered in the series: "There's only one reason a man doesn't want to go home at the end of the day: ugly children.")

In the eighth season Drew decided that he would get married a year from the date he set; a day which would coincide with the last episode of the season. Drew made the deadline by marrying Lily, but he would realize in the process that he was in love with Kellie. The eighth season was put in a dead timeslot on Monday nights, frequently clashing with Monday Night Football. It was pulled mid-season and the remaining episodes were shown during the summer 2003. ABC was forced to finance a ninth season, even though they had effectively canceled the show. The ninth season did not show during the fall 2003, but ended up getting shown in the summer 2004, with some of the episodes out of order.

The last season's tone changed radically from the previous seasons. The directors started experimenting with one-camera set-ups, showing that the sets were completely built, there actually were four walls in most rooms, and the rooms were actually linked together. The writers were equally brazen, as they had Gus burn down Mimi's house, forcing her to move in with Drew after Steve left her. Drew and Mimi's mutual hatred of each other finally vanished and they became friends.

The season ended with Drew getting Wick's help to open up a department store, using the vacated building that Neverending Store left behind. However, Drew is quickly kicked out of his job as store manager by Wick, who has been given his job by the project's sole investor: his father-in-law. Mimi is also relieved of her vice-presidency and made Mr. Wick's assistant, Drew becomes the assistant director of personnel. Drew goes and sits at his desk, the surroundings are now the same as the Winfield-Lauder set that hadn't been seen for two years, and Barry Manilow's "Looks Like We Made It" starts up.

The actual final episode follows as Drew and Kellie's first child is born, scant moments after the two are married. The final scene is Drew playing pool in his backyard in the rain; the same scene that ended the first episode. He looks up at the camera and thanks the audience, saying it has been fun. The series ends with a montage of the actors on Hollywood Boulevardmarker with fans at Drew's "star" and the cast at a bowling alley and, finally, at a party on the set of the Warsaw set to "You Can Still Rock in America".

Although a movie with the working title, Drew Carey the Movie: Everyone Gets a Cleveland Steamer, started filming in February 2005, production was halted when creative differences emerged between Carey and director Michael Bay.

Buzz Beer

In addition to his job Drew, along with Oswald, Kate, and Lewis, had a small beer business that sprung from Drew's hobby as an amateur brewer. The beer they created was named by Oswald, called Buzz Beer, a concoction of beer and coffee that became extremely popular throughout the area. The beer was brewed and packaged out of Drew's garage.

Drew's boss Mr. Soulard tried to buy Buzz Beer from the circle of friends but Drew eventually reneged on the sale after realizing that he was hurting Kate, Oswald, and Lewis with his actions. He ended up buying the beer back for much more than he was paid for it.

Show background

Based on the real-life experiences of Carey's life, the show debuted on the ABC network on September 13, 1995, and was highly-rated for five years before sliding in popularity. Because the network had few hits on the schedule in 2001, it renewed the show for two additional seasons. However, the show further sank in ratings the following season, not unlike many other live sitcoms. Even its series finale's ratings were lower than otherwise would have been expected. The final two episodes aired on September 8, 2004. The show was produced by Mohawk Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.

Ratings

The show finished its first season (19951996) barely in the Top 50, placing 48th in the Nielsen ratings, with an average rating of 10.1. The second season did considerably better, making it into the Top 20 finishing the 19961997 season 18th in the Nielsen ratings with an average rating of 11.5. Viewership increased 13.9% from season one.

The show finished its third season at a higher place in the ratings, placing 16th with an average rating of 11.1 during the 19971998 season; however, the ratings share was a drop of 3.5% from the second season.

During season four (19981999), the series finished the season in the Nielsen ratings higher in the Top 20 making it to 14th place but with an average rating of 9.9, a decrease of 10.8% from the third season.

The show finished the 19992000 season 24th in the Nielsen ratings, the first time since season one that the show was not in the Top 20, with an average rating of 9.5, a decrease of 4% from the fourth season. This was a much smaller drop than many series suffered (given the erosion of network audiences). This was also a smaller drop than it suffered the season before. The shows 20002001 season finished 41st with an average rating of 8.23, a decrease of 13.4 percent from the fifth season.

ABC signed a new contract to keep the show on through a ninth season, even though the show had yet to enter its seventh season at that time. The 20012002 season saw one of the show's biggest drop in ratings, finishing 57th with an average rating of 5.9, a significant drop of 28.3% from the sixth season. The show finished the 20022003 season 119th with an average rating of 3.29, a drop of 44.23 percent from the seventh season. This caused ABC to put the series on hiatus, airing the rest of the season in the summer of 2003. Unable to get out of their contract, ABC was forced to allow the show to film a ninth season, paying three million dollars per episode. Not doing well enough to make a slot in the fall, the ninth season was aired during the summer of 2004.

Season Years Rank Rating
Season 1 1995-1996 #48 10.1
Season 2 1996-1997 #18 11.5
Season 3 1997-1998 #16 11.1
Season 4 1998-1999 #14 9.9
Season 5 1999-2000 #24 9.5
Season 6 2000-2001 #41 8.2
Season 7 2001-2002 #57 5.9
Season 8 2002-2003 #119 3.3
Season 9 2004 (summer only) n/a n/a


Syndication

During the mid-90's, The Drew Carey Show was seen on TBS & NBC. ION Television aired reruns of the show from 2007-2009, premiering on New Year's Eve 2007, with the station promoting it as "The Drew Year." The CW Television Network also aired episodes between 2008-2009.

The Drew Carey Show is not currently being syndicated on any cable channel in the United States.

DVD Releases

On April 24, 2007, Warner Home Video released the complete first season of The Drew Carey Show on DVD in Region 1. It is unknown if the remaining eight seasons will be released at some point.

The first season was released in Australia (Region 4) on September 10, 2008. Small distribution company Madman Entertainment, usually known for releasing anime and manga, has picked up the rights to the series.

DVD Name Ep# Region 1 Region 4 Special Features
The Complete First Season 22 April 24, 2007 September 10, 2008
  • 1-900-MIMI (a phone sex spoof featuring Mimi)
  • Life Inside a Cubicle Featurette


Special Releases

On February 28, 2006, a six-episode release of the sitcom was released on DVD entitled "The Drew Carey Show: TV Favorites". Initially, the DVD was exclusively sold at Best Buy, but later sold at other national retailers as well. The DVD features the episodes Pilot, Playing the Unified Field, We'll Remember Always, Evaluation Day, Drew Blows His Promotion, My Best Friend's Wedding, and DrugCo. However, this DVD has since gone out of print.

See also



References



External links




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