Hear the full interview here — When comedian and actor Drew Carey comes to Medford, he's going to make the audience laugh and he doesn't care how he does it.
When comedian and actor Drew Carey comes to Medford, he's going to make the audience laugh and he doesn't care how he does it.
"I don't care what language I use, I don't care what subjects I talk about as long as people are laughing and having a good time," Carey said in a telephone interview.
Carey will perform his stand-up comedy at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14, at the Craterian Theater, 23 S. Central Ave. Tickets cost $42, $45 or $48 and can be purchased at the Craterian box office, 16 S. Bartlett St., online at www.craterian.org or by calling 541-779-3000.
The Cleveland comic is best known for his sitcom "The Drew Carey Show," which ran from 1995 through 2004, as well as his role as the former host of the improv comedy show "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" which ran from 1998 through 2004. Currently, Carey is the host for "The Price is Right," succeeding Bob Barker in 2007 and also is a part-owner of soccer team Seattle Sounders.
While Carey is now a household name, his comedy career had a rocky start.
"I had tried to do it once when I was living in Las Vegas and I was really bad at it," Carey said. "Then when I moved back to Cleveland, I tried it a few times and it was just awful. I thought 'Well, I got that out of my system.'"
During college, a friend who worked as a disc jockey at a local radio station offered to pay Carey $10 to $15 to write jokes for his show.
"But I didn't know how to write jokes; I didn't know anything about it," Carey said. "So I went to the library and found a book on how to write jokes. I was amazed that there was a book."
Carey studied the book and made it his New Year's resolution for the following year to try his hand at amateur nights again. He went to one on the first Sunday of the new year and won. He continued to perform his comedy around Cleveland, growing in popularity, eventually getting hired on as the emcee for the club where he won his first amateur night.
"It was all from that stupid library book," Carey said, laughing.
Acting and improv came about as a result of his increased fame.
"All I wanted to do was do 'The Tonight Show,'" Carey said. "I thought, 'Once I do 'The Tonight Show,' I can make more money in clubs and be a more famous comic.' And then you do The Tonight Show and your agent starts getting offers for sitcoms."
Carey said he never thought about acting, let alone having his own sitcom, when he was growing his comedy career.
"I never considered it, I didn't think I could do it," Carey said. "But because I had this other success, all these other doors opened up for me."
Of the three — stand-up, acting and improv — Carey prefers stand-up because he believes he's better at it.
"In fairness to me, every time I do improv I'm with the best improv-ers in the country," Carey said, referring to his "Whose Line" co-stars, Ryan Stiles, Wayne Brady and Colin Mochrie. "If I was an unknown, there's no way I'd be on that stage with them."
However, Carey said, he continues to learn the craft of comedy in all of its forms. Last year, he took a class on writing sketch comedy and has amassed more books on writing comedy since reading that fateful library book.
"It's definitely an art form that you can learn if you're a writer," Carey said. "It's like studying short story writing or mystery writing or article writing."
Carey doesn't use themes for his comedy. Rather, he plans to just talk about whatever he finds funny.
"I like to talk about things that interest me," Carey said. "It's all about me and what I'm afraid of, what makes me insecure. Hopefully people find that funny when I'm talking about it."