this is a cute story.

Drew Carey was sitting in a Cracker Barrel restaurant in North Carolina a little over a month ago when his cellphone buzzed with a call from his agent. A CBS casting manager, Mr. Carey was told, was looking to talk to him.

“In my head,” Mr. Carey recalled today, “I start thinking, ‘They want me to be a guest on C.S.I.’ ”

No, Mr. Carey was gently informed, CBS was looking for someone to replace Bob Barker as host of “The Price Is Right.”

“Whoever does that is going to be an idiot or desperate for work,” Mr. Carey replied, or at least that’s how he recalled it today. “How would you like to fill a legend’s shoes? Get somebody else.”

Fast-forward to Monday night, when Mr. Carey announced during an appearance on “Late Show With David Letterman” that CBS had found its idiot. Beginning sometime this fall he will take over for Mr. Barker, who retired in June at 83 after 35 years on the job.

Which raises a question: was Mr. Carey that desperate for work?

“Well I don’t need the money,” said Mr. Carey, 49, whose two network series — “The Drew Carey Show” and “Whose Line Is It Anyway” — live on in lucrative reruns after ending within the last few years. And yet, while he wouldn’t disclose his new salary, he acknowledged that “I like the fact that I’m getting paid.”

But the most important factor in his decision, Mr. Carey said, was that he relished the idea of regularly giving away a new car or a new refrigerator or a vacation to somebody who probably really needed it. He acknowledged, for example, that his minimum tip — even for a hamburger at Denny’s, or a Coke at a Cracker Barrel — is typically $100, and sometimes much more.

“I just want to share the wealth,” he said. “And by doing ‘Price Is Right,’ that’s what I’ll be doing every day.”

As a long-time stand-up comedian who worked a lot of nights, Mr. Carey said he had become very familiar with “The Price Is Right,” because “it came on right around the time I was waking up.”

Asked to size up Mr. Barker’s appeal, Mr. Carey put it this way: “He has good empathy for all the players. He wants them to win. You can hug him. He went from being your dad and your uncle to your grandfather. You know, ‘He’s Bob, he’s on my side.’ ”

Mr. Carey said he hoped to bring a similar warmth to his new role, and that while he was confident he could extract plenty of humor from his guests’ anxieties — mainly through his efforts to try to calm them down — he would not seek to mine laughs by making fun of them. He also said he was confident that whatever dirty jokes he still liked to tell, particularly in places like Las Vegas, would stay in Las Vegas.

Regular viewers of “The Price Is Right,” he says, can rest assured that beyond getting used to his blond-brown crew cut in place of Mr. Barker’s white mane, little about the show will change. An announcer will still prod contestants from the audience with the signature “Come on down!” And beyond a few touch-ups, the set is also “going to look very familiar.”

One change that he and the producers are planning, he said, is periodically to take the show, which is based in Los Angeles, on the road, and broadcast for a week or so from various cities.

But beyond that, Mr. Carey said the biggest adjustment would be within his own head, as he adapts not only to his role on “The Price Is Right” but also as host of a new game show, “Power of 10,” which will make its debut on the prime-time schedule at CBS on Aug. 7.

“I’m going to be a game-show host the rest of my life,” Mr. Carey said. “I had to come to terms with that.”

And then he laughed.
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replied September 17th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
IMO he's an odd choice to replace Bob, but I think he'll do a good job.

Some Stan guy that interviews people to be contestents on TPIR was on a local radio station this morning said that Drew hurt his hand taping his first show. He got it in the way of the wheel. Stan has written a book. It's called, "Come on Down".
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