The Drew Carey Show

Last updated

The Drew Carey Show
Genre Sitcom
Created by
Opening theme
Composer W. G. Snuffy Walden
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons9
No. of episodes233 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
  • Debroah Oppenheimer
  • Rick Messina
  • Richard Baker
  • Lou Fousaro
  • Holly Sawyer-Friedman
Camera setup
Running time22 minutes
Production companies
Distributor Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution
Original network ABC
Picture format
Original releaseSeptember 13, 1995 (1995-09-13) 
September 8, 2004 (2004-09-08)

The Drew Carey Show is an American television sitcom that aired on ABC from September 13, 1995, to September 8, 2004. Set in Cleveland, Ohio, the series revolved around the retail office and home life of "everyman" Drew Carey, a fictionalized version of the comedian. [1]


The show was created by 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. [2]

Produced by Mohawk Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, it debuted on September 13, 1995, received positive reviews from critics and ranked among the Top 30 programs for four seasons before sliding in popularity. Ratings declined sharply during the final two seasons, and the last two episodes aired on September 8, 2004.


Drew Carey is a fictionalized version of himself, a self-proclaimed "everyman". [3] Drew Carey (the comedian) has been quoted as saying his character is what the actor would have been if he had not become an actor. He has a "gang" of friends who embark with him on his everyday trials and tribulations. Drew's friends include erudite but unambitious Lewis (Ryan Stiles), excitable dimwitted Oswald (Diedrich Bader) and his friend (later on-off girlfriend) Kate (Christa Miller). In the final two seasons, Kate gets married and moves to Guam, in the same two-part episode that introduces and develops Drew's relationship with Kellie (Cynthia Watros), which carries on over the final two seasons.

For its first seven seasons, Drew's workplace is the office of fictional Cleveland department store Winfred-Louder, where he has worked for years and still works as Assistant Director of Personnel. One of his coworkers is Mimi Bobeck (Kathy Kinney), a large woman with a clownish wardrobe, a lot of make-up (including her trademark bright blue eye shadow), and a foul mutual dislike for Drew. The two eventually become closer (although still maintaining a less heated rivalry), primarily because Mimi fell in love with and married Drew's cross-dressing heterosexual brother Steve (John Carroll Lynch), a frequently recurring character.

In the first season they work for the unseen Mr. Bell (Kevin Pollak), only seen in the season one finale, to which he is greeted with applause; in later seasons, their boss and sometimes-co-worker is Nigel Wick (Craig Ferguson), an eccentric, sadistic and unlucky Englishman. In the final two seasons, they work for peaceful, hippie-like Evan (Kyle Howard) and the much more professional Scott (Jonathan Mangum), tech-smart but naïve twenty-somethings who own the Neverending Store, an online retailer with offices in the same location.

In addition to his day job, Drew, along with Oswald, Lewis, and Kate (replaced from around Season 5 onwards by Mimi), runs a small business out of his garage, selling Buzz Beer, a caffeinated alcoholic drink. It becomes popular in the region and is served at the group's hangout, The Warsaw Tavern.


Season 1 (1995–1996)

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

In the first season, Drew and Mimi worked under Mr. Bell, who existed only as a voice on Drew's speakerphone, excluding the season finale (his final episode, played by Kevin Pollak) wherein he is fired by Winfred-Louder's new owners. Other characters that appeared exclusively in this period were Drew's hillbilly neighbor Jules and his family. Drew's first girlfriend Lisa was introduced in this season, as was Jay, Kate's love interest who used to attend the same high school as Drew and his friends. Both characters lasted until Season 2, where they were quickly written out of the show in the early episodes.

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". However, this theme was abandoned by the end of the season.

Seasons 2–7 (1996–2002)

"Moon Over Parma" was phased out during the second season by "Five O'Clock World" sung by The Vogues. This season introduced openings that paid homage to music videos which included the cast dancing and singing around the various sets of the show.

In the fourth season, the opening theme was changed to "Cleveland Rocks", a cover of an Ian Hunter song performed by The Presidents of the United States of America. The video consisted of shots of Cleveland ending with their ballpark. This change lasted until the second "wave" of the show ended, with the finale of Season 7.

The man who took over Mr. Bell's job after his firing was Nigel Wick, who served as a foil for both Drew and Mimi in the workplace. During this period, Drew and Mr. Wick also periodically took the top management job away from each other. This would usually result in Drew ending up back at his old job as Assistant Director of Personnel and Mr. Wick would miraculously retain his job as manager. By the end of Season 7, they were both Co-Managers before Winfred-Louder was closed down (albeit after undergoing drastic changes to stay in business).

Kate and Oswald became closer and eventually became romantically involved and almost married during the third season, but Kate stood Oswald up at the altar. Kate and Drew also became romantically involved and were on the verge of getting married, but they called it off when they realized they did not feel the same about the prospect of children. Drew's cross-dressing brother Steve was introduced during this period. He eventually fell in love with Mimi and they had a child together, Gus (whose name was decided by means of a contest).

Drew also got married a number of times during this portion of the show. His first marriage was to Diane, a cocktail waitress in Las Vegas. This was only temporary however, as she needed Drew to retain custody of her children. His second marriage was to Mr. Wick, who forced Drew to marry him in a sham same-sex civil union in Vermont (the only place it was legal at the time) in hopes that the marriage would placate the Immigration and Naturalization Service. At the beginning of Season 7, Drew married both Nikki and Kate (the former had been a recurring character for some time since Season 3, and suffered from weight problems). They found out about this and all three of these marriages ended in divorce, and Drew became known as the "Impotent Bisexual Bigamist". Nikki eventually returned, and the actress, Kate Walsh, donned a fat suit again and moved in with Drew.

During this period the show also had frequent "event" episodes. Recurring themes were "What's Wrong With This Episode?", in which the show contained numerous deliberate continuity errors and other mistakes and invited viewers at home to find the most errors and win a prize, and live episodes, with loose plots and improvised scenes featuring cast members from Carey's improvisational comedy show Whose Line Is It Anyway? (Brad Sherwood, Wayne Brady, Colin Mochrie, Greg Proops, Chip Esten, Kathy Greenwood, Jeff Davis, Laura Hall, and Linda Taylor) contributed to these episodes, with Brad Sherwood hosting.

Seasons 8–9 (2002–2004)

Beginning in season 8, the show rotated through 9 different opening sequences, each of which contained a new version of one of the show's three theme songs. Each theme ("Moon Over Parma", "Five O'Clock World" and "Cleveland Rocks") was seen in three different segments, in new, wildly different arrangements. The show eventually went back to having just five main characters, akin to the first season, as Kate, Mr. Wick, and Steve were eventually written out of the show. Kate's character was married off, Mr. Wick disappeared after three appearances until the Season 8 finale, wherein it is revealed he became a weatherman (although he continued to appear in the opening credits, unlike Kate, who was eliminated completely, and never mentioned again.) Steve left at the beginning of the ninth season to "find himself".

With Winfred-Louder closed, the location became the office of online retailer Neverending Store. Drew, Mimi, and Mr. Wick were hired as employees of the new company. Mimi was hired first in a similar role to her old job, and Drew was eventually hired as "Internal Expediting Analyst", and a recurring gag began wherein Drew had no clue as to what his job entailed. Before being written out, Mr. Wick was at first a janitor, and another recurring joke came in the form of Mr. Wick attempting to climb the ladder back to being the boss. Before being written out, he went from janitor to the carrier of the dessert trolley.

Kate left after the first two episodes of season 8, the same two episodes that introduced Kellie, an old high school friend of Drew's who had been working as a stripper. She eventually became a waitress at The Warsaw Tavern, Drew's girlfriend, and the carrier of his child. The plot of the final episode was Drew and Kellie attempting to get married before their child is born. Mr. Wick also returned and stayed on for the series finale.

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 Lehmkuhl. Tony the Bus Driver (Bill Cobbs) became a regular, serving as smart-alecky "bartender" type to whom Drew could tell his problems. The eighth season was put in a timeslot that frequently clashed with Monday Night Football . It was pulled mid-season and the remaining episodes were shown during the summer of 2003. The ninth season did not air until the summer of 2004, with most of the episodes out of order.

The last season's tone changed radically from the previous seasons. The directors began experimenting with one-camera set-ups, showing the sets completely built, with four walls in most rooms, and with rooms actually linked together. The writers also began experimenting, including story lines in which Gus burns down Mimi's house, forcing her to move in with Drew after Steve leaves her.


On March 24, 2009, Kathy Kinney appeared in character as Mimi at the beginning of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson . Kinney appeared twice on The Price Is Right as Mimi Bobeck on April Fools' Day. Drew Carey has been the host of the show since 2007. [4] Carey would later revive the "What's Wrong with This Episode?" format for later April Fool's Day episodes of The Price Is Right.[ citation needed ]

At the end of the final episode of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on December 19, 2014, Ferguson woke up, revealing that the entire show was a dream of Mr. Wick's. [5] Drew Carey reprised his role (the two were in bed together, as in the final episode of Newhart ) and was surprised that, in Wick's dream, he had somehow lost weight and become a game show host. [5]

Carey, Kinney, and Ryan Stiles all guest starred in the episode "Bigger Kids, Bigger Problems" (2019) of the ABC sitcom American Housewife , which stars Diedrich Bader. [6]

Cast and characters

Main characters

Drew Carey Drew Allison Carey Assistant Director of Personnel1995–2004 Main 233
Diedrich Bader Oswald Lee Harvey Delivery Man/Trainee Nurse1995–2004 Main 233
Christa Miller Kate O'Brien Cosmetic Saleswoman/Rock and Roll Hall of Fame1995–2002 Main Main 1 184
Ryan Stiles Lewis Kiniski Janitor at DrugCo.1995–2004 Main 224
Kathy Kinney Mimi Bobeck P.A./Floor Manager1995–2004 Main 2 232
Craig Ferguson Nigel Algernon Wick Drew's boss1996–2003, 2004 Main Main 3 Guest 170
John Carroll Lynch Steve Carey Cosmetics Salesman/Stay-At-Home Husband1998–2004 Recurring Main Guest 73
Cynthia Watros Kellie Newmark Waitress2002–2004 Main 52


  1. ^ Christa Miller was only credited as Starring for the first 2 episodes of Season 8.
  1. ^ Kathy Kinney was credited as a guest star in the pilot episode, before being promoted a series regular for the rest of the series.
  1. ^ Craig Ferguson was credited as starring in all episodes of Season 8, but only appeared in 4 episodes.

Recurring characters

Ian Gomez Larry AlmadaWorked at Winfred-Louder/Matchmaker1995–1999, 2002–2004 Recurring Recurring 38
Jane MorrisNoraCo-worker at Winfred-Louder1995–2002, 2004 Recurring Recurring Recurring Recurring 14
Nan Martin Mrs. LouderOwner of Winfred-Louder1995–2000 Recurring 25
Kelly Perine ChuckSecurity Guard1995–2000 Recurring Recurring 17
Robert Torti Jay ClemensKate' boyfriend/High-School friend1995–1997, 1999–2001 Recurring Recurring 15
Kate Walsh Nicki FiferDrew's girlfriend1997–1999, 2001–2003 Recurring Recurring 21
Jenica BergereSharon BridgesHandywoman/Drew's girlfriend1997–2000 Recurring 11
Katy Selverstone Lisa RobbinsDrew's girlfriend1995–1997 Recurring 16
Bill Cobbs TonyBus driver2002–2004 Recurring 9
Jonathan Mangum ScottDrew's boss2002–2004 Recurring 18
Kyle Howard EvanDrew's boss2002–2004 Recurring 14
Kaitlin Olson TraylorWorks at Neverendingstore.com2002–2004 Recurring 14
SpeedySpeedy The DogLisa/Drew's Dog1996-2003 Recurring 41
Tim O'RourkeTimBartender at The Warsaw Tavern1995–2004 Recurring 11

Regular guest stars

Guest stars

Special appearances


SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedRankAvg. rating [lower-alpha 1] /
Avg. viewers [lower-alpha 2]
First airedLast aired
1 22September 13, 1995 (1995-09-13)May 8, 1996 (1996-05-08)#4810.1
2 24September 18, 1996 (1996-09-18)May 14, 1997 (1997-05-14)#18 [7] 11.5 [lower-alpha 3]
3 28September 17, 1997 (1997-09-17)May 20, 1998 (1998-05-20)#16 [8] 16.7
4 27September 23, 1998 (1998-09-23)May 26, 1999 (1999-05-26)#15 [9] 14.9
5 26September 22, 1999 (1999-09-22)May 17, 2000 (2000-05-17)#22 [10] 14.5
6 27October 4, 2000 (2000-10-04)May 23, 2001 (2001-05-23)#3712.7
7 27September 26, 2001 (2001-09-26)May 22, 2002 (2002-05-22)#569.1
8 26September 9, 2002 (2002-09-09)August 27, 2003 (2003-08-27)#1205.2
9 26June 2, 2004 (2004-06-02)September 8, 2004 (2004-09-08)#1503.1

Viva Las Vegas

The episode "Drew Gets Married" is part of a crossover with Grace Under Fire , Coach and Ellen set in Las Vegas. It features Brett Butler as Grace Kelly, Jerry Van Dyke as Luther Van Dam, Joely Fisher as Paige Clark and Jeremy Piven as Spence Kovak.[ citation needed ]


The show initially finished outside of the Top 30 in the Nielsen ratings, at #48. In the second season, ratings improved, and the series jumped into the Top 30, remaining there for the next three seasons as well. The sixth season finished just outside of the Top 30, at #37. This is attributable to the erosion of network audiences that began in the late 1990s.

After its sixth season, ABC and Warner Bros. negotiated to keep the series on through the 2003-04 television season, which would place it in its ninth season. [11] However, in its seventh season, The Drew Carey Show experienced a dramatic ratings drop, as did several other ABC series. A schedule move by ABC for the eighth season resulted in even worse ratings, falling out of the Top 100. At midseason, ABC placed the series on hiatus, and attempted to get out of the contract with Warner Bros. When they were unable to, the network finished the eighth season in the summer, and decided to burn off the ninth and final season during the summer of 2004. [12] The series finale was viewed by a little over 5 million viewers.[ citation needed ]

Average seasonal ratings

SeasonEpisodesTimeslot (EDT)Season PremiereSeason FinaleTV seasonRank Nielsen rating
(Households, seasons 1 and 2;
Viewers (in millions), seasons 3–9)
1 22Wednesday 8:30 pmSeptember 13, 1995May 8, 1996 1995–96 #4810.1 [13]
2 24Wednesday 9:30 pm (1–10)
Wednesday 9:00 pm (11–24)
September 18, 1996May 14, 1997 1996–97 #1811.5 [14]
3 28Wednesday 9:00 pmSeptember 17, 1997May 20, 1998 1997–98 #1616.7
4 27September 23, 1998May 26, 1999 1998–99 #1514.9 [15]
5 26September 22, 1999May 17, 2000 1999–2000 #2214.5 [16]
6 27October 4, 2000May 23, 2001 2000–01 #3712.7 [17]
7 27September 26, 2001May 22, 2002 2001–02 #569.1 [18]
8 26Monday 8:00 pm (1–6)
Friday 9:30 pm (7–14)
Wednesday 9:00 pm/9:30 pm (15–24)
Wednesday 9:30 pm (25–26)
September 9, 2002August 27, 2003 2002–03 #1205.2 [19]
9 26Wednesday 9:00 pm/9:30 pmJune 2, 2004September 8, 2004 2003–04 #1503.1


    The Drew Carey Show entered off-network syndication in September 1999 and continued until September 2008, for example, Philadelphia's The WB station WPHL-TV reran the show weeknights 7:30pm EST and 11:30pm EST, Chicago's WB station WGN-TV at 6:30pm and 10:30pm CST, Cleveland's local FOX station (Drew's hometown) weeknights 7pm EST and 11pm EST both after local news on WJW-TV and New York City and Washington, D.C.'s UPN stations WWOR-TV and WDCA-TV reran the show weeknights 11:30pm EST.[ citation needed ]

    The series began airing on TBS in October 2002, with reruns airing on the network until November 2007. ION Television aired reruns of the show from 2007 to 2009, premiering on New Year's Eve 2007, with the station promoting it as "The Drew Year." ION Television did not air all of the episodes as it only aired the episodes that aired from seasons 1–5; the channel also removed references to the male genitalia from certain episodes, the season 5 episode "Do Drew and Kate Have Sex?" being one in particular.[ citation needed ]

    The CW Television Network also aired episodes during the 2008–09 television season. Two back-to-back episodes were aired on Sundays at 6:00pm to replace the cancelled Sunday Night Block by Media Rights Capital.[ citation needed ]

    In Canada, the show ran in syndication on TVtropolis until June 2013, when the channel was rebranded as DTour.[ citation needed ] The series also aired on DejaView.

    Laff began carrying the show as part of its inaugural lineup when it launched in April 2015. [20] The series was dropped from Laff's lineup in the fall of 2019. The Drew Carey Show is slated to return in reruns beginning in Q1 2022 on the upcoming channel, Rewind TV. [21]


    During the height of the show's popularity, Barbie-esque dolls of Drew and Mimi were released, with accessories and are currently in rare supply and considered collector's items. Matchbox also released Drew's car, a Volkswagen Beetle with flames on the sides which Drew owned from the third season until the eighth. The soundtrack album Cleveland Rocks! Music from The Drew Carey Show was released in May 1998. [22]

    Home media

    DVD release cover DrewCareyTVFaves.jpg
    DVD release cover

    On February 28, 2006, a six-episode release of the sitcom was released on DVD titled The Drew Carey Show: TV Favorites. [23] 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.

    On April 24, 2007, Warner Home Video released the complete first season of The Drew Carey Show on DVD in Region 1. Warner Bros. has released a statement in which it said that the reason as to why the second season, and any of the later seasons have yet to be released to this day is because of copyright issues regarding music used on the show. For the same reason, it is unlikely ever to stream on online services. [24]

    The first season was released in Australia (Region 4) on September 10, 2008.

    DVD nameEp#Region 1Region 2Region 4Special features
    The Complete First Season22April 24, 2007N/ASeptember 10, 2008
    • 1-900-MIMI (a phone sex spoof featuring Mimi)
    • Life Inside a Cubicle Featurette
    The Drew Carey Show: TV Favorites6February 28, 2006N/AN/A
    • "Pilot" (Season 1, Episode 1)
    • "Playing the Unified Field" (Season 1, Episode 18)
    • "We'll Remember Always, Evaluation Day" (Season 2, Episode 1)
    • "Drew Blows His Promotion" (Season 2, Episode 15)
    • "My Best Friend's Wedding" (Season 3, Episode 28)
    • "DrugCo" (Season 4, Episode 20)


    1. In households; seasons 1 and 2
    2. In millions; seasons 3–9
    3. Tied with NBC Sunday Night Movie .

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    "The Dog and Pony Show" is the eighth episode of the third season of the American sitcom The Drew Carey Show, and the 54th overall. The series focuses on the work and home life of a fictionalized version of actor and comedian Drew Carey. The episode first aired on November 12, 1997 on ABC in the United States. The episode's plot sees Mr. Wick pass off caring for his boss Mrs. Lauder's Hungarian Puli to his employee Drew. When Drew has the prize-winning dog shaved and neutered, he and his friends decide to perform a striptease at the local bar, The Warsaw Tavern, to earn quick cash to buy a replacement.

    "Drew Live" is the eighth episode of the fifth season of the American sitcom The Drew Carey Show, and the 109th overall. The episode's plot focuses on Drew trying to stop his friend, Kate, from pursuing a relationship with a mystery man, as Drew is in love with her. However, Drew is unaware that he is stopping Kate from pursuing him. Meanwhile, Drew's brother Steve Carey and his fiancée Mimi Bobeck hold a joint bachelor and bachelorette party.

    "The High Road to China" is the ninth episode of the fourth season of the American sitcom The Drew Carey Show, and the 83rd overall. The episode's plot sees Drew stranded in China without money or his passport by his enemy Mimi Bobeck, after he plays an elaborate practical joke on her. Drew finds help from Ming, a local woman who speaks English, who offers him shelter and a job. Meanwhile, Drew's friends struggle to come up with a plan to get him back home to Cleveland.

    "Drew's in a Coma" is the fifteenth episode of the sixth season of the American sitcom The Drew Carey Show, and the 142nd overall. The plot of the episode sees Drew left in a coma after he is hit by a car. Drew entertains himself through a fantasy world he creates, while his friends try various things to get him to wake up. At the end of the episode, Drew chooses whether to go to heaven or not and his sister-in-law, Mimi, goes into labor. The episode was written by Les Firestein and directed by Gerry Cohen. It first aired on February 7, 2001 on the ABC network in the United States.

    "In Ramada Da Vida" is the second episode of the fourth season of the American sitcom The Drew Carey Show, and the 77th overall. It first aired on September 30, 1998 on the ABC network in the United States. The plot of the episode sees Drew and his friends form a band to play at a Ramada Inn. After they are offered a regular gig by the hotel manager, they realise they need a guitarist and audition several hopefuls. Meanwhile, Kate O'Brien decides to quit her job to find something more fulfilling.

    "Drew Carey's Back-to-School Rock 'n' Roll Comedy Hour" is a double-episode of the American television comedy series The Drew Carey Show, covering the 1st and 2nd episodes of the seventh season, and the 155th and 156th episodes overall of the series. It first aired on September 26, 2001 on the ABC network in the United States. The episode, which does not follow the ongoing narrative of the sitcom, is formatted as a variety show, featuring the members of the cast along with guest stars Jenny McCarthy and Amanda Bynes performing comedy sketches out of character, loosely oriented around a middle/high school theme. Interspersed between sketches are musical performances from Sugar Ray, SHeDAISY, Smash Mouth, Uncle Kracker and the Peter Frampton band.

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