The Price Is Right returns for a new season on Monday, September 18th at 8 AM PT/11 AM EST on CBS. This premier is particularly special as it marks the ten year anniversary for Drew Carey hosting the show.
CBS Local’s Matt Weiss caught up with Carey to discuss his tenure on the show and even got some advice for future audience members interested in a shot at the big time!
MW- Good morning Drew, how are you?
DC- Great Matt, how are you?
MW- Just fine! Congratulations on your ten year anniversary as host of The Price Is Right. I want to take you back a decade, how did you get involved with the show in the first place?
DC- I was kind of retired, didn’t want to do anymore TV, I was having fun, traveling, relaxing. Michael Davies who was a producer I knew came up with an idea for a game show and he contacted me and wanted to know if I wanted to do it. It was part-time in New York so I would have to fly to New York a couple times a month, tape a bunch of shows and he convinced me to do it. It wouldn’t be as many hours a week as a sitcom so I could still relax and he said he would work around my schedule.
So I went out to New York to do the pilot, I did the pilot on a Monday and that weekend I was going to go on a driving trip back to LA because I had all this extra time. So I was driving back to LA, I stopped at a restaurant and I had a message on my phone from my agent, and I had been taking acting lessons because I thought maybe I’d do some small parts in movies for fun, and my agent said he got this really interesting call from CBS casting and I thought, oh maybe they want me for a CSI or one of the dramas. So I said oh really and he said yea how’d you like to take over for Bob Barker on The Price Is Right and I was like “WHAT?!” Right away I said no but when I got back to LA my agent said CBS reached out again, so I had a meeting with The Price Is Right people and by the time the meeting was over I really wanted to do the show. We had a dinner meeting and they told me all about the show and how it worked and by the time that meeting was over I was sure I wanted to do it. So I told my agent, they started negotiating a contract and here I was, just that easy.
MW- Where there a difficult transition period for you taking over for Bob Barker? Huge shoes to fill that you’ve done an amazing job with.
DC- Oh thank you! Well, you know there’s over 70 games on The Price Is Right and I didn’t know every single game by heart. So we started out learning six games because we do six games a show. They taught me how to present those six games and we did those same six games all week in all the shows. They show the shows out of order so it wouldn’t look weird and then the next week I learned another six games and then the next week another six. So pretty soon I had all the games down and they would introduce a new game every week or so I’d have five or six games that I knew plus a new game that. Eventually I knew all the games but it still took me a while and I had games I would mess up on that they’d have to remind me what to do. Now it’s really easy for me.
MW- Well after ten years you’ve certainly got things down now, is there a favorite moment you have from the last decade of hosting The Price Is Right?
DC- There’s actually a moment coming up during premiere week that is so outrageous, I can’t tell you what it is you’ll have to watch, but we were doubled over in joy laughing. We couldn’t believe what was happening, my jaw was hanging down. I couldn’t believe what was going on it was just s crazy and it’s going to be our biggest viral moment ever I predict. It’s going to be nuts. So I do have a favorite moment, I can’t tell you what it is but you’ll see it soon.
MW- Now that’s a teaser! You spoke about learning all the different games earlier but now that you have them all down do you have a favorite?
DC- I only like the games where people win. I have a couple games that aren’t my favorite, I’ll tell you that. “Stack The Deck” and “That’s Too Much” they’re fun to play, I like the game play but I just don’t like when people lose. So “Stack The Deck” people always lose and “That’s Too Much” people always lose, I’m always rooting extra hard for people when they play that because I want them to beat this hard to win game. Those two games always stick out in my head because when people play them I’m trying to send them vibes so they get the right answers [laughs].
Then there are some games people always win like “Cliff Hangers.” There’s a couple games where people are going to win about 80% of the time so I don’t get as worried about those and in my head I’m like well we’re just going to give these away, no worries.
MW- I give you props for not just saying “Rat Race” is your favorite since I know you created that one yourself.
DC- [Laughs] I don’t even mention that I created that one anymore when I see it come up I’d rather it just be about the contestants rather than me.
MW- Speaking of the contestants, is there any advice you can give people coming to see the show about how to get chosen to play?
DC- Yes and no. To be honest, I go this little green room in the back and I say hi to everyone when I come in in the morning and they’re usually already looking over contestants for the show. There’s a guy named Stan Blits he interviews everybody in line and he goes back and makes his case of reach contestant and they decide who the nine people are going to be and in what order. You want to be really upbeat and positive, you can’t be artificially crazy. You have to be genuinely an upbeat, excitable person.
But the problem is we have so many people who come to see the show is we could pick 30 people who exactly fit our criteria every show just about. There’s so many people to choose from. I would tell people that come to The Price Is Right just come in a good mood ready to see a show, don’t show up with any expectations. Show up in the best mood you can be in and just enjoy it. Doesn’t cost anything to watch and it’s really one of the best tapings you can come to in LA so just come and have a good time.
If you don’t get picked don’t think something is wrong with you, we just have too many people we can pick at each show. We had a guy on this week, the show will air later but we taped it this week, he’s come to the show 14 times and he finally got picked. But in the meantime all those other episdoes he always had a great time because I remember talking to him in the audience and he was always in a good mood and had a lot of laughs.
MW- How could you not? Thank you for the time today and can’t wait to see that favorite moment of yours during premier week!
DC- Thanks Matt, take care!
The Price Is Right returns to CBS with a new season on Monday, September 18th at 8 AM PT/ 11 AM EST. Check your local listings for more information.