Connecting with the psyche of America, especially in its vast middle section, has always been a great talent of Drew Carey from his days on his own highly rated sitcom to the bombastic fun of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” When “The Price Is Right” came along, allowing him to take over the legendary shoes of Bob Barker, Carey did not waiver, understanding the power of this specific game show. After seeing the people lined up for a day of taping at CBS Television City in Los Angeles, IR’s Tim Wassberg talked to Drew Carey upon the famous stage of “The Price Is Right”, wheel in walking distance and colors abounding, about the key to the game show’s demo, its slice of Americana and the surrealism of it all.
Tim Wassberg: How does “The Price Is Right” appeal to the college audience, because it seemingly does in droves.
Drew Carey: Tons of college kids are fans of “The Price Is Right”. [Some of it is] breaking from classes. There are [also] “Price Is Right” watching clubs all over the place. We don’t do anything special to appeal to college students. Well…maybe the models (laughing).
TW: At what moment does it become surrealistic for you?
DC: It’s always like that. [In terms of prep], I get here about a half hour before the show starts. I go to my dressing room. I put my bag down. Put on my suit. Do hair and make-up. And walk on-stage. I don’t even know what the games are going to be half the time. They leave me a list of games to play on my desk but I never even look at them anymore. I just walk out. There is a stagehand that points me to go over here and over there. I know if we do a car, we do them every act. If we have done two games and we haven’t done a car yet, the car is coming up. I am just as surprised as everyone else when I see the games.
TW: The energy is great but it is so fast paced to the point that there is no room for improv. Does it just become instinct?
DC: It is instinct. My whole job out here is to be nice and have fun with everybody. [It is to] make sure they have fun, and guide everybody through the game and hope they win.
TW: When you look out at these audiences for “The Price Is Right”, what do you see?
DC: Man…when I look out there, I just see America. It is all workers of America. I ask people what they do all time and I never get “I’m a CEO” or “I’m the president of a company”. It’s all “I’m [some kind of] a worker”. It’s the like the “working class” of an audience every single day.
“The Price Is Right” airs on CBS weekdays at 11am.