The Drew Carey Show
I was always amused by Drew Carey’s stand-up act, so I looked forward to seeing what he’d do on his own TV show.
With all good comedy shows, the supporting cast is critical, and success was pretty much guaranteed by Carey’s addition of his Whose Line buddy Ryan Stiles (Lewis), the hilarious Diedrich Bader (was there ever a better comedy screen name than Oswald Lee Harvey?) and the wonderful Kathy Kinney (as Mimi):
…as well as the brilliant Scottish comedian Craig Ferguson as his alcoholic boss, Nigel Wick — there was no way this show wasn’t going to be funny.
What made it all the better — and Hollywood used to know this formula, but had forgotten it somehow — was that the show took place not in New York or Los Angeles, but in Flyover Country’s capital, Cleveland OH. Cleveland? And it worked, brilliantly. Carey’s “ordinary-guy” schtick was perfectly cast against the insanity of his surrounding characters and the plotlines, and it too was one of the few TV shows I’d stay home to watch, or at least set up for recording on the VCR (younger Readers can ask their dads to explain this reference).
But nothing — repeat nothing — in TV history could have prepared us for when Drew decided to have an affair with an older woman — but not just any older woman:
Okay, I came late to the Shirley Jones Adoration Society, but if ever there’s a woman who has been gorgeous at whatever age, it’s her:
Was there a man of my generation who did not feel stirrings in his loins when Shirley sashayed down Carey’s stairs for breakfast, wearing nothing but a long nightie?
Comedy gold, as was the entire Drew Carey Show.