The Drew Carey Show
'The Drew Carey Show opening logo, Seasons 1-2

Created By:

Drew Carey and Bruce Helford


Drew Carey, Ryan Stiles, Diedrich Bader, Christa Miller, Kathy Kinney, Craig Ferguson, John Carroll Lynch & Cynthia Watros


ABC-TV / English

Running time:

22 minutes

Production companies:

Mohawk Productions, Warner Bros. Television


Warner Bros. Television Distribution

Network run:

September 13, 1995 – September 8, 2004 (cancelled)

The Drew Carey Show is an American sitcom that aired on ABC from 1995 to 2004. The show was set in Cleveland, Ohio, and revolved around the retail office and home life of "everyman" Drew Carey, a fictionalized version of the actor.[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.

The show was produced by Mohawk Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. The show debuted on the ABC network on September 13, 1995, 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".[2] Drew Carey (the actor) has been quoted as saying his character would be what the actor would be if he never became 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 idiot 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-Lauder, 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 crossdressing heterosexual brother Steve, 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 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 (and from around Season 5 onwards, Mimi), runs a small business out of his garage, selling Buzz Beer, a concoction of beer and coffee. It becomes extremely popular in the region and is sold at the group's hangout, The Warsaw Tavern.


Season 1 (1995–1996)Edit

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) 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. They released an episode named "Science Names Suck" with still three more science named episodes.

Seasons 2–7 (1996–2002)Edit

"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 third season, yet another change was made to "Cleveland Rocks", a cover of an Ian Hunter song performed by The Presidents of the United States of America. 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 didn't 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 also used him for his own gains, which were to stay in the country by way of greencard. At the beginning of Season 7, Drew married both Nicki 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". Nicki 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 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)Edit

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 (one of them being performed by Bowling for Soup). 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-Lauder 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 2003. The ninth season did not air until the summer 2004, with some 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.

Post ShowEdit

On March 24, 2009, Kathy Kinney appeared in character as Mimi in 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 was the host of the show.[3]

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.[4] 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.[4]

Cast and charactersEdit

Main article: List of The Drew Carey Show characters

Main charactersEdit

Actor Character Role Years Seasons Episodes
Drew Carey Drew Allison Carey (Character) Assistant Director of Personnel 1995–2004 1–9 233
Diedrich Bader Oswald Lee Harvey Delivery Man/Trainee Nurse 1995–2004 1–9 233
Christa Miller Kate O'Brien Cosmetic Saleswoman/Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 1995–2002 1–7 (Starring), 8 (Starring, 2 Episodes) 184
Kathy Kinney Mimi Bobeck-Carey P.A./Floor Manager 1995–2004 1–9 232
Craig Ferguson Nigel Algernon Wick Drew's boss 1996–2003, 2004 2-8 (Starring), 9 (2 Episodes) 146
John Carroll Lynch Steve Carey Cosmetics Salesman/Stay-At-Home Husband 1998–2004 3-5 (Recurring), 6-8 (Starring), 9 (Guest) 73
Cynthia Watros Kellie Newmark-Carey Waitress 2002–2004 8-9 52
Ryan Stiles Lewis Kiniski Janitor at DrugCo. 1995–2004 1–9 224

Recurring charactersEdit

Actor Character Role Years Seasons Episodes
Ian Gomez Larry Almada Worked at Winfred-Louder/Matchmaker 1995–1999, 2002-2004 1–4, 8-9 38
Jane Morris Nora O'Dougherty Co-worker at Winfred-Louder 1995-2002, 2004 1-2, 4-5, 7, 9 14
Nan Martin Mrs. Fran "Dotty" Louder Owner of Winfred-Louder 1995–2000 1–5 25
Kelly Perine Chuck Security Guard 1995-2000 1–2, 4-5 17
Robert Torti Jay Clemens Kate' boyfriend/High-School friend 1995-1997, 1999-2001 1-2, 5-6 15
Kate Walsh Nicki Fifer Drew's girlfriend 1997-1999, 2001-2003 3-4, 7-8 21
Jenica Bergere Sharon Bridges Handywoman/Drew's girlfriend 1997-2000 3-5 11
Katy Selverstone Lisa Robbins Drew's girlfriend 1995–1997 1-2 16
Kevin Pollak Mr. Gerald Hawthorne Bell Drew's Boss 1995–1996 1 10
Bill Cobbs Tony, the Bus Driver Bus driver 2002-2004 8-9 9
Jonathan Mangum Scott Drew's boss 2002-2004 8-9 18
Kyle Howard Evan Drew's boss 2002-2004 8-9 14
Kaitlin Olson Traylor Works at 2002-2004 8-9 14
Speedy Speedy The Dog Lisa/Drew's Dog 1996-2003 2-8 41
Tim O'Rourke Tim Bartender at The Warsaw Tavern 1995-2004 1-9 11
Beata Pozniak Raisa 8-9 14

Regular guest starsEdit

Guest starsEdit

Special appearancesEdit


Also see: List of The Drew Carey Show episodes

Series overviewEdit

Season Episodes Originally aired Production
Season premiere Season finale
1 22 September 13, 1995 May 8. 1996 4570xx
2 24 September 18, 1996 May 14, 1997 4659xx
3 28 Setptember 17, 1997 May 20, 1998 4662xx
4 27 September 23, 1998 May 26, 1999 4675xx
5 26 September 22, 1999 May 17, 2000 2254xx
6 27 October 4, 2000 May 23, 2001 2263xx
7 27 September 26, 2001 May 2, 2002 2273xx
8 26 September 9, 2002 August 27, 2003 2279xx
9 26 June 2, 2004 September 8, 2004 1785xx


The show finished its first season (1995–1996) barely in the Top 50, placing 48th in the Nielsen ratings, with an average rating of 10.1. The second season did considerably better, making it into the Top 20 finishing its second season (1996–1997) 18th in the Nielsen ratings with an average rating of 11.5. Viewership increased 13.9% from season one.

The show finished its third season (1997–1998) at a higher place in the ratings, placing 16th with an average rating of 11.1 during the season; however, the ratings share was a drop of 3.5% from the second season.

During its fourth season (1998–1999), the series finished the season in the Nielsen ratings higher in the Top 20 making it to 14th place but with an average rating of 9.9, a decrease of 10.8% from the third season.

The show finished its fifth season (1999–2000) 24th in the Nielsen ratings, the first time since season one that the show was not in the Top 20, with an average rating of 9.5, a decrease of 4% from the fourth season. This was a much smaller drop than many series suffered (given the erosion of network audiences). This was also a smaller drop than it suffered the season before. The show's sixth season (2000–2001) finished 41st with an average rating of 8.23, a decrease of 13.4 percent from the fifth season.

ABC signed a new contract to keep the show on through a ninth season, even though the show had yet to enter its seventh season (2001–2002) at that time. The season saw one of the show's biggest drops in ratings, finishing 57th with an average rating of 5.9, a significant drop of 28.3% from the sixth season. The show finished its eighth season (2002–2003) season 119th with an average rating of 3.29, a drop of 44.23 percent from the seventh season. This caused ABC to put the series on hiatus, airing the rest of the season in the summer of 2003. Unable to get out of the contract, ABC was forced to allow the show to film a ninth season, paying three million dollars per episode. Not doing well enough to receive a time slot on ABC's fall schedule in 2003, the show had its ninth and final season burned off during the summer of 2004.

The series finale was viewed by a little over 5 million viewers.

Season Years Rank Rating
Season 1 1995–1996 #48 10.1[5]
Season 2 1996–1997 #18 11.5[6]
Season 3 1997–1998 #13 16.7[7]
Season 4 1998–1999 #13 14.9[7]
Season 5 1999–2000 #24 9.5[8]
Season 6 2000–2001 #33 12.7[9]
Season 7 2001–2002 #67 9.1[10]
Season 8 2002–2003 #121 5.2[11]
Season 9 2004 #150 3.1


The Drew Carey Show entered off-network syndication in September 1999 and continued until September 2007.

During the early-to-mid 2000s (decade), The Drew Carey Show was also seen on cable's TBS. 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. The CW Television Network also aired episodes during the 2008–2009 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. The show ran in syndication on Canada's "TVtropolis" until June 2013, when the channel was rebranded as "DTour".

LAFF will begin carrying the show as part of its inaugural lineup when it launches in April 2015.


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.

DVD releasesEdit

On February 28, 2006, a six-episode release of the sitcom was released on DVD entitled "The Drew Carey Show: TV Favorites". 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. The WB has released a statement in which it said that the reason as to why the second season has yet to be released as of 2015 is because of music that is copyrighted. It is unknown if the remaining eight seasons will ever be released. For the same reason, it is unlikely ever to stream on online services. A number of online petitions exist to get the full series released.

The first season was released in Australia (Region 4) on September 10, 2008. Small distribution company Madman Entertainment, usually known for releasing anime and manga, has picked up the rights to the series.

DVD Name Ep# Region 1 Region 2 Region 4 Special Features
The Complete First Season 22 April 24, 2007 N/A September 10, 2008
  • 1-900-MIMI (a phone sex spoof featuring Mimi)
  • Life Inside a Cubicle Featurette
The Drew Carey Show: TV Favorites 6 February 28, 2006 N/A N/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)


External linksEdit

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