When his sitcom ended in 2004 after a more-than-respectable nine-season run, there were a fair amount of people who were skeptical that Drew Carey could reproduce that kind of success. I mean, really, is it even possible for Drew Carey to play someone other than Drew Carey? The answer to that question would seem to be a resounding "no," followed by an equally resounding "and screw you, because I don't need to play someone other than Drew Carey." Well, he's got us there. Carey's gone on to host "Whose Line Is It, Anyway," "Drew Carey's Green Screen Show," "Drew Carey's Sporting Adventures," and "Power of 10," and starting Oct. 17, he'll be stepping into Bob Barker's formidable shoes as host of "The Price Is Right." I had a chance to chat with Drew during the TCA Press Tour, but, unfortunately, it was about 48 hours before the announcement that he was taking over Barker's gig; as a result, we ended up spending a bit of time on his sitcom, a bit more on his book, and a rather shocking amount on – of all things – the Cuba Gooding, Jr. / Horatio Sanz movie, "Boat Trip." (Even more shocking, he's actually made me want to see it!)
Drew Carey: How are you doing?
DC: Do you mind if we sit down?
BE: Absolutely not.
(We sit down in a nearby booth.)
DC: How are you doing? Where are you from?
DC: I'll have to look at it.
BE: (Reaching into pocket) Well, I'll give you my card right now before I forget, but according to our slogan, we're "The Guys' Portal to the Web."
DC: So this is like the Spike TV of websites?
BE: Well, we try to play that down.
DC: As opposed to Titty.com or whatever.
BE: I think they're at work on a link exchange, maybe.
DC: (laughing) I don't know if there is a Titty.com, but if there isn't, there should be.
BE: If there's not, there will be when I get back to my hotel room.
BE: I am a big fan of your book, "Dirty Jokes," and I think I have recited the list of…
DC: 101 big dick jokes? I have people that just give them to me. I have, "My dick is so big when I go to Disneyland families agree to meet in front of it in case they get lost."
BE: That's a new one.
DC: "My dick is so big it has a base camp."
BE: (laughing) So out of that list, how many were actually yours, or how many were you given? Or do you even remember?
DC: I think I talk about it in the intro to the chapter. I think about 75, 80 of them, and the rest I got from other people or I heard. It started with me and John Caponera on the set of "The Good Life," where I played his best friend. His first one was, "My dick is so big there's still snow on it in the summer time," and then I, later in the day, thought of one. It took me, like, all day to think of one to come back with, and then he'd come in the next day with another one, then I thought of one. I remember him calling me up once, I was sleeping, and a phone rings and I was like, “Hello?” “Yeah, my dick is so big”…he didn’t even say hello! “Yeah, my dick is so big, ships use it to find their way into the harbor.” “Oh, that’s a good one, I’ll see you tomorrow,” and I went back to sleep. So it started like that. And then I thought…well, after I thought of 101 of them and I got this list making program…it's a brainstorming program called Inspiration is the Mind Map? What's the name of it? Well, anyways, it's a brainstorming program, I can't remember the name of it right this second, but you would type in a key word, and it would bring up a sub-list, and you type from there and bring up a list of related things…you know, money, green backs, dollar bills, cash, cheddar. You hit "cheddar," it will give you a list of different kinds of cheese. Like, it would just branch out on all these different weird things. So I would type in "big," "large," you know, different kinds of "big," different kinds of "large," different kinds of "humungous." Then, you know, big can mean important, big can mean size, so then I would just write jokes based on all of these connections that this program helped me make, and I would do that every day until I had 101 of them.
BE: God bless technology.
DC: Yeah, I mean, I really…that was an actual writing thing, man, where you had to do, like, research. Did you ever have to write a thing where it wasn't just connected to you, you had to look at books and you had to actually look up shit?
BE: I recall that for many of my assignments for Bullz-eye.
DC: That's my 101 big dick jokes. That's what that was all about.
BE: What was the response like for the second half of the book, when you were doing kind of like prose more so than biography or jokes?
DC: Um, I think it was pretty good. I can't read it now, man, because I wrote it…I had to write it so fast, and I wasn't a writer, and it was my first time I ever did anything like that. There was a page called…this is not a big deal, honestly, but it's the kind of thing you go through as a writer…but it was supposed to be the thank-you page, and it was Thank you to boom, a big list. Except it was supposed to be crammed in little tiny letters onto one page. It was supposed to be a joke, like, here's your name in tiny type, thank you for helping me. So instead of just a thank-you page it went on for, like, two pages. It was like, what? That's not how it's supposed to go! But I had to get it done; I needed it in by a certain deadline, and I started really late because "The Drew Carey Show" was kind of…to a point where the book company president was like, "Hey, where's the thing? It's due on…" But I didn't know that in books…see, in the movie business and the TV business, if your script is due on Dec. 1, you hand them a script on Dec. 1 and nothing until then. In the book business, if your book is due Dec. 1, they've seen chapters in April and May and June. They see chapters as you go along, and they were like, "Hey, we haven't seen any chapters or anything," and I was, like, "Oh, I'm not done with it." "Well, we need to see it." I go, "What the fuck you talkin' about? It's not due until then!" So after we cleared that up, then I started, like, really…man, I had to write fast. I mean, I wouldn’t write another book unless I had a lot of free time to finish it, and I didn’t have to worry about a deadline, and I could just write it at my leisure. I would go all Cormack-McCarthy and move into a shed and type out the greatest comedy ever.
BE: Well, have you thought about doing something like a travel log? I mean, like, paralleling your soccer…
DC: I did a Travel Channel show for the World Cup and …
BE: Well, that's what I mean.
DC: Yeah, I did that already.
BE: Yeah, but, like, a book on that.
DC: Oh, a book? I don't know if it would sell. I don't know if it would be worth the…it's a lot of effort to put in there and I don't know if it would be worth the money (laughing).
BE: No, I was thinking…like, Kevin Murphy from "Mystery Science Theater 3000" did like a book of going to see a different movie every day for 365 days.
DC: Did he?
BE: Yeah. It's a very funny book, too, but, I mean, I'm just thinking you could probably…
DC: Yeah, but how? See, my thing is you have to write just as hard to write a book that will make you a lot of money as you do to write a book that will make you not a lot of money, so why not spend the time writing something that will make you…I know what you mean though. You would write it out of love.
BE: Exactly. Watch it fail miserably and then be horribly bitter.
DC: That's a really funny idea. What's the name of that book called?
BE: I think it's "A Year at the Movies."
DC: "A Year at the Movies?" Man, that sounds like a good year to me. I would love to do that.
BE: He all but went around the world, that's what he did. He saw one in an igloo in Alaska and…
BE: Yeah. It's a very cool book.
DC: Oh, I would like to go to just like the Arclight every day.
BE: (laughing) Well, see, that's another book. That hasn't been done yet. So there you go.
DC: I almost watch a movie every day. I watch like five soccer games a week.
BE: Hey man, I'm the TV/DVD guy, so you can imagine how much time I spend in front of the TV.
DC: I made my old girlfriend and one of my Improv friends and my niece, who was interested in writing film, I made them all go see "View from the Top" and "Boat Trip" right in a row one night, because I wanted to see what people were getting away with at the movies. So I looked up Rotten Tomatoes, the two lowest rated movies on the tomato meter.
BE: Believe me, I am very excited about writing up your discussion about "Boat Trip" today (laughing). (Writer's note: during the panel for Carey's show, "Power of 10," he praised the film for being so bad that it's brilliant.)
DC: Man, I have shown that to people…you know, friends of mine that do this website, Channel101.com. Do you ever go there?
DC: I gave them…I said, "You've got to see ‘Boat Trip.' So they all went to watch it, they had, like, a little bad movie night. So they put the DVD in, and my friend said, "You know where the Playboy playmates are on the menu thing? Where they're laying on the thing? Where they ad-lib all the dialogue for, like, a half hour?" He said these guys watched the whole thing just to see what they were saying because they were, like, "Are you kidding?" They're, like, these movie nerds, going, "Oh, my God. Can you believe this?"
BE: I will constantly watch a movie just to see if there's a drinking game inherent somewhere in watching it.
DC: "Boat Trip" was, like, phenomenal, man.
BE: My latest favorite bad movie is "Cockfight."
DC: What's it called?
DC: Oh, I'll watch that one.
BE: It's totally what you think it is.
DC: We used to have…my friend Sam…I don't know, we kind of, like, quit doing it, but I don't know why, we have to get it going again…but we used to have bad movie night. We would just call it movie night, and we would have movie night, like, all of the time, and we watched…one time, we watched a movie that Sam Raimi starred in and was called "Thou Shalt Not Kill, Except…"
BE; I've heard of it, but I didn't realize he actually starred in it.
DC: You can only get it on a bootleg VHS tape; it's not really available. (Writer's note: for the record, it was actually released on DVD by AnchorBay in 2000, but it's out of print now.) Sam Raimi stars in it, he's like a Charles Manson figure. If you ever interview Sam Raimi at a party or see him at one of these things, if you could please ask him if you could get a copy of "Thou Shalt Not Kill, Except…," because, man…and if you can get a room full of comics to watch it with you? There's nothing better. We just went, like, crazy. These movie nights…you never laughed so hard. I remember one time we watched, because everybody just, like, brings their own thing, and we decide, "Oh, let's put that in." So my friend Sam got a hold of the pilot episode of "Pink Lady and Jeff." Did you ever see that?
BE: Yes, actually…and I talked to Marty Krofft the other day, who was one of the producers of it.
DC: Yeah, so we put that in for an hour…we all just usually cut up and make fun of him…this is what you heard for an hour: "Oh my god! Holy Shit!" And it was over, it was totally quiet, and my friend Jeff goes, "Wow! That was a trip to the dentist." He goes, "Anyone want to watch another one?" "NO!"
BE: And they released a box set of it. Like, every episode.
DC: Yeah. Like, usually "Thou Shalt Not Kill, Except…" and all these other ones, we're, like, yelling out, and everybody is trying to top each other, and laughing. This one was just, "Wow, uh…what? Oh, my God." That's all you heard the whole "Pink Lady" show.
BE: Did you hear about a movie called "Skidoo"?
BE: I just heard about it recently. I guess they had a screening of it in L.A. a couple of nights ago. Let's see: Groucho Marx, in his last film role, plays a gang boss named God; Jackie Gleason takes an acid trip; Frank Gorshin is in it; Cesar Romero, Mickey Rooney.
DC: It's called "Skidoo?"
BE: "Skidoo." Harry Nilsson did the soundtrack, if you can get a bootleg of it.
DC: I can get it.
BE: I'm sure you can get it.
DC: I can get a bootleg of it. I'll find somebody. I'll make a little note.
BE: I've never actually seen it, but I've seen Carol Channing singing the closing theme song for the film.
DC: Wow. Did you ever see "The Oscar?" It had, uh…"I Left My Heart In San Francisco." That guy.
BE: Tony Bennett?
DC: Tony Bennett. Tony Bennett was in it. As my friend Sam describes it, “It doesn’t get really bad until after the third knife fight.” I feel kind of bad…I often feel bad about, like, making fun of these movies…like, when, in “View from the Top,” they were saying that Hell was being in Cleveland, I was sitting there with steam coming out of me, like, “Fuck you, man, fuck you!”So I was talking, like, “I’m going to find Harvey Weinstein and just, like, ‘Fuck you, man, you don’t think Cleveland’s…fuck you!”
If I met Gwyneth Paltrow at a party, I would just walk up to her, “Fuck you, making fun of Cleveland, you cocksucker. Fuck you,” because I was so mad. And then we saw “Boat Trip.” Have you seen it?
BE: No. But, clearly, I am going to have to after today.
DC: Rocking back in our seats, going, "Oh, my God." That's what happens in "Boat Trip." But I've been in movies, I've done things that are not so great. And I think, well, you know, I know what it's like to be in that kind of situation, where you're just, like, contractually bound.
BE: Yeah, but come on. He's in "Daddy Day Camp."
DC: Oh, are you talking about Cuba Gooding Jr.? Well, "Boat Trip" didn't sound good on the…like, just from the sound of it, but he got…but, yeah, that's what you think, you think, "Why would he do that?" But then you see his niece or whatever on that "Mommy or Daddy's Princess" show, on the chick channel on TV, whatever it's called, the one that's for women.
BE: WE? Lifetime?
DC: WE, yeah. They had a show called "Daddy's Princess" or something, and his niece is on it, and she's just, like, buying 80,000 bucks worth of dresses at a time and just, like, shopping away, and you're, like, "Well, no wonder he needs the dough; this chick's spending all of his dough!" And then you…my friend Sean is a real movie nut, so he's watching, he saw it, and…he just wouldn't leave! The credits are rolling and he's, like, "Let me see…that company is something in insurance, German finance, it probably helps sell a lot of DVDs in Europe," and we're e-mailing back and forth trying to find out how much went into this thing. So it was made for, like, $3 million, Cuba Gooding Jr. took all percentages, we heard, so we figured about…we keep track of the box office and DVD sales, we figure he made about $15 million out of that movie, at least. That's why he did it: $15 million bucks.
BE: And he probably got some similar deal for "Daddy Day Camp," too.
DC: That's right, or whatever. So you don't know why people make them, but I know me and my friends, we love to…like the Channel 101 thing, I've done a couple of Channel 101 things that are just, like, really stupid and awful, but you do them because they're a goof. So maybe Cuba Gooding Jr. or these people are thinking, "Well, we're just doing it for a goof and who gives a shit; if I want to do an Oscar movie I can, you know, so what the hell." So I've got nothing. I'm not trying to put people down, if they happen to come by your website. I'm not trying to make fun of anybody or put them down. I just think they make me laugh. Like "Pink Lady and Jeff" was clearly…I think Jeff (Altman) was probably real disappointed and hurt by the reviews, and you know…
BE: And that's the thing: I think he's hysterical. I've got his album, I'll Flip You Like a Cheese Omelette.
DC: Yeah, but you have to be able to…after you're the "Pink Lady and Jeff" guy, you've got to be able to go, "Oh, well." You get over it eventually, you know. Like when I was in the movie "Geppetto." Now, I still like "Geppetto," but everybody made fun of it and thought it was terrible.
BE: I've never seen it.
DC: Everybody said it was terrible, but I thought it was a good-for-kids movie and I would have done it again. I would have done it the same, I would have done…well, actually, I fucked it up in a couple of ways, but, you know, there's a lot of really good stuff in there. I've got no problem with it.
BE: A lot of critics have really good knowledge when they're not the right person to review a film; like, Roger Ebert knows to say…
DC: No, they don't.
BE: Well, Ebert's been known to say it.
DC: Yeah, but you said a lot of critics.
BE: OK, a couple of critics, one of whom is Roger Ebert…
DC: OK…oh, but wait! (adjusts himself in his seat, to prepare himself properly for the moment) OK, so this is "Boat Trip." Cuba Gooding Jr. has a fight with his fucking girlfriend, and they break up, so he's depressed. Him and his friend, Horatio Sanz, they decide to go on a cruise to meet women, but on the way into the travel agent…with a cameo by Will Ferrell, who's a travel agent…they cut somebody off for the parking space. "Asshole!" So they cut him off. So Will Ferrell goes, "Oh, I'll book the cruise. Here you go." And after they leave, another guy comes up behind Will Ferrell and goes (adopts intentionally-stereotypical gay voice) "You showed him, honey!" So, like, uh-oh, something is going to happen! (laughs) Then Horatio Sanz and Cuba are going up the gang plank, holding their tickets out, going, "Oh, my God, we're going to meet women," and they've got a bag over their thing; "There's going to be a lot of women on this cruise;" and all you see is, like, muscle dudes with leather hoods on and little shorts, like, as gay stereotypical as you can imagine…and they're on their way! They look down the ship, and there is a guy being led around by a leash. "Man, I can't wait to meet some women at the party tonight" They don't see any other chicks. A guy in drag bursts into the room from next door, and they think it's a chick, they don't even get it then! They finally get up to the…they're having a drink in the bar, nothing but dudes, all stereotypically gay dressed, and they're having drinks, and Roger Moore, who's in it, he comes up to them, and Roger Moore says something to the effect of, "Well, what do you expect on a gay cruise?" Gay Cruise?!?!? And they look around and they realize…and that's how it starts out.
BE: (laughs) Is there an actual spit take involved?
DC: I think so…but I'm not positive. But there is just one bad scene after the next. It’s unbelievable. There’s one in particular with the salsa instructor that will just…I’m telling you, will have you dropping to your knees and rolling on the floor, and it will be an evening with all your friends. You just want to program it and rip it into your computer, so you can mail it to all your friends.
BE: I'm totally ready.
DC: Yeah. You should watch it with other movie people. Don't watch it alone, or you'll be crying. You've got to watch it with other movie people, so you can go, like, "Oh, shit!" I did this with my nerd friends, and you'll watch all of the extras, you'll watch all the making-of…I mean, I watched all the making of B-roll where all the actors had to sit in the chair and come up with good things to say about the director. Oh, man, it was great.
Reporter: Are you talking about "Boat Trip?"
DC: Yeah. Have you seen it?
Reporter: I don't mean to interrupt you guys, but, yes, I have.
Reporter: In a good way or a bad way?
DC: "I'll be out in a minute," that scene? Wow. Jaw dropping.
Reporter: I can't believe you are so into this movie.
DC: My friend and I have been talking about it…my friend Sean and I, we want a movie that you can talk about after you see it. All we've done is talk about "Boat Trip."
Reporter: For how long? How many years now?
DC: Forever. And I'm sure these guys are, like, "Hey, we can make some money off of this." I've had it sitting around, I sold it, I'm making this…because, you know, they made shitloads.
Drew's Publicist: I don't mean to interrupt you guys, but I have got a long, long, line. Do you mind?
BE: Can I ask one more? And then I can be done. "The Drew Carey Show" on DVD: the documentary is great, but how come there aren't any commentaries?
DC: I don't know.
BE: They didn't ask you?
DC: Um…I didn't want to do it. (laughs)
BE: (laughing) You don't like talking about yourself?
DC: No, I don't. So maybe they didn't want me to. I'm not mad about it, but, y'know, it's part of my past now, and I didn't even want to do what I did, and I'm never going to do it again. But Bruce Helford was, like, "It's for the fans," so I went, "Oh, all right." But I don't know why. I thought Bruce was going to do commentary, so I don't know why he didn't. Nobody gives a shit, that's why.
BE: That's not true. I was very disappointed when there was no commentary.
DC: Thanks, I appreciate it.
BE: Is there anything that anybody would be able to do or say to get you to do another sitcom, or are you just completely out of the game?
DC: Oh, boy. You’ve got to have some Russian billionaire, Chelsea-team-owning money to get me to do another sitcom, man.
BE: Not much fun, huh?
DC: No, I loved it. I've just done it already.
DC: Alright, man. Look, it's been a real pleasure talking to you.
BE: Absolutely, check out our site.
DC: Okay I will. I've got it written down.