Drew Carey Says 'Price Is Right' Contestants Often High or Drinking, Talks Mental Health, Longevity (2024)

Drew Carey Says 'Price Is Right' Contestants Often High or Drinking, Talks Mental Health, Longevity (1)

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With the retirement of 'Wheel of Fortune' host Pat Sajak, Drew Carey becomes the longest-running current host of a game show after he took over for Bob Barker in 2007 -- with no plans to retire.

Drew Carey loves what he does and has no plans to stop anytime soon. The longtime host of The Price Is Right, who took over in 2007 after Bob Barker's retirement, is now the longest-running current game show host.

As he enjoys his 17th year behind the long-stemmed mic, Carey opened up about how much he loves his job, some of the things he's noticed about a lot of the contestants, and why he changed up Barker's classic sign-off.

While chatting with TV Insider, he joked that a lot of the times when the contestants "Come on down!" they've already begun to celebrate. "That happens here all the time," he shared. "They’ll have a gummy, or I’ll smell alcohol on their breath. Not unusual."

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He then shared one particular guy who showed up "tripping on mushrooms." Carey said, "He came with a bunch of friends. He was a sketch [comedy] guy." Only Carey had no idea at the time -- at least about the sketch background; he was probably pretty sure this guy was on something.

"I found out later when I went to UCB [Upright Citizens Brigade] to hang out and they were like, ‘Did you see that guy who claimed to be a skateboarding rabbi?’" Carey recalled. "I asked him what he did for a living. And he goes, ‘I’m a skateboarding rabbi.’ He didn’t think he was going to get picked, and he totally tripped."

Carey also opened up about why he took it upon himself to tweak Barker's iconic sign-off that he continued for years and years. A true animal lover, Barker always ended his show by reminding his viewers "to spay and neuter your pets."

Carey still offers this sage advice to Price Is Right viewers, but he's put his added something additional that's meaningful to him. "Take care of yourself, especially your mental health," he says on the show. "It's so important. And I love you."

As for why he puts those words out there every day, Carey explained, "It’s important to me. I went through a rough couple of years, and I needed to put my mental health first. It was such a help for me to do that and not succumb to sadness or grief."

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He shared that with the help of his therapist and doctor, he learned how to "find tools to not go completely under. That’s all it is: tactics and tools you can learn to help your brain from not going down the drain."

"You can go into an addiction of feeling depressed and not knowing how to get out. You normalize it, or you normalize feeling bad about yourself," Carey added, explaining how easility it can be to slip into a dangerous place with your mental health.

"Life can be so much better with love, forgiveness, boundaries, speaking your mind, saying your truth, and living your truthful life," he said. "I feel better from being here. So I pass it along."

He also argued that there is still a stigma around talking about mental health, or acknowledging it even, with people not speaking out because "they don’t want to seem weak or overbearing or be called, “Oh, that guy’s being an a--hole. He’s stating his worth and won’t put up with something anymore. Why doesn’t he play along like everybody else?'"

Now that he's in a better place personally, Carey is clearly having the time of his life on what's become the longest job he's ever held. He spent nine years on his hit sitcom The Drew Carey Show and as host of Whose Line Is It Anyway? (with most of those years occurring simultaneously).

While he said he doesn't think about being the longest-tenured current game show host, he said, "I do have a goal: I want to keep going until I die." Despite that, he quipped that as he sits in his 18th season, "I've got to get the 35 and 41 so I can catch Bob Barker and Pat Sajak."

He said that while he used to worry about making it through the end of his contract, then considered five or ten years. Once he'd hit that mark, which surpassed his previous shows, he said, "Wow, that’s the longest I’ve ever had a job in my life. It’s such just a great part of my day, my year, my life. I can’t imagine giving it up."

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"I don’t like CBS to know that," he laughed. "But it’s going to be a few years ’til my next contract negotiation. So maybe forget I said this. I can quit anytime I want!"

That said, he says it's a very fun set to work on. He loves interacting with the contestants, saying, "They’re normal people that live normal lives. This is average America right here."

"Regular people are more interesting than celebrities. Honestly," he added. "They’ve all had their own problems to overcome and their own demons, to get their own special lives. I learn more from them than I do from anybody."

On top of that, he gets to join in with the audience and everyone there in rooting for the contestants to do well. "Everybody wants to see people win," he said. "They’re thinking, 'What would I do? How would I be in their shoes?' ... It’s not my money — it’s CBS’s money, and we’re all trying to take it together."

The Price is Right is currently in its 52nd season, airing weekdays on CBS, with regular primetime airings throughout the year, as well.

Drew Carey Says 'Price Is Right' Contestants Often High or Drinking, Talks Mental Health, Longevity (2024)

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