Born on this day in Cleveland, Ohio, award-winning standup comic/writer Drew Carey (1958-) was the youngest of three sons. He attended Kent State and played the trumpet for their marching band.
When asked to describe his childhood, he told Entertainment Weekly, "Weirdo. Weirdo. Underachiever. Weirdo. Weirdo."
At age 22, the comic joined the Marine Corps Reserves (1980-86) and his life changed for the better. "The things I learned in the Marine Corps have stayed with me to this day. I hate being late. I'm very organized, and I'm not afraid to take responsibility for my own actions." He credits the Corps, self-help books, and his mom for inspiring his success.
"I'm fat, I'm pale, and I'm starting to grow hair on my back," he admitted in his autobiography Dirty Jokes and Beer (1998). "I always thought my friends were funnier than me."
As writer, producer, and actor of the popular ABC hit The Drew Carey Show, the bespectacled star played the average-guy personnel manager of a Cleveland department store. In the 1996-97 season, the quirky show averaged 17 million viewers.
"What people seem to like about the show is that we don't take ourselves that seriously," he explained.
Carey also produced and hosted the popular prime-time show Whose Line Is It Anyway, based on the British improvisational show.