U.S. Department of Defense

06/20/2024 | News release | Distributed by Public on 06/21/2024 18:11

Actor, Comedian Drew Carey Was Also a Marine

The Price Is Right
Host Drew Carey greets guest Air Force Master Sgt. Robin Brooks on a salute to the military on "The Price is Right" TV show in Burbank, Calif., Sept. 10, 2008. Brooks is the first sergeant for the Thunderbirds, the Air Force air demonstration squadron based at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
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Photo By:Courtesy of Drew Carey
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I went from not being able to afford to eat or clothe myself to getting three meals a day. I had an instant family. I had something to be proud of every day."
Drew Carey, game show host

Actor, comedian and game show host Drew Carey was also in the Marine Corps.

The year 1980 was a low moment in his life, Carey recalled. He'd just totaled his car, dropped out of college, lost his job and had gotten robbed.

Drew Carey
Then-Marine Corps Cpl. Drew Carey poses for a photo in the early 1980s.
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"I didn't have any job skills, really. I showed up at the recruiting office, and I joined the Marine Corps, and that was it," he told Ryan Haidet with WKYC-TV in a 2021 interview in Cleveland.

"I went from not being able to afford to eat or clothe myself to getting three meals a day. I had an instant family. I had something to be proud of every day. I was part of an organization with a history. I was accepted into this brotherhood of people that have done important things and stood for something," Carey said.

"Me, little Drew Carey from Cleveland, Ohio, that couldn't afford anything and was broke and had to mooch off my brother, was part of this thing. I didn't have to depend on anybody anymore, except the people around me. I was wanted and needed, and I never forgot ... what the Marine Corps taught me. They taught me to have pride in myself. They taught me to be responsible, to take care of people, all the good things you learn in the military that are great," he said.

From 1980 to 1986, Carey served as a field radio operator in the 25th Marine Regiment, a Reserve unit in Ohio.

Drew Carey
Drew Carey poses for his Marine Corps recruiting training graduation photo in 1980.
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By the time he received his honorable discharge in 1986 with the rank of sergeant, Carey had performed at comedy clubs in Cleveland and, later, Los Angeles.

Competition in a 1988 "Star Search" TV episode propelled him to national recognition, and his career took off when he did a successful stand-up comedy routine on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" in November 1991.

Shortly after that, he appeared on "Late Night with David Letterman." Then, from 1995 to 2004, he had his own TV sitcom, "The Drew Carey Show," set in his hometown.

Carey also nabbed gigs as a game show host. From 2007 to 2008, he hosted "Power of 10." Beginning in 2007, Carey became host of "The Price is Right," which he is still hosting.

Besides TV, Carey has also dabbled in films, including "Coneheads" in 1993, "The Big Tease" in 1999, "Robots" in 2005 and "The Aristocrats" in 2005.

Briefing
Air Force Staff Sgt. Andy Adducchio, left, briefs comedian Drew Carey at a forward-deployed location in Southwest Asia, Aug. 25, 2005. Carey entertained the troops there.
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Photo By:Air Force Tech. Sgt. Randy Mallard
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Celebrity Drew Allison Carey poses for a photo with sailors assigned to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis in Newport News, Va., Nov. 22, 2023.
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Comedian Drew Carey, center wearing hat, chats with troops in Southwest Asia at a forward-deployed location in Southwest Asia Aug. 25, 2005. Carey entertained the troops there.
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Apart from his TV and film career, Carey has always found time to spend with the troops at locations around the world. On Dec. 23, 2002, he visited service members at Camp Commando, Kuwait.

During that visit, he said the Marine Corps helped him in his career as a comedian.

"Being a Marine taught me how to work hard and not bitch and how to make the best out of every situation," he said.