Drew Carey tools around the tree-lined lot at Disney Studios in his new black Miata convertible. His crew-cut defies the wind, but his 1954 Cleveland Indians replica jacket looks pretty good in the L.A. sun. He whizzes past Grumpy, Sleepy, Dopey and four other Seven Dwarfs (which are actually columns on the executive office building) and deftly maneuvers his way around the massive soundstages. He lurches to a stop at a plain gray trailer. It's here where his "development deal" with Disney has him writing the Patty Heaton/Gaby Hoffmann sitcom, "Someone Like Me."
"Drew! Dreeew!" 11-year-old Gaby rollerblades around the corner at alarming speed, stops with Olympic accuracy and whispers a nugget of set gossip into her pal's ear. Carey gives a deep staccato laugh. "See you after break," she chirps and skates off, pigtails and knapsack flapping in the breeze.
His car. That's the only thing that's changed since the 36-year-old Clevelander moved to Hollywood, made Johnny Carson laugh and landed himself on a sitcom. He's still John Lanigan's favorite guest. He still wears the Tribe jacket ("I never thought I'd see the day when you had to know somebody to get Indians tickets.") And his signature black suit and skinny tie, which he bought at a Lorain Road Salvation Army store near his mom's house in Old Brooklyn, remain his standard garb on stage. "I even have a Cleveland watch," he says. The glasses and hair are remnants of time spent in the Marine Corps Reserve.
"Don't I look like the guy in the Forest City Auto Parts sign?"
— from "Drew Carey's
Big Ham Sandwich," June 1994