Moon over Parma, bring my love to me tonight.
Guide her to Cleveland, underneath your silvery light.
We’re going bowlin’ so don’t loose her in Solon.
Moon over Parma, tonight!
That, as sung by Drew Carey, was the original theme song for The Drew Carey Show, when it premiered in 1995. Since that time, it's had two other theme songs. The second theme song - Five O'Clock World - was launched during the second season of the show, and was performed by The Vogues. The third season brought us the next theme song, which is still in use. That theme song is Cleveland Rocks, which was originally written and performed by Ian Hunter, and covered by The Presidents of the United States of America. In recent seasons, the cavalcade of video clips during the show's opening has changed, and sound effects have been added, but the song remains the same.
The premise of The Drew Carey show is rather simple, and not that uncommon. Drew Carey is the central character of the show as well as the actor who plays him. He is a middle aged, overweight, middle manager who is forced to work in the same office as his arch-nemesis, the freakish, demonic, outrageously dressed and bemake-uped Mimi Bobek, who is portrayed brilliantly (after all these years) by Kathy Kinney. They work in administrative office of the Winfred-Lauder department store, where Drew has been struggling to get ahead for the past twenty years without much success. For most of the series, he was the Assistant Director of Personnel. The actual Director of Personnel was a vacant position, and try as he might, Drew could not get promoted. He is now, however, the co-store manager, sharing the title with his former boss, Nigel Wick (Craig Ferguson). During work hours Drew and Mimi would spend most of their time setting up elaborate pranks on each other, such as rigging an electric buzzers to each other's telephones, or putting things in each other's coffee.
When not in the office, Drew is almost always found in The Warsaw, which is a pub near Drew's home drinking beer and carrying on with his friends, or in Drew's house, drinking beer and carrying on with his friends. These friends are, in no particular order:
- Lewis Kiniski (Ryan Stiles): The weird one. Tall, gangly, reddish blonde hair - can be very scary/creepy if you were to meet him in person. On the show, however, he comes off as harmless, and almost lovable. He's a janitor at DrugCo, which is a mysterious corporation, and a virtual grab-bag of surrealism.
- Oswald Lee Harvey (Deidrich Bader): The dumb one. He's a delivery guy for a generic parcel delivery company. He's dumber than dirt - but a lot funnier.
- Kate O'Brien (Christa Miller): Tough girl. Kind of a tomboy, but feminine, and kind of (only kind of) loose. I am madly in love with her. She can't hang on to a job, so none is listed here. Former jobs include: assistant to Ms. Lauder; cosmetics cashier; caterer; house sitter; assistant shopper and some freelance work.
Kate O'Brien is now a defunct character. She got married and moved away. I almost cried. Her replacement is Cynthia Watros who will be integrated into this writeup when I get a better feel for her character. Currently she seems to be in some weird love-game with Drew where they both have feelings for each other, but either refuse to acknowledge it or don't want to make their relationship weird.
- Steve Carey (John Carroll Lynch): Drew's big brother. When he first appeared on the show, he was a cross dresser. He hit it off with Mimi, (considering her outright hatred for Drew, and his reciprocation of that hatred, Steve and Mimi's relationship is glistening with comic irony), and eventually they got married and had a son, King Gus. After about a season, Steve's cross dressing shtick was dropped, and was never mentioned again.
- Beula Carey (Marion Ross): That's right. Ms. Cunningham is now Drew's mom. She's still called Mrs. C. Get it?
There are a bunch of other characters on the show, like Drew's Dad, Oswald, Lewis and Kate's parents, and the transient significant others of each.
Personally, The Drew Carey Show is one of the few shows I'll go out of my way to watch. It's not set apart from other sit-coms by any distinctive premises, or uniqueness in any way. However, the writers must have the same sense of humor that I do, because I can't think of any shows in the series that I haven't laughed out loud at least one time.
There are several funny running jokes in the show. The primary one is - as I pointed out above - Drew's ongoing war with Mimi. Fat jokes and ugly jokes fly back and forth like ping-pong balls. Another one is how, Mr. Wick sits around in his office and dreams up hilarious methods of firing employees, whenever the store has to "downsize". An example: Mr Wick comes out of his office and calls out an employee's name. "Johnson! Come here!". Then he'll hold up his fists with the backs of his hands facing upward, and he'll tell Johnson, to pick a hand. Johnson will choose, and Mr. Wick will reveal the message contained within. On his palm he has written: "You're Fired!" As Johnson walks away, Mr. Wick reveals that he's not really that cruel. They both say "You're Fired!", as he reveals his other hand.
The show currently airs on ABC on Friday night at 9:30 PM, right before Drew Carey's other show Whose Line is it Anyway?.