Drew Carey is slipping into Cobb’s Comedy Club for two nights this weekend to “plan a stand-up comedy comeback,” he says, “like, start doing stand-up again.”
While Carey is always funny, it is true that he has been working on a wide range of other projects. He’s been hosting “The Price Is Right” since 2007.
That gig started right after finishing up eight seasons of hosting the improv hit “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” which completely overlapped with nine seasons of acting in his eponymous sitcom on ABC.
Last year, he produced 40 episodes of “Drew Carey’s Improv-A-Ganza,” which featured long-time pals Ryan Stiles, Greg Proops and Kathy Kinney, among others.
“Loyalty is one of my things,” he says. “They’re all friends of mine, so I want to hang out with them. The guys from ‘Whose Line’ are like, oh my God, those are the best dinner companions. They’re witty. They’re funny. They’ve always got a good story, lots of laughs. That’s who you want to be with at dinner.”
Lately he’s been dining with the folks from The Midnight Show, the sketch comedy group with which he is touring. The comic gang produces a new show monthly at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles and has gained acclaim for off-center YouTube videos such as “Drive Recklessly.” The show here is a “best of” hosted by Carey, with his solo stand-up as a second act.
Carey takes his funny business seriously. “Freud wrote a whole book about stand-up,” he says, before correcting, “well, not stand-up comedy, but about humor. In it, one of the important points that he makes is that a spirit of play has to be present for comedy to happen. Everybody has to know oh, this is playful, nobody’s gonna get hurt, we’re all feeling silly. If you don’t have that setting, then humor can’t happen.”
These days, Carey says his spirit of play is engaged by the likes of Chris Rock, Louis C.K. and Kevin Hart. “All those guys are really funny. I love ‘Tosh 2.0.’ Stuff like that makes me laugh.”
Laughing frequently, he does not seem to own a celebrity ID card. “I think I’m just like everybody else, except,” he says, “I just happen to have a different way to make a living than somebody else has.”
IF YOU GO
Where: Cobb’s Comedy Club, 915 Columbus Ave., S.F.
When: 8 and 10:15 p.m. Friday, 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. Saturday
Contact: (415) 928-4320, www.cobbscomedyclub.com