"The brilliant thing with picking Drew is that Drew is Drew," Richards said. "There is a reason Drew Carey is so successful. He is him all the time."
Game-show hosting can be a sweet gig: three-day workweeks, one week off a month and two months in the summer. He is happy to keep his commitment to the show open-ended. Carey uses his downtime now to write comedy and revive his stand-up act. After spending years on TV, people forget his roots: It was a sobering moment when he booked time at a comedy club and people called the manager wondering what Carey would be doing.
That would be telling jokes, thank you.
He said he found the job more rewarding than he anticipated.
"You have stewardship over an American institution," he said. "You get to keep it afloat and kind of reshape it a little bit. I could never have seen the things I would have liked about it when I first got the job. I knew it was going to be good, but you can't know when you first start how great it's going to be."
David Bauder can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter@dbauder. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/david-bauder