Drew Carey isn’t lacking for television jobs these days, but he’s taking on an additional one anyway.
It’s only for one night, though, and for a very specific occasion: April Fools’ Day. The host of CBS’ weekday game show staple “The Price Is Right” and Season 18 contestant on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” trades places with the host of CBS’ “The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson” as the former “The Drew Carey Show” co-stars preside over each other’s programs Tuesday (April 1).
The stunt is one that broadcast networks attempt every so often. A memorable instance was in 2003, when Katie Couric and Jay Leno swapped time periods on NBC for a day. Leno filled in for Couric in the co-anchor role she had then on “Today,” while she assumed his place on “Tonight,” opening monologue and all.
In the case of Carey and Ferguson, their skills might be a bit more evenly matched, though each still will have his challenges.
A big appeal of Carey as Bob Barker’s “The Price Is Right” successor is his interaction with contestants. His improvisational skills factor in, since he never quite knows what he’ll get when a player joins him – and improv certainly is something Carey knows well, also considering his “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” tenure.
The amiable Carey’s interactions with late-night guests on the Ferguson show, including show business legend Carl Reiner and veteran rocker Joan Jett, are likely to be harmless … though one might wonder how he’ll get along with Ferguson’s perpetually snarky skeleton-robot sidekick, “Geoff.”
Ferguson is famous for being edgy in his own right, and for his stream-of-consciousness thinking that often takes off-ramps from the typical highway of celebrity interviews. How that will work with players on “The Price Is Right” could prove intriguing, though Ferguson is smart enough to know the game is the thing.
For him, that doesn’t apply only to the April Fools’ Day tradeoff: Starting this fall, Ferguson also will host the syndicated weekday “Celebrity Name Game” – so to a degree, “The Price Is Right” is a trial run.
However he and Carey fare on each other’s stages, though, they’ll know they get to go back to their day (or night) jobs soon afterward.