Drew Carey going “Dancing with the Stars”

By Rich Heldenfels
Beacon Journal pop culture writer

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Drew Carey in a 2013 file photo. Carey is in the lineup of the new season on the Dancing with the Stars. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

When preparing a music video for his sitcom, Drew Carey once joked that “I only got into acting so I could be a dancer.”

He’ll get a much bigger chance to show his moves now. Carey is in the latest cast of Dancing With the Stars.

The former Clevelander and Kent State student will be paired with Cheryl Burke for the prime-time competition, which begins a new season March 17. Told he had done well to be teamed with Burke, Carey tweeted, “My thoughts exactly!”

Burke, a two-time DWTS champion, also tweeted, “So excited to have Drew as my partner,” along with photos of them together. In fact, Burke has had success dancing with a Drew before, winning the show’s second season in tandem with Drew Lachey. (She won again the following season with Emmitt Smith.)

While Carey has been known mainly as a comedian and, more recently, host of CBS’s The Price Is Right, he is no stumblefoot on the dance floor. His Drew Carey Show sitcom included several musical numbers over the years.

You could see him stepping lively to Cleveland Rocks (which also featured members of the Cleveland Ballet), What Is Hip, Five O’Clock World, Time Warp (in a dance-off against Shake Your Groove Thing) and a huge rendition of Brotherhood of Man from How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. That last number also featured Hal Linden, who besides being TV’s Barney Miller is a Tony Award-winning musical actor. (All those videos can be seen on YouTube and on the HeldenFiles Online blog.)

Carey also starred in the TV musical Geppetto in 2000; he was immensely proud of his work as the title character. When reviews were mostly negative, he vowed never to do another musical.

But he’s clearly ready to show his moves. And, considering how much he has talked about his Northeast Ohio roots, Carey should make you wish for an all-Ohio DWTS cast.

Imagine Carey going against Halle Berry, Yvette Nicole Brown, Tim Conway, Eddie McClintock, Steve Harvey, Ray Wise, Patricia Heaton, Carol Kane, Kym Whitley, John Lithgow and Dance Moms’ Cathy Nesbitt-Stein. That would be quite the dancing dozen.

And it would be an impressive contrast to the real cast for the new season. Besides Carey, it includes former hockey star Sean Avery, actress/author Candace Cameron Bure, ice-dancing gold medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White, actress/reality-TVer Nene Leakes, James Maslow of Big Time Rush, The Wonder Years’ Danica McKellar, swimmer Diana Nyad, Paralympian snowboarder Amy Purdy, singer Cody Simpson and movie legend Billy Dee Williams.

The show will premiere at 8 p.m. March 17 on ABC (WEWS-Channel 5).

Rich Heldenfels writes about popular culture for the Beacon Journal, in the HeldenFiles Online blog at www.ohio.com/blogs/heldenfiles, on Facebook and on Twitter @rheldenfelsABJ. He can be reached at 330-996-3582 or rheldenfels@thebeaconjournal.com.

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