A Friendly and Affable Fellow
Drew: Thanks. Thank you very, very much. You know, everybody kept asking and asking, ďWhen are you guys going to get married? When are you guys going to get married?Ē And donít take this the wrong wayóbut it wasnít a priority for Rose and me. We werenít going to have the traditional wedding. And so, to us, we could have just done it any time, anywhere, and we were actually thinking about going away to do it. And then her parents decided that theyíre going to be movingóRose has five other siblings. And Rose is also the only one left in New York. The others are spread out. Roseís parents are going to be moving closer to those siblings. So that kind of made us decide to do something right here at home and think of her parents.
miri: So is it kind of a relief? Or has the question of when you are going to get married been replaced with, ďWhenís the baby coming?Ē
Drew: Well, you know what? Not as many peopleóstrangers donít ask me when Iím going to have a baby. Strangers would come up to me and say, ďDid you get married yet? When are you getting married?Ē
Tribefan: Well, you got engaged in a very public way.
Drew: I know. I would think, do I even know you? Youíre asking when Iím going to get married?
miri: Weíve heard rumors that Kevin is about to get married. So, since youíve just been through this, do you have any advice for him?
Drew: You know what? He seems to have found a great girl. And, really, if you get lucky enough to find the right personófirst of all, I donít think I could give marital advice to anybody. And I say that because Rose and I are just really, really two of the luckiest people in the world to have met, because we have so much fun and we enjoy each other so muchóthere really should be a law against it.
Tribefan: We should all be so lucky.
miri: That sounds great. Weíve heard youíve had some problems with your back lately. Whatís up with that?
Drew: I got injured at work back in January, early January. There was a big brawl in the courtroom. Some victimís family members tried to attack the defendant as we were bringing him into the courtroom.
Tribefan: Oh my!
miri: Oh my gosh!
Drew: And as much as youíd like to let them attack him sometimes. I mean, he had murdered their daughteróallegedly, anyway. So, you know, they jumped over the rail and tried to attack him. We try to always be on our toes and always be ready for something like that to happen. But you just never anticipate like eight people jumping over and trying to get somebody. So it caught us off guard, and, just breaking it up, I got injured. I hurt my back.
Tribefan: Oh my. Howís it feeling now?
Drew: Not a whole lot better. But Iím going to be able to avoid surgery, they told me, which is a good thing.
miri: Oh, thatís good. You did like physical therapy for it or something?
Drew: Yeah. I did all the physical therapy and everything. And, now, Iím just about to go for those epidural injections. And, in fact, if I sound a little loopy nowówhich I do normallyóbut, if I do, itís because I have to take medicine for my back. I didnít have a meal of a half-pint of vodka or anything.
Tribefan: And the report is: Drew was drunk.
miri: Now, if it were Kevin, we would think . . . no. Just kidding.
Drew: That would be accurate.
miri: So, speaking of your partner in TV crime, how did you guys meet up? Because you guys met a long time ago, right?
Drew: Yeah. We met in September of Ď84. So itís now 21 years. I was a sophomore in college, and he was an incoming freshman, and he was pledging for the fraternity.
Tribefan: Did you get to haze him?
Drew: Yeah, I did. But I just genuinely didnít like him. That rarely happened to me with new pledges, like very rarely did I totally dislike somebody. And it was him and one of his other pledge brothers that I disliked, and now the two of them are my closest friends. So it goes to show you, you know, you never judge a book by its cover. You always got to give people a chance.
Tribefan: But what turned it around for you? If you didnít like him at first, what made you finally like him?
Drew: Well, I mean, just the fact that he pledged the fraternity, and he made it through that. That automatically creates a bond, even if youíre really not crazy about somebody. But we wound upónot purposelyóbut we wound up just hanging out together a few times early on and just kept going and going.
miri: So how did you guys hear about the first season of the Race? Because, of course, it hadnít been on TV before.
Drew: Yeah. Kevin read itóand I donít know. He probably read it first. But there were very small articles in the New York Daily News and the New York Post. And he read the one, I guess, that ran in the Daily News. And then he called me, and I had read the one in the Post. And I said, ďYeah, I remember reading something about that.Ē And we were both really big Survivor fans, but I had never even considered trying to get onto Survivor, because that whole voting-off thing just didnít appeal to me. Because I figured I would be the first person voted off. And I almost did apply for the very first Survivor. At the time, I was dating another woman, and I was telling her that, you know, itís something I would like to apply for. But with the voting, I probably wouldnít stand a chance. So I never applied. And then when The Amazing Race came out, we actually missed the deadline. And then, for some strange reason, Kevin was checking the site again like two or three weeks later, and they had extended it.
miri: So did you have really any idea what the show was about or what it was going to be when you applied for it? I mean, did you get information in the application?
Drew: It gave the basic premise, which is, you know, eleven teams of two are going to race around the world for a million bucks. I didnít know it would entail all that it did. I really didnít. It just said, you wonít be able to have any of your own money, stuff like that. Beyond that, there was no way you could have possibly imagined that it was going to be what it was.
miri: Do you think that made it harder for you guys than like subsequent seasonsí contestants because you just didnít know?
Drew: I think the degree of difficulty is always harder on any of these shows the first time around. But I really thinkóand I think a lot of people would agreeótheyíre making the tasks and some other stuff much, much more difficult now.
miri: Oh, you think so?
Drew: Yeah, I do. Like eating that four pounds of meat. We only had one eating thing, and that wasnít the worst thing in the world. The food was cooked. I mean, it tasted pretty crummyó
Tribefan: The thing in China?
Drew: óand the texture was horrible. Oh, and we ate the ostrich egg, which Iím sure youíre aware of, the infamous ostrich egg. We had to eat it raw, and I ate most of it. But they never aired that. And I think, at the time, they were trying to stay away from food challenges, because they didnít want to make it look like Survivor. But they seem to go over big all the time, so I guess thatís why they keep adding them. Like they had the one with the hot soup.
Tribefan: Yeah. We donít get it.
miri: I personally donít like them.
Drew: Yeah. Iím not crazy about them, either. I wish there were some other way.
miri: Looking back on the Race now, has your opinion of it changed a lot?
Drew: My opinion of what I did on the Race?
miri: Yeah. Just your feelings about it.
Drew: I think, as time goes on, if itís possible to feel more blessed and more lucky, as time goes on, thatís what I feel.
Drew: I mean, I knew, you know, the minute we opened the first clue and it said, ďYouíre going to Johannesburg, South Africa,Ē that was just such a surreal thing for me, that moment. I mean, Iím sure youíve heard that I had never done really any traveling other than cruises.
Tribefan: I think Kevin told us you had to go searching for your passport at the post office or something.
Drew: Yeah. They were looking for it in the middle of the night, actually. Because, at the time, I lived right near the GPO, general post office, and they stay open all night. So I wound up like getting the number to the back room and calling them.
Tribefan: They were cooperative. Thinking back on the Race, was there a task that, to this day, you think was your favorite thing that you got to do?
Drew: Easily it was the Victoria Falls thing. Even though we didnít bungee jump over the fallsóit was like a ravine right adjacent to the falls. But just that whole thing with Victoria Falls wasóI mean, you can see now, looking back on it, that they wanted to make an impact, the very first episode of a brand-new show. And I donít think theyíve shown anything more spectacular yet. Maybe the pyramids.
Tribefan: Oh, that was impressive.
Drew: Which is something that we thought we were definitely going to go see, and thatís the only thing I really regret that I didnít get to see.
miri: So youíre the most jealous of the stuff they got to do at the pyramids?
Drew: Yeah. Just because they have to be incredible. And, you know, I love looking at tremendous, beautiful stuff that seems as if itís impossible that somebody builtóby hand, no less.
miri: With all the history with it and everything.
Drew: Yeah. The glider for me was also something really, really awesome.
Tribefan: It was quite awesome for us watching you do it, as well.
Drew: You feel like a bird, literally. You know, the first thing youíre expecting is to hear noise. But you donít hear any noise. You know? Every time youíre up in the air, you hear an engine. When you go up in this thing, thereís nothing. Itís just you and like whatever wind is up there. And itís incredible. Itís really beautiful.
miri: And the string navigation system.
Drew: Yeah, the strings. Right. We actually watched that episode a couple of weeks ago when we were doingóI donít know if you heardówe did some voiceover for the release of the DVD.
Tribefan: That was one of the episodes for which you got to voiceover?
Drew: Yeah. We watched that episode.
Tribefan: Oh, cool.
Drew: That was a lot of fun. Yeah. I hadnít watched it much since it was on, to be honest with you. Iím saving it for something real special. Maybe when the DVD comes out, Iíll watch it all again.
Tribefan: Yeah. Weíre planning a DVD-watching party when it comes out.
Drew: Oh, thatíll be fun. Thatíll be a lot of fun.
Tribefan: A marathon.
miri: You know, it seemed as if, as the Race was getting started, they were trying to portrayóor trying to hint that you and Kevin might be the ugly Americans. And they had you as the frat brothers, you know, the bald-headed, big, kind of burly frat brothers. Did you ever have any concerns that that might happen as you were going around the world, that you might have an ugly moment?
Drew: You know what? Thatís what we thought. Thatís exactly what we thought was going to happen. And I even wrote on our applicationóthey ask at the end if thereís anything you want to add. And I really wrote it because I believed it. Now, looking back on it, I think thatís probably one of the reasons they even interviewed us. But I wrote that I thought Kevin and I might be the team that America was either going to hate or love. And I really thought that they would hate us.
Drew: Yeah. Thatís what I truly thought. And thatís why I wrote that on the application, because I knew there would be no middle ground. And I really thought people wouldnít take a liking to us at all.
miri: Were you surprised when everyone did take a liking to you?
Drew: Yeah. When I watched it, Iíll be the first to admit, even editing helps us. I mean, they could have picked some other things to air, and Iím sure I said things that might not have been so appealing to everybody who was watching, you know? But maybe they chose not to air those for a reason. I think what they do is, from the audition tapes and your one-on-one interview that they videotape, I think they start to develop the characters from there. You could see that thatís how they select themóyou know, this crazy couple thatís always fighting, or this is going to be this one, or this will be that one.
Tribefan: As you were actually watching the show, did what you were seeing surprise you? Because you donít always know whatís going on with the other teams and stuff. Was there any moment that surprised you that you had no idea had happened?
Drew: There was somethingóI mean, we wound up hearing about pretty much everything that mattered, even if we didnít get to see it with the other teams. We heard about it at the Pit Stop or towards the end of the Race. You hear about all that stuff. So like I couldnít believe when Pat & Brenda got eliminated. Somewhere along our route, we had heard that they went to the wrong place. And I donít remember how we heard it, but I was really, really surprised at that. And I was surprisedóI think the biggest surprise that hit me during the Race was that Lenny & Karyn didnít go to the Vatican. I donít know if you guys have heard this story.
miri and Tribefan: No.
Drew: Supposedlyóand I donít even know how accurate the timeline would beóbut the Fast Forward said, I think, to go to the Vatican. And they got that clue at like 1:00 in the morning, I think, so they didnít go. But the Vatican is open around the clock. And they waited ítill morning. And, if you remember, we were all at the hoof or the clue was to find the hoof and the other thing?
miri: I canít remember what the other thing was now.
Tribefan: I know. Iím going, oh, thatís the big foot.
Drew: Yeah. The foot. So, I think the producers were talking about it, or someone said it. So I donít know for sure. But I think they would have had a really, really huge, huge lead on everybody. Like it might have been too much to overcome. Nobody ever substantiated that, soó
Tribefan: Right. We didnít see a Fast Forward in that leg. So there was one, and nobody used it.
Drew: Well, there was one, I think, every single leg.
Tribefan: Thatís true. Back then there was, yeah.
miri: Was there any smack any of the other teams talked about you that you were surprised to see when you watched the show?
Drew: No. I wasnít surprised by anything. I really wasnít. I actually expected more, because Kevin and I, when you first meet us, I think it could beóI donít know. Some people kind of get a little culture shock or whatever. Even when Rose first saw how I would interact with Kevin and my friends, she was like, ďThese are your friends?Ē
Tribefan: You like these people?
Drew: Yeah. I guess people really have to warm up to it.
miri: Yeah. I know there was a lot of controversy when you made the joke to Bill, I think, about breaking his legs or something.
miri: And then Bill seemed to take that seriously later, even though he didnít seem to take it seriously at the time?
Drew: What happened was I think they were needing to dramatize the whole thing that happened at the airport, because they knew they did the wrong thing. So I think they were trying to deflect some stuff by saying, well, he threatened to break my legs. And those parole officersóhe didnít even get the job right.
miri: And that really seemed likeóup until then, the impression that we were given via the editing was, yes, you guys were competing. But people were pretty much getting along with each other and, you know, playing the game. But that really seemed to change the attitude or the feeling of the game after that whole Guidogate thing. Was that a good perception on our part or was it reallyó?
Drew: Yeah. I think what had happened was the producers and everybody involved wanted or were expecting a lot more interpersonal drama and conflict, you know, because it had worked so long on Survivor. But they realized afterward, and thank goodness they stuck with the show, that itís really not that kind of show. It can be, and, believe me, I believe that they encourage that kind of stuff. I donít know that they encourage it to the extent Jonathan was giving them. I really donít think they encourage that.
Tribefan: I think that even surprised them.
Drew: Right. I donít think they would discourage it, though, you know.
Tribefan: You mentioned the DVD earlier, and weíre all looking forward to its release. Is there anything you can share with us that wonít get you in trouble?
Drew: Yeah, sure. Thereís a tentative date, but, you know, they could always push it ahead or move it back.
Tribefan: Well, obviously, they had you guys in to do some voiceover work. So we can expect some extras, which is a very good thing.
Drew: Yeah. We were there for a couple of hours. And, at one point, they did a sort of video interview. So youíll see us now in todayís day being interviewed. And, actually, some of the questions were similar to what youíre asking. So thereíll be some of that stuff on there. And then we did voiceovers on episode 1 and episode 6.
Tribefan: Oh, great. So theyíll be interspersing you throughout the action, then.
Drew: Yeah. They didnít ask us for anything on the finale, soóon our finale, our last episode.
Tribefan: Iím surprised, because, between you and the Guidos, that episode was all about you two.
Drew: I know. I thought that thatís what they were going to do, but they said, we only need 1 and 6.
miri: So they didnít ask you if youíd learned how to say ďsouth gateĒ in Chinese?
Drew: Yeah. Right. South gate.
Tribefan: We talk about it now, because of how painful it was to watch you guys be eliminated. But it would have been much more painful, we think, to watch you get the bad news in Alaska the way the Guidos did.
Drew: Oh, and Kevin and I found that out like literally immediately after we got eliminated. I turned to one of the producers, and I said, ďThereís no way we could have won, right?Ē And he said, ďNo. Thereís no way.Ē
Tribefan: You were pretty far behind, yeah.
Drew: Yeah. So we knew right there Joe & Bill couldnít win.
Tribefan: And, since you couldnít win, it was great storytelling the way it wound up.
Drew: Yeah. And the other thing, Kevin and I got to spendówe didnít get flown to the sequester city. They put us up in like a beautiful five-star hotel in Beijing and gave us, you know, a decent amount of money for two or three days: more than we needed. And we went shopping. We went out to dinner. And we justó
Drew: Yeah. What itís like to go from The Amazing Race pace and then, for weeks after, you feel like youíre in a rush to go somewhere or you have to wake up or you have toóitís really odd.
Tribefan: Youíre running on pure adrenaline all that time and fighting the clock andó
Drew: Right. And then the first night in the hotel in Beijing, I think we slept like 16, 17 hours.
Tribefan: I can imagine. Iím sure youíve watched all the seasons since yours. Have there been any that you think were particularly good or were your least favorite seasons?
Drew: Which oneóyou know, I canít even keep track of them. There was oneónot the last one. The one with Charla & Mirna, I really, really loved.
Tribefan: That was season 5.
miri: And thatís when you were doing your commentary on Cold Pizza, too, right?
Drew: Right. Right. Iím trying to think if it was the third one that I didnít think was very good. Which was the one with Flo & Zach? The third?
miri: The third one.
Drew: Yeah. I mean, I donít think I was crazy about that one, and not because of them. I justóI donít remember it standing out in my head. And I donít even know who won 4. The Clowns won the fourth one, right?
Tribefan: No. The Clowns, they were kicked out in your fourthó
Drew: Oh, the fourth one.
Tribefan: Reichen & Chip won.
Drew: Oh, thatís right. Thatís right. And I actually missed about half of those episodes. And I didnít even get a chance to watch it on tape.
miri: Well, thatís one of my least favorite seasons, so I think you picked a good one.
Drew: Thatís one of your least favorites?
miri: Yeah. Season 4.
Tribefan: After the Clowns got eliminated, I donít thinkóI know I didnít care who won after that. Did not care.
Drew: Oh, okay.
Tribefan: So, yeah, I had no vested interest in who won that one.
Drew: And this one Iím enjoying, too.
Tribefan: Yeah. This one is fun.
miri: When you see the new cast list come out, do you kind of sit there and go, okay, which ones did they cast to be the substitute Frat Brothers this time?
Drew: You know what? It seems like theyíre always doing it. So I guess itís just like a big compliment to Kevin and me. I think itís neat that they do it.
Tribefan: I think theyíre always looking for another Kevin and Drew.
Drew: Or maybe, you know, theyíll get lucky again. I think those other two guys would have been good, but they got eliminated first last season.
Tribefan: Oh, Avi & Joe?
Drew: Yeah. They were really witty. I saw their audition tapes, their interview.
Tribefan: Oh, yeah?
Drew: Yeah. Because CBS, I think, had usóoh, no. CBS sent it to ESPN for us so we could watch them. Because we told CBS that we were going to do the commentary on ESPN.
Tribefan: Oh, okay.
Drew: So, yeah, they were actually really witty. They were pretty funny in their interview tape. And plus theyíre New York guys. I was hoping for them to do better. I was actually very surprised that they got eliminated first.
Tribefan: I think a lot of their cohorts from that season say the same thing: They were really funny guys, and we would have enjoyed them had they been able to hang around.
Drew: Yeah. Because I saw like 20 minutes of their tape, so I got to see a lot of them.
Tribefan: What do you think of all these rule changes theyíve implemented the last couple of seasons, with the Yield and the non-elimination stripping of the money?
Drew: You know what? I think coming in last is enough of a penalty. I donít know that they need to strip you of your money. But, somehow, some way, something tells me that there might be some production involved in the way people get their money back, because, you know, theyíre taking your money in a place where the people around you have zero money. You know? And everyone always seems to get like a hundred bucks in five minutes. I donít know. I never asked anybody how long it actually took them to get the money. But it seems like everybody gets money really fast.
miri: Well, I know the Racers Iíve interviewed have said it especially depends on what country theyíre in. And I know that Colin & Christie said that they got theirs really fast, no problem. And the same with Linda & Karen, the bowling moms.
miri: They said they ran into a tourist business, and she just went on the bus and said, ďPlease, give me some money!Ē And everyone was, ďOkay!Ē
Drew: Yeah. Because when we went, I mean, they didnít take your money. But we werenít allowed to tell people that we were in a race. You know, they made us tell them thatóif anyone asked, we had to say we were filming a travel documentary.
Tribefan: Yeah. Everybody says, ďRace,Ē all the time now.
miri: Yeah. ďRaceĒ and ďcompetitionĒ and ďa million dollarsĒ andó
Tribefan: ďHurry, we have to beat them,Ē and . . . it just surprises us.
Drew: I think tourists and people in these countries are actually familiar with it, anyway. Now, if you see Americans running around like crazy, what else are you going to think?
Tribefan: Thatís true.
miri: So what do you think of the Yield?
Drew: You know what? I think it should beóthere are only two of them, and I think maybe there should be a couple more.
miri: I think fifth seasonó
Drew: But there are only two, right?
Tribefan: I think there are three. The first season they did it, I think there was one every leg. We just didnít always see it. But, now, theyíve whittled it down to just a couple of them.
Drew: Yeah. I think it helps if there are a couple more. I like it, though. Itís interesting.
miri: Would you have yielded a team?
Drew: Oh, sure. If I could have, yeah, I would have. I see no reason why you donít yield somebody unless itísóI really donít. If itís there, I think you should use it. When we were there, if Nancy & Emily had been behind us, and they had been the only ones behind us, I wouldnít have used it. But, if we were very close to each other and we were racing to the Pit Stop or something, and it was very close, then I would have had to have used it.
Tribefan: Yeah. Itís nothing personal.
Drew: Right. Thatís why, when they didnít use it on Rob & Amberó
Tribefan: That was just stupid.
miri: My favorite, though, is when Ron turns to Rob: ďShould we use the Yield?Ē
Tribefan: ďOh, I donít think so.Ē
Drew: And I love Rob. Heís great. Weíve become friends with him and everything. And so itís nothing against him when I say that I canít believe. People have now seen him twice on these shows.
Tribefan: Yeah. And they still donító
Drew: And they still donít get it. They actuallyóso God bless him, because, let me tell you, if he can convince these people that heís not going to screw themóI donít see how any of them listen.
Tribefan: Yeah. Itís like some kind of gift. I donít know. What do you think of the cross-casting of bringing the people in from Survivor, and, last year, when they did the Big Brother contestant?
Drew: I didnít thinkówell, she got eliminated like right away.
Tribefan: Yeah, thankfully.
Drew: So thatís kind of a waste. And that could have happened to Rob & Amber, and then it would have been a waste. And Iím not a big fan of it. I donít think The Amazing Race needs to get contestants from other shows. You know, I donít think it helps the ratings very much.
Tribefan: Yeah. I agree.
Drew: I know this season theyíre getting a little better ratings than last season, but I just think thatís because last season was very good.
Tribefan: I think itís just gotten some momentum, finally.
miri: Right. And CBS really seems to be advertising it a lot more.
Drew: Yeah. And theyíre not messing around with the time slot. You know when itís on. So Iím not for it, but Iím happy for Rob & Amber, because Iím friends with both of them, Kevin and I are. So Iím really happy for them. I think that it was more CBS wanting them on. You know, Iím sure they wanted to go on the show.
Tribefan: But Iím sure CBS jumped at the chance, though.
Drew: Of course they did, because theyíre going to be supposedly airing the wedding, and this is a way ofó
Tribefan: Oh, absolutely.
miri: Iím sure they saw it as a win for both sides.
Drew: Right. Right.
miri: So how frustrating or how scary was it for you guys? Because, not too long after your season started airing, September 11th happened. And I know that you were working down there at Ground Zero for a little bit, helping out. And you just had so much bigger things on your mind. At the same time, youíre going, is this ever going to air? I mean, did that just immediately even go out of your head for a while oró
Drew: That was just one of the more difficult periods of my life. I lost coworkers. I lost my best friend from childhood.
miri: Oh, my gosh.
Drew: I had other friends who died there. And so it was just so difficult, because, you know, the show was on TV. And everybody knew that, and all of our other fraternity brothers were watching it. And one of our otherówe have a lot of fraternity brothers who are firemen, and, miraculously, none of them got killed that day.
Tribefan: Thatís good.
Drew: So, how that happened, I donít know, because thereís probably like 15 or 20 of them. And itís some strange miracle that some of them were off that day and things like that. But that was just real difficult: To go to work every day, and then myself and the guys at work went down there every night. When we got off work, we would go down there and dig, except Wednesday nights, you know? But I got an e-mail from one of our fraternity brotherís wives. He was apparently totally distraught about losing coworkers and friends and everything. And she said that the only thing that he laughed at or smiled at all that time was when he would watch us on TV. So that made us feel really, really good.
miri: Yeah. Because I canít imagine the tug of emotions that was going through you, because you want to be excited, because this thingís on TV, but at the same time, youíre just reminded of what little that means. You know?
Drew: Yeah. Exactly. And, like you said, youíre supposed to be happy, because itís probably the biggest thing thatís going to happen in your life. Yet there were days when I was going to funerals and things like that. You know, every day you got to get dressed in your dress blue uniform and go to another funeral. It was really just horrible.
miri: Well, Iím sorry. I didnít mean to bring things down.
Drew: No, thatís quite all right. Thatís quite all right, because it happened, and itís not something that Iím going to say, you know, ďThatís it; I never want to talk about it in my life.Ē Because it happened. It helps me remember my friends and my coworkers, too.
miri: Well, maybe we ought to talk about something a little more pleasant.
Drew: All right.
miri: So how did the Kevin and Drew Unleashed thing come about?
Drew: Discovery got hold of us, I think, through CBS. They watched the Rosie segments, the boy Thomas in the wheelchair.
miri: Right. It was ďTo the Rescue,Ē right?
Drew: Right. Which is apparently one of the better things that we did with that one segment for Rosie. That was awesome. But they saw that, and they wanted to make a show around that idea. And I donít know if youíre aware of it: The very first pilot we shot was kind of in that vein.
miri: Oh, more going out and helping someone?
Drew: Yeah. But the production company they hired, I donít think they really had the grasp of what they were supposed to be capturing with Kevin and me. So I didnít like the pilot at all. And when it tested in Vegas, it tested okay, I think they said. But I guess Discovery thought that it could be a lot better. So thatís when they went out and hired this other guy, Craig Piligian, who does American Chopper [and who did Survivor 1, 2, and 3], and they came up with a totally different concept, which was basically a travel show, and Kevin and I having a lot more freedom to do what we wanted to do. Because, in the first pilot, they were like telling us what to do and telling us what to say.
Tribefan: Oh, no.
Drew: And it just was not a good fit at all.
miri: Well, I mean, first of all, youíre not actors.
miri: And thatís not where your skills lie.
miri: And so they should take advantage of what you have to bring.
miri: And I know there was a big delay between when you guys filmed that and when it aired. Do you have any ideaóI mean, was the network happy with it? Or was it just difficulty getting it scheduled in or getting it on oró?
Drew: The one that aired, youíre talking about?
Drew: They were very, very happy with it. And thatís why, to this day, Kevin and I are a little annoyed, because they didnít deliver what they said they were going to deliver. You know, it was supposed to be on on a different day. The time was okay, but it was originally supposed to be a March launch, then a May launch. And then all of a sudden they put us on like July 4th week, when nobodyís watching television.
Drew: They sandwiched us. Each week it wasóthe first week, I think it was Hitlerís Bunker and then us. Anyway, that was on 40 times. The next one was the Korean Airlines flight and then us. And that was on for the 40th time.
miri: It was like, even when you went to their website, you couldnít find anything about it.
Drew: I know. I know. They did zero advertising. And they said, ďWell, we donít doóĒ itís very odd, Iíve learned. Itís very odd the way it works in television. You would think the squeaky wheel gets the grease. But the squeaky wheel gets no grease and just rusts away, and you see all the promos for Survivor, and you sit and wonder, how come they need all these promos? But their philosophy is just keep banging away and force-feed this show thatís getting great ratings. Just force it down everyoneís throat even more. Because it only takesólike for CBS, Survivor, CSI, and Everybody Loves Raymond, but now they also have Without a Trace thatís doing pretty well. But, basically, Survivor, Raymond, and CSI, they pay for all the networkís failures. And you guys know, for every successful show, thereís like 500 failures.
Tribefan: Oh, yeah.
Drew: Those three shows carry the network and deliver all the profit. So you wonder, does Survivor really need to advertise during the NCAA tournament? No. A show thatís not getting any ratings needs to advertise on that.
Tribefan: Yeah. Thatís always been our complaint about The Amazing Race. They always seem to promote Survivor to death, when everyoneís always watching it, and the Race wasnít getting nearly the attention.
Drew: Right. But thatís their philosophy. They donít want to spend money on something thatís a question mark or, you know, thatís doing so-so. They just want to let it do what it can on its own. And we told Discovery, listen, between The Amazing Race and Rosie, and, even if you eliminate the crossover audiences, thereís probably like 15 million people who know who Kevin and I areójust let them know that weíre on your network.
Tribefan: Well, considering cable audiences are relatively small, and anything they can bring over from a network attraction should make sense.
Tribefan: But, no, they obviously didnít use you guys the way they should have.
Drew: Right. And our ratings werenít bad. They werenít very good. But Kevin and I had nothing to compare them to. In other words, we wanted to see what the show that was on the same exact week and the same exact time did last year.
Tribefan: Right. And thatís the only measure you can use.
Drew: Right. You can only measure it in context. And those numbers are like impossible to get. Those numbers are very closely guarded, and any companies that have them, theyíre paying for that service, and they donít give all their employees access.
Tribefan: Yeah. And a lot of cable networksóIím in media, so I know a little about thisó
Drew: Oh, okay.
Tribefan: A lot of cable networks donít even have ratings by show. I mean, because even likeóI advertise on HGTV, and they canít tell me the ratings for particular shows.
Drew: Right. They can only give you the numbers for the night.
Tribefan: Yeah. And for the network itself. And itís kind of frustrating.
Tribefan: But, yeah, youíre right. They probably have some measure. Theyíre just not sharing it.
Drew: Right. So when they gave us our ratings, I couldnít even say, ďOkay, well, what did our lead-in do?Ē You know, if we did better than our lead-in, then we did really well, because the lead-in was a repeat of Hitlerís Bunker. And I donít think itís the same audience for us and Hitlerís Bunker.
miri: Yeah. You donít have all that traditional measure of: Do you build from the previous show? Do you lose halfway in? All that kind of stuff.
Tribefan: Iím actually going tomorrow morning to the Discovery Networkís up-front presentation. Iíll have to ask them, whatever happened to that Kevin and Drew show?
Drew: Youíll probably get our executive produceró
Tribefan: Some blank stare.
miri: So you donít think thereís a chance theyíre going to make any more of them?
Drew: No. And Discovery, unfortunately, they own everything thatís on their network. So like even American Chopper couldnít go shopping to another network. Discovery assumes ownership of everything. At least Survivor, if CBS dumped it, they probably couldnít bring it back to another network, either. But if CBS didnít want it any more, they probably could. You know, there might be something where theyíd have to wait a little while, butó
Tribefan: Yeah, youíre right. Discovery and HGTV and other networks, they own all their ownóthey control all their programming.
Drew: Right. So, I mean, it was such a broad idea anyway that we could take some pieces of it. Because we have like 50 show ideas submitted to us or on our behalf for us. And they would all basically contain that same element of ďfish out of waterĒ thing. So we still have them sitting here, and weíre very free to shop those and do stuff like that. I donít really have it in me any more to keep going.
miri: Well, itís got to be difficult, too, because itís not like you donít have a full-time job youíve got to do. And trying to balance that has got to be very difficult.
Drew: It is. Itís very difficult. That was probably one of the other things I think the people at Discovery didnít like. And we were told in the very beginning, too, that the entertainment world wants you at their beck and call. You know, they like out-of-work waiters and people like that, because theyíre willing to do anything. We turned down some stuff or we told them it wasnít enough money for certain things, because, the more I take off work at my job, you know, I lose money taking off work. Itís not like, oh, youíre going on TV, and, if you make a thousand bucks, well, itís all profit. No. What about the two weeks I took off or whatever? So they didnít like the fact that Kevin and I would say no, or weíd say, ďWeíre not available now.Ē And we warned them ahead of time. At every meeting we went to, we would tell everybody, ďHey, listen. Weíre not two guys who are waiting tables here. We have careers, and weíre willing to put our careers aside. The minute somebody makes a commitment to us, weíre willing to put our careers on hold for at least a year.Ē So they knew that going in. But we made it clear to them that, if we donít get any commitment, our first commitment is obviously going to be to our careers and our lives. So Discovery, they wanted everything for a three-episode thing, and thatís no commitment. Thatís no money compared to the money Kevin and I make.
Drew: And they said, ďOh, sometimes you guys are difficult to work with, because you can only shoot at this time.Ē And we said, ďListen, if you want us all to yourselves, just tell us you want to do 10, 13 episodes, 15 episodes, and Iíll go in to work tomorrow and tell my captain Iím taking off for a year.Ē But they only want to work it one way, their way.
Tribefan: Their way. Right. That would be a one-way street.
Drew: Really. They could care less about you. It doesnít matter how nice a person you are. And you could be the biggest asshole in the world. But, if youíre getting ratingsóyou could be the most difficult son of a bitch to work with, but, if youíre getting ratings, theyíll kiss your ass. Thatís whatís funny about Hollywood.
Tribefan: And sad.
Drew: Yeah, very sad. And you know who the first one to tell us that was? Michael J. Fox. He told us, he said, ďYou know what? Donít be afraid to say no to people.Ē He said, ďIn fact, if you say no, theyíll probably want you even more.Ē
Tribefan: Well, that was some good advice.
miri: Yeah. That was a neat story about he wanted to meet you guys, right?
miri: So what is the coolest thing that has happened to you because of The Amazing Race? Is there one thing you can pick out?
Drew: Itís so hard. But if I had to give you one answer or two answers, it would probably be the fact that Michael J. Fox looked for us and found us at CBS. And the other thing was probably getting to present that Peopleís Choice Award. I donít think you ever forget standing on the stage and looking down, and Tom Hanks is looking at you. Julia Roberts is looking at you. The cast of Friends is looking at you.
miri: Were you nervous? I canít imagine.
Drew: Oh, no. And some peopleóthe guys at work all saw that I wasnít nervous, and they said, ďHow could you not be nervous?Ē Kevin was fidgeting, but we were not nervous at all. We were just so, so like in a fantasy world, that I really kept saying, I canít believe this. Because I actually felt bad that I was there, because I said I didnít even belong there. I said to myself, I was like, I almost feel guilty being here, because I donít belong here.
Tribefan: They thought you did. Is there anything else on the horizon for you guys? Any more commentary on ESPN or anything like that?
Drew: Weíve submitted a show that we kind of created. Weíve submitted that to ESPN. I donít know if weíll ever hear anything from them. I guess all the networks now are getting so many pitches thatóyou know, they used to field phone calls, maybe. Now itís just like, okay, you have to mail your pitch to such-and-such, and youíll hear back from us in about three months. And we even had friends over there, and they said, ďAbsolutely, ESPN will only accept pitches through the formal process.Ē Like you canít give it to your friend and say, ďCould you put it on so-and-soís desk?Ē Because I think they were having problems there with their internal people, and it created maybe the look of impropriety when there really wasnít. So they created this process. And, now, I think a lot of the networks subscribe to it. So I donít know if weíll ever hear from them, but Iímó
miri: Weíll keep our fingers crossed.
Drew: I had the most wonderful four years ever, so Iím really content. I mean, I really believe it could have lasted if things were done differently.
Tribefan: Oh, I donít doubt it.
Drew: But Kevin and I, we talk about it all the time, and I tell him, and I always tell Rose, and I tell my parents, I say, ďListen, I donít believe itís through any fault of our own. We gave it our best shot, and you know what? Even what we accomplished, how many people could say they even had their own show on TV?Ē
miri: Oh, yeah.
Drew: Especially if you never tried.
miri: And a TV show that was well received, too.
Drew: I know. I know.
miri: You got a lot of good critical reviews and stuff of the show.
Drew: I know. Thatís the thing. But itís happened before in television. You get these showsósome of the real good-quality shows have gone off the air, unfortunately. I canít name them right off the top of my head, but Iím sure you guys could name like a handful right off the top.
Tribefan: Oh, yeah. Just because somethingís gone doesnít mean it wasnít any good. Thatís just the nature of the business, unfortunately.
Drew: Right. Right.
Tribefan: But youíll always be a celebrity to us.
Drew: Thank you. And, you know what? Thatís the other thing. I donít know if I really would have been that receptive to being more of a celebrity than I currently am, if people want to say that, becauseóI donít know. It can beódonít get me wrong, Iím not complaining about itóbut it can be overwhelming a bit at times, you know?
Tribefan: Iím sure, and intrusive.
miri: Youíve kind of got a good balance of it, some of the benefits without all the drawbacks.
Drew: Right. And it can be stressful. It really can. And even if itís good stress, good stress is still stressful.
Tribefan: Thatís true.
Drew: And I really donít know. Like you said, intrusive, but I really donít know that I would have been comfortable being any more of a ďpublic figureĒ than I am now, you know? As it is, every time I go to Costco, someone still comes up to me. When I went to Mexico, someone recognized me. When I went to the Dominican Republic, somebody recognized me.
Tribefan: Well, see, how many teams in seven seasons of the Amazing Race can still say that, though?
Drew: I know.
miri: If you just had a wig, that would probablyó
Tribefan: [Laughs] A little incognito disguise.
Drew: Yeah. Believe me, itís very flattering, I talk to everyone who comes up to me. But I think the level it was at and the level itís currently at is just fine with me. Any further, and I can see how it can become real, real difficult. I mean, it would have been nice maybe to make more money in the business so Rose and I could be a little more comfortable or have a couple more comfort items. But weíre happy.
Tribefan: Thatís good.
Drew: So itís not like my life depended upon succeeding in show business.
Tribefan: You have a good attitude about it all.
Drew: Yeah. Iíve talked with a lot of people about that and everything. So I always try to keep it in perspective.
Tribefan: Well, thatís great. Any chance weíll see you at TARcon on the 10th?
Drew: Itís May 10th?
Tribefan: Itís May 10th, yes.
Drew: Is it a Tuesday?
Tribefan: Itís a Tuesday.
Drew: I willóMay 10th. Iím expecting to be going for those injections I was telling you aboutóIím expecting to be going for them within the next month. But Iíll probablyóIíll do my best to show up. I will, even if itís just for a little while.
Tribefan: That would be great if youíre feeling up to it, because everybody likes to see you.
miri: I know it will be hard because everyoneís wanting big hugs and everything, and if your backís notó
Drew: No, hugs are fine. Itís just me, Iíll be fidgeting all night, sitting, standing, sitting, standing. But I was really disappointed that I had to miss the last one. I wanted to come for that one. But Iíll try to make it, and hopefully, Rose will be able to come with me.
Tribefan: Oh, that would be great. Weíd love to have Rose there.
Drew: Yeah. Rose seems to be sometimes a bigger celebrity than Drew.
Tribefan: Oh, weíre used to you.
Drew: And thatís great with me, let me tell you. Thatís great with me.
miri: Itís like the legend. We always hear about Rose.
Tribefan: Right. We must see that Rose truly exists.
Drew: Believe me, I tell her all the time when we go out, if someone says, ďOh, Rose is pretty,Ē or Rose is this, Iím like, you know what? Let them talk about Rose all night long, because sometimes you donít want that one drunk in the bar whoís going to stand by you, or the one drunk at the party whoís just going to stand by you and talk to you for six hours about The Amazing Race. I love talking about it, but sometimes it gets a littleó
miri: Yeah. Well, listen, thank you so much for talking with us.
Tribefan: Thank you.
Drew: No, itís my pleasure. If you forget anything or miss anything, just feel free to call me back.
Tribefan: Okay. That would be great. Well, thank you again so much, Drew, and good luck with the back injections.
Drew: Thank you.