What's the skinny on Drew Carey?

Since the fall, viewers of the daytime game show "The Price is Right" have seen a dramatic weight change in the once rotund host. Like another famous comedy actor, John Goodman, Carey in the last year has shed a lot of weight in an effort to establish and maintain a healthier lifestyle.

Carey looked so different, in fact, many reporters walked right past him at the most recent Television Critics Association press tour. Dressed in a tan suit and a bow-tie at the CBS evening event, he looked more like Bill Nye the Science Guy.

According to Parade magazine, Carey set a goal to lose close to 90 pounds by November, dropping from a high of 262 pounds at the start of the year to around 170. He had shrunk from a size-44 to a size-34 waist by press tour last August.

He said it was a year-long commitment to diet and exercise that did the trick. He cut down on carbs, eliminating breads and pasta from his diet and gulped down plenty of water instead of colas. Whenever he was tempted to bite into a burger, a tip from one of the "Price is Right" hostesses set him straight.

"She said to me, `Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels,"' says Carey, borrowing the line from waif-thin supermodel Kate Moss.

The 52-year-old comedian has tried to lose weight before. Back in 2001, when he was still working on his sitcom "The Drew Carey Show" and the ABC improv comedy "Whose Line is it Anyway?" chest pains sent him to the hospital.

There, it was discovered one of his arteries was clogged. An angioplasty was performed and the comedian tried to curb his appetite for a while.

His weight had climbed back up by the time he succeeded Bob Barker as host of "The Price is Right" in 2007. Carey was once again experiencing shortness of breath. An alarm went off when he found he couldn't keep up with the five-year-old son of Nicole, his fiancee.

Losing the weight more gradually and combining diet with exercise -- with the help of a trainer -- has helped him keep the weight off this time.

"Working out was the key thing," he says. "You can't just diet."

He works out six days a week now and does a lot of walking and running.

"I used to work out before when I was in the Marines," says Carey, always proud to claim Cleveland as his hometown.

At least two or three days a week he does 45 minutes of "hard cardio." In August, he completed his first 10K run in almost 25 years.

Getting healthier was a big part of the motivation. Carey's father died of a heart attack when he was still in his 40s. The comedian's extra weight had put him at risk with Type 2 diabetes. Now those symptoms are gone.

In 2008, Carey got a different kind of a scare on his show. A winner of the final showcase guessed the exact amount of the prizes being offered -- $23,743.00 -- to the penny. That had never happened before.

Carey feared some sort of cheating scandal might rock the show.

"I thought, this is the end of 'The Price is Right,"' says Carey, whose extremely subdued reaction to the incredible win can be found on YouTube. "I thought somebody on the staff had given him the answer."

The contestant said he just did his homework and got lucky; his wife also relayed some numbers to him by holding up fingers after a frequent visitor to the studio befriended the couple and suggested some bids. Carey says that's cool: "If you're in the audience and you're a Chevy salesman, you can yell out the price of a car."

The exact price bid seemed too much of a coincidence on that day, says Carey, whose first thought was that the price had been leaked by as disgruntled staffer.

A longtime producer of the show had recently been let go and the fear was that somebody was trying to embarrass the new host out of a job.

Headlines about a "Price is Right" scandal hit the tabloids but Carey and the contestant were quickly exonerated.

The scare did have one lasting effect: prizes are changed up with more frequency and care is taken to keep things fresh.

"Even when we have the same car it's not the same car," says Carey, suggesting different option packages are factored into each new price.

Now in its 38th season, "The Price is Right" airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on CBS and in Southern Ontario on OMNI2.