Drew Carey

Cleveland is "The Most Miserable City in America." So How Will Reason & Drew Carey Fix The Mistake On The Lake—And Other Once-Great American Cities? Tune in March 15-19.


Coming March 15-19: Reason Saves Cleveland With Drew Carey, an original Reason.tv series featuring The Mistake on The Lake's most famous native.

The six-part series comes just as Cleveland has been dubbed "the most miserable city" in America by Forbes magazine. "Our Misery Measure," explains the award-winning business mag,

takes into account unemployment, as well as eight other issues that cause people anguish. The metrics include taxes (both sales and income), commute times, violent crime and how its pro sports teams have fared over the past two years. We also factored in two indexes put together by Portland, Ore., researcher Bert Sperling that gauge weather and Superfund pollution sites. Lastly we considered corruption based on convictions of public officials in each area as tracked by the Public Integrity Section of the U.S. Department of Justice….

Cleveland nabbed the top spot as a result of poor ratings across the board. It was the only city that fell in the bottom half of the rankings in all nine categories. Many residents are heading for greener pastures. There has been a net migration out of the Cleveland metro area of 71,000 people over the past five years. Population for the city itself has been on a steady decline and is now less than half of it what it was 50 years ago.

Cleveland ranked near the bottom when looking at corruption. Northern Ohio has seen 309 public officials convicted of crimes over the past 10 years according to the Justice Department. A current FBI investigation of public officials in Cuyahoga County (where Cleveland is located) has ensnared more than two dozen government employees and businessmen on charges including bribery, fraud and tax evasion.

Awful schools. Fleeing population. Rising taxes. Abandoned buildings. Chronic unemployment. Corrupt politicians. Can Cleveland make a comeback (something its NFL franchise seems incapable of)?

Of course it can, but only if its elected officials, leading businessmen, and remaining residents stop what they've been doing for decades and borrow the best practices of thriving cities when it comes to reforming schools, creating a pro-business environment, encouraging development, and trimming government waste and overreach.

Featuring sitcom legend, Price Is Right host, and proud Clevelander Drew Carey, each 10-minute episode of Reason Saves Cleveland explains exactly how the city that gave birth to Standard Oil hit the skids—and how it can roar back to life in the 21st century.

Reason.tv's Nick Gillespie narrates and talks with educators, elected officials, businesspeople, policy experts, and residents from all walks of life in a documentary series that maps a route back to prosperity and growth not just for Cleveland but for all the other once-great American cities on Forbes' Most Miserable list (are you listening, Stockton…and Memphis…and Detroit…and Miami…and Buffalo…and St. Louis…and …?).

Reason Saves Cleveland with Drew Carey is written and produced by Paul Feine; camera and editing by Roger Richards and Alex Manning.

For a full episode guide and release schedule, go here.

Click below to listen to Drew Carey reminisce about the good old days in Cleveland, when the Cuyahoga River caught fire and Johnny Carson used the city as an all-purpose punchline.

And why Drew would film Price Is Right there in a heartbeat.

NEXT: Beauty Is in the Eye of the State Licensing Board

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  1. True. Patti Smith is given an exagerated role at the R n R Hall of Fame.

  2. I remember in college listening to the Cleveland Orchestra under maestro Dohnanyi sponsored by BP. Great music.

    At least Continental Airlines still maintains a hub there.

    1. What about the Euclid Tavern! Light of Day!

  3. That Forbes poll is kind of silly. Having decent sports teams is fun for fans, but using that as criteria in comparison with unemployment, crime, corruption, etc. is insane. Unless, of course, your priorities are seriously fucked up.

    Also, I can’t believe Cleveland is worse than Detroit. Admittedly, I’ve never been to either city, but I don’t think Cleveland has 20 square miles of rotting neighborhoods in its borders.

    1. it had rot when i was last there in 2000. yikes!

      1. Yeah, jester, but like this?

        “Now almost a third of Detroit ? covering a swath of land the size of San Francisco ? has been abandoned. Tall grasses, shrubs and urban farms have sprung up in what were once stalwart working-class suburbs. Even downtown, one ruined skyscraper sprouts a pair of trees growing from the rubble.

        The city has a shocking jobless rate of 29%. The average house price in Detroit is only $7,500, with many homes available for only a few hundred dollars. Not that anyone is buying. At a recent auction of 9,000 confiscated city houses, only a fifth found buyers.”

        1. Reminds me of that Life After People series on the History Channel, what with the plant kingdom retaking swaths of abandoned Detroit. If Detroit eventually becomes its own nature preserve… hey, why not.

    2. Yeah, Jesus. All it had to St. Louis was the Rams sucking. Christ.

    3. Yeah, Jesus. All it had to St. Louis was the Rams sucking. Christ.

    4. Was thinking the same thing. After much analyzing and soul searching… Yep, I’d ultimately choose a sub-.500 baseball team over rampant crime any day of the week.

  4. Hooray for Northeast Ohio! All 4 large cities in the region in the Top 20!

    To be perfectly honest, though, either Youngstown or Canton is quite a bit more depressing than Cleveland or Akron.

    How Detroit isn’t higher mystifies me.

    1. The Red Wings are good. The Pistons were good earlier in the decade. Other than that, dunno.

  5. I spent a yer in Cleveland one week
    A truly depressing city.

  6. Cleveland expat sports fans staunchly support the city, yet they choose to live elsewhere. Why is that?

    1. They’re waiting for the exterminator to remove all the politicians that have helped keep the place fucked for so long.

    2. Because the city sucks, fuckbag.

      1. What exactly constitutes a “fuckbag”?

        1. Somebody who asks rhetorical questions?

  7. Cleveland is “The Most Miserable City in America.”

    Awww, man, we never win anything!

  8. Detroit seems much more miserable than Cleveland.
    And I’ll just happen to be visiting the Rock Hall tomorrow. (But hey, no autographs.)

  9. Cleveland is worse than Buffalo? Really? I guess Buffalo and Detroit are both closer to some fine establishments of Canadian Ballet across the border, so they’ve got that going for them.

    The Rock Hall of Fame is, of course, a pathetic joke and the simple fact of its existence makes Cleveland that much suckier. Especially when they hold concerts in New York, just to rub it in the faces of Clevelanders that no one likes them.

    1. Actually, while I completely expected the Rock Hall to be a pathetic joke, it’s really not that bad. (Of course, the very notion of a Rock Hall of Fame is suspect, but that’s another issue.)

      1. So suspect that they ran out of legitimate contenders years ago. Oops! How do we keep a dead musical idiom relevant?

  10. By “Rock” Hall of Fame, I mean, of course, Rock and Roll. It should not be confused with the National Mining and Mineral Hall of Fame in Leadville, Colorado, which is cool in its own way.
    (But the big induction parties are always held in Denver, I hear.)

  11. Think Cleveland is miserable? You’re kidding yourself. Check out http://www.whattheforbes.com to see a Clevelanders’ rebuttal to the biased Forbes piece.

  12. How will they fix Cleveland — set the river on fire again?

    Only the best for the Mistake by the Lake

  13. Cleveland is miserable.

    Cleveland rocks.

    Which is it? Can’t be both.

    1. Maybe they rock miserably.

  14. Hunting Valley/Moreland Hills/Chagrin was a fine place to grow up in…

  15. I think people are being unfair to Cleveland.

    It’s really *all of Ohio* that sucks, and Cleveland is just one place that sticks out.

    1. Cincinnati rocks.

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