By Emily Exton
Updated March 10, 2010 at 12:00 PM EST

Today marked comedian Drew Carey’s 500th episode as host of the popular CBS morning game show The Price is Right. While many may not fess up to watching this iconic program (I know you’re out there), I’m not afraid to say that I enjoy the The Price is Right (it goes best with breakfast in bed). Besides being strangely addicting and unintentionally hilarious, it’s a great example of the American dream: You, yes you, can be selected from the studio audience, correctly estimate the price range of some odd or obscure household item, apply those skills and/or luck to another series of financial related games, and voila! you could win…. A NEW CAR!!!

In more than two years since Carey stepped in for the legendary Bob Barker, he has maintained much of the show’s trademark style, while incorporating his own personality and comedic talents that made The Drew Carey Show so likable. He’s nowhere near as creepy as Bob and brings in much more enthusiasm, ala the late ’80s/early ’90s game show super star Mark Summers (Double Dare, What Would You Do?). He appears to be relishing in the job, (and who wouldn’t? As host you’re basically paid to go shopping each day, and watch crazed, overly excited tourists, flail about in excitement to the point of public embarrassment.) Over the course of his 500 episodes, he has witnessed a million dollar winner, handled a woman with poor bladder control, and even shared the stage with the legend himself. “It’s been a really fun ride and I hope to do it a lot more,” Carey told the audience this morning. To celebrate the event, he was extra generous with his contestants, awarding each one who made it on stage with $500 in cash.

Today’s contestants showered Carey in love, from Monet, who applied a tight bear hug and wrapped her legs around the host, to Arianna, who leaned on him for support when her nerves got the best of her. Though he may have 6,500 more episodes to go to reach Barker, Carey has become a beloved host in his own right. At the end of the show, the producers celebrated with a large 5-0-0 cake (because no accomplishment in life is real unless accompanied by a cake). So congrats Drew, for continuing to lead this daytime institution onward, and for continuing to make little boys and girls everywhere memorize the prices of household appliances and supermarket items, while dreaming about the day when they can climb to the top of the Plinko board and drop chips for a chance at $50,000.

What do you think PopWatchers? Any Drew Carey fans out there? Do you still watch The Price is Right? Who are your favorite game show hosts of past and present?