Joey Ramone Makes Sitcom Debut On 'Drew Carey'

Former Ramones leader joined Slash, Matthew Sweet and other rockers for taping of comedy show.

It's been a long time since former Ramones leader Joey Ramone had to try out for a band.

And he's definitely never been asked to try out for the lead guitar position.

But there the punk legend was on Monday afternoon, strapping a guitar onto his lanky torso and trying his hardest to get the gig.

"It went really great," said Ramone, who ended up being rejected. Luckily for him, this was not real life, but rather the filming of an upcoming episode for the "Drew Carey" show.

He was in good company in getting turned down for the part, since former Guns n' Roses axe-god Slash also failed to make the cut, as did pop-rockers Matthew Sweet and Lisa Loeb, as well as former Eagle Joe Walsh, Megadeth's Dave Mustaine, ZZ Top's Dusty Hill, Cheap Trick lead man Rick Nielsen and whiz-kid blues guitarist Jonny Lang.

Ramone had joined the legion of rockers in filming a bit for the Sept. 30 episode of the blue-collar sitcom, during which lead character Carey auditions a raft of professionals for his bar band, ultimately dismissing all of them because they're either too good (Slash) or too tall (Ramone). In the episode, entitled "In Ramada Da Vida," Carey's character realizes that there's more to life than work and decides to form a band with his friends to play a gig at a local Ramada Inn.

Although he's performed on late-night talk shows for David Letterman and Jay Leno and been animated for "The Simpsons," along with his ex-Ramones mates, Joey Ramone said the Carey appearance was the first sitcom gig he'd ever been asked to do.

"It was like a real audition," Ramone said. "One person went on after the other, and when they handed me the script, it was funny, because they asked me all these questions they'd ask a guitar player."

Ramone, who said he couldn't remember the last time he even held a guitar, said he enjoyed playing a guitarist so much that he asked the crew if he could smash the axe as part of the show after his bit was done. Following a Townshendesque guitar-splintering display, Ramone said he asked, "So whaddya think, did I get the gig?"

When he's informed the band already has a tall member, Ramone said he improvised the line, "Aw, man, that really sucks." "They thought that was hysterical," Ramone said. "They said I have a future."

The choices of Ramone, Walsh, Slash and the other guests were all Carey's, an avowed music fan who asked the now-defunct punk-pop band the Presidents of the United States of America to record the theme song to his show last season, according to a representative for the show.

The "tryouts" on the episode, which take place in the show's faux Cleveland backyard set, also include appearances from country star Roy Clark and Midwestern rocker Michael Stanley.