Mike Richards has one incredibly influential celeb in his corner despite leaving "Jeopardy!" amid a shroud of controversy ... and it's his old pal Drew Carey.
We got Mike and Drew Thursday in L.A. after they wrapped up a power breakfast of sorts -- we're told they broke bread for 2 hours at Swingers on Beverly Blvd.
The old pals obviously have lots to catch up about after Mike got the boot -- first as "Jeopardy!" host, and then as its executive producer -- and they presented a very united front as they walked to their cars.
First, we asked Mike himself if he felt like he'd gotten a raw deal. Remember, he was fired over 8-year-old comments -- things he'd said to his female co-host on their podcast. Watch ... he took the high road, and refused to say anything disparaging about his former employers at Sony.
As for Drew ... we also asked him about Mike's ouster, and he pled the Fifth. However, he'd already said plenty just by being out in public with Richards.
The duo has history together ... Mike used to be Drew's EP on "The Price is Right," and it's very clear from this video, he's standing by his friend during this rough patch.