Everybody loves Ray Romano

Ray Romano won a outrageous following with his TV series “Everybody Loves Raymond.” These days, he’s still desirable audiences on theatre and on screen. Tracy Smith has the Sunday Profile: 

“Everybody, give it up for Ray Romano, everybody!”

Smith said, “We saw you perform at the Comedy Cellar the other night.”

“Yeah. You saw a good one,” Ray Romano replied.

“To us, it looked like you killed.”

“That one was one of my best ones I’ve had there. we wish you have footage of it!”

[We do! Click on the video at left.]

Ray Romano is still at home the standup stage. 

His act has always been about family — generally Anna, his wife of 30 years.

“She says, ‘Can we go to cooking in this? Is this fine for dinner?’ And we looked at her and we said, ‘Yeah.’ And she looks at me and she goes, ‘I don’t even know since we ask you.'”

It’s helped make him one of the biggest names in comedy. But at 59, Romano still has other dreams to chase.

In “Get Shorty,” a new TV series formed on the Elmore Leonard book, he’s a small-time film writer making a big studio film with income from some hardcore gangsters. 

Like all else in the show (which premieres tonight on Epix), Romano’s impression is over the top, including the hair.    

To watch a trailer for “Get Shorty” click on the video player below:

Get Shorty: Official Trailer we EPIX by

But infrequently enough, Romano sees a lot of his highly-strung impression in himself. “Getting into a impression who’s like that is a little bit easy, it’s a little organic,” he said.

“You have those feelings inside?”

“Yes, we have it. I’ve always pronounced even yet we seem successful, that insecurity, that depression stays there. It’s just at a opposite level. My observant is, before all this, we suspicion my cab motorist hated me, and now we consider my limo motorist hates me. It’s just changed on to another level!”

Truth is, Ray Romano’s hang-ups have kept us shouting for years.

From 1996 to 2005, “Everybody Loves Raymond” ruled the primetime landscape — a real-ish TV family, where people could see a bit of themselves. Romano, who has 4 children of his own, was a healthy as the big-hearted dad.

Still, the success didn’t erase his insecurity.

“You fun about these neuroses,” pronounced Smith, “but you really are a happy, calm guy?”

“Yes. There’s still times where we onslaught with things,” Romano said. “Look, my kids are all good people. My wife is a good person. we have a happy marriage. we can do what we wanna do. So I’m beholden and happy for that. But I’m no opposite than anybody else really, we think, in that sense.”

“That’s since everybody loves you?”

“Ehhhh. we hatred myself adequate to change it out.”

On the show, Ray was an normal Joe from Queens with a loving, but mostly annoying, family, including his older brother, a New York City cop named Robert.

Ray’s real-life older brother, Richard, who actually was a NYPD officer, helped show Smith around the Queens area where the Romanos grew up.


Ray Romano (right) with his hermit Robert and match Tracy Smith in the Romanos’ old Queens neighborhood.

“I was a terrible student,” Romano said. “Yeah, we gathering my mom crazy. Funny, ’cause now that we have kids, every now and then we go, ‘I have to apologize to my mother.’ Because what they’re doing to me, we did to her.”

When they weren’t on the round field, the 3 Romano boys — Richard, Ray and Robert — would hang out down the street at Lillian Pizzeria. The old place is still here … and, 40 years later, so are the owners, Tony and Lillian.

Romano says they make some of the best pizza in New York. (They really have the best music, as Tony’s operatic aria proves.)

Tony and Lillian give Romano the star treatment, but Lillian Pizzeria’s favorite patron has been on kind of a hurl lately.

In the film “The Big Sick,” Romano and Holly Hunter are worried relatives getting to know their sick daughter’s Pakistani boyfriend, played by Kumail Nanjiani.

The film, and Romano’s performance, are getting soap-box reviews.  But he is common as ever, maybe since of a note his big hermit Richard wrote him prolonged divided before Ray left for Hollywood: “He put a quote from the Bible about, I’m not gonna get it right, but the hint of it was, what does it distinction a man who gains the universe but loses his soul? And we theory it was his way of revelation me good luck, but just remember us and where you came from.”

Romano teared up. “I get emotional. we didn’t know you were gonna open that! So, that was that.”

“But it meant something to you?” pronounced Smith.

“Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. They’re both my heroes, you know, since one’s a cop, one’s a teacher. And we tell jokes about poop and we make so much some-more income than them!”

In the end, it’s family that helped make Ray Romano a big star …

“My youngest son is 16, and we don’t know how to report him. Like, my wife and we were in the kitchen and he just walks through, ‘I haven’t showered in 4 days.'”

… and keeps him the medium man everybody still seems to love.

Smith asked, “Do they give you a tough time about using them in your act?”

“No. They don’t. The kids adore it. My wife on occasion, ‘Ahhhh…’ But whenever she complains about me using her as material, we tell her to go cry in a bag of money.”

“That’s a good perspective.”

“But she gives me a lot of stuff. She gives me a lot of material. ‘The Big Sick’ came out. One of the reviews was ‘Romano is stunning.’ And we review that to her. And she said, ‘They must’ve spelled foolish wrong.’  Yes. So, we appreciate God we have her, ’cause it’s half my act.”

For some-more info:

  •  “Get Shorty” (Epix)
  • Watch Episode 1 of “Get Shorty” free on YouTube
  • “The Big Sick” (Official site)
  • rayromano.com
  • Lillian Pizzeria, Forest Hills, Queens (Facebook)

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