‘Everybody Loves Raymond’: One of the Show’s Original Working Titles Was Much Different (And Kind of Cringy)

Classic comedy series Everybody Loves Raymond wasn’t always going to go by that title, according to one of the show’s stars.

One of the titles being considered for the show before its 1996 premiere on CBS is a little difficult on the ears, and yet, it was in the running.

A scene from 'Everybody Loves Raymond'
A scene from ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ | Robert Voets/CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ began after Ray Romano performed stand-up comedy on ‘Late Show With David Letterman’

Ray Romano
Ray Romano | Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images

Ray Romano was a stand-up comic before he became a household name. Although he tried his hand at several talent searches, the father of three got noticed after his appearance on Late Show with David Letterman.

The New York City-born Romano told The Hollywood Reporter in 2015 how his performance snowballed into the hit CBS series.

“[The producer called my house and said] “Dave loved what he saw,” Romano said. “We all loved it. He thinks you’re very accessible and we want to sign you to a development deal. Don’t sign with anybody until you talk with us!” I said, ‘Nobody else is asking. It’s a Saturday in my backyard. You’re it!’”

How the show got its name

Once Letterman gave his thumbs up for the show, executive producer Phil Rosenthal was asked to develop a comedy series around Ray Romano.

Speaking with CNN show host Larry King on his talk show in 2002, Romano explained the origin of the show’s name – and his dislike of it.

“Yeah. I’m learning to live with it now,” Romano said of the show’s title. “It was a title that invites hatred. It came about from a sarcastic comment my brother made, who is a police officer. And he said, ‘Look what I do for a living, and look at Raymond — yeah, everybody loves Raymond.’ So we used it as a title. And it just grew on CBS, and we couldn’t get rid of it.”

The name Ray Romano wanted for ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’

In a conversation with the Archives of American Television, Monica Horan, who played Amy MacDougall on the series, confirmed Romano’s version of the show title’s development.

Speaking of the opening sequence in the first season, the mother of two said, imitating Brad Garrett’s deep voice, “I loved when the brother said, ‘Everybody loves Raymond.’ And that was a real story.”

“Ray had told us that his brother was so jealous of him,” Horan recalled, “you know, sibling rivalry, that Ray would get all this attention for standing up and telling some jokes, and he was risking his life as a cop.”

“Ray was so upset about [using ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ as a title]. He hated it so much!” She then revealed the working title that Romano liked the most.

“I can’t remember the other [potential titles] but my favorite was That Raymond Guy,” she said laughing.

Thankfully, that title didn’t stick.

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