‘Everybody Loves Raymond’: Ray Romano’s Wife Resented Seeing Their Marriage Played Out on TV: ‘I Tell Her To Go Cry on a Bag of Money’
As exciting as it must have been for Ray Romano’s family to see how successful his new television comedy, Everybody Loves Raymond, was working out back in 1996, there were some who were not so pleased.
Show creator Phil Rosenthal and the show’s writers drew from their marriages for the show
In a 2005 conversation with the Archive of American Television, Everybody Loves Raymond‘s creator and executive producer Phil Rosenthal pointed out that along with himself, Ray Romano was deeply involved in the show’s scripts.
“On a daily basis, he has to be on stage most of the time,” Rosenthal said of Romano, “but every, single story he participated in – if not the actual writing of that story – we’d run it by him and make sure that he was on board with it.”
Rosenthal explained why he wanted the sitcom’s star’s blessing before proceeding with a script. Mainly, he wanted Romano to approve the script before the table reading. It would have been a waste of time to find out at that point that he had problems with it, as Rosenthal explained.
“It was for two reasons,” he said. “One, it’s politically smart to do that, to have the lead actor in your show on board with your script. The other reason to have him involved is, he’s hilariously funny and astute. And we’re writing about his family. So why wouldn’t I want him involved? It turns out, he’s a hilarious writer.”
It took a while for ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ to find its place
While the series is now considered a classic television series, when it started out, it got off to a wobbly beginning, according to Romano.
In a 1997 conversation with the Chicago Tribune, the comedian described how difficult it was at first.
“I’ve been working hard with the show. It’s not easy having a top-80 show,” he joked at the time. “We’ve got Moesha right on our (rear). It took time for the writers to know my voice. As a stand-up [comedian], it’s hard to accept that somebody else can write material for you. And you almost feel like you’re cheating when you do their lines and get laughs. I wanna write the lines.”
Ray Romano’s wife was not happy seeing their lives on the sitcom
Romano contributed his real-life experiences to the Raymond writer’s room for many episodes and it did not go unnoticed by his wife, Anna. Now married 32 years, it was difficult at first for Anna to tolerate seeing her private family life displayed on national television. Her husband’s response was not particularly sympathetic.
“I talk a lot about being married and being tired and not having sex. She’s fine with it,” Romano told The Las Vegas Sun in 1997. “Whenever she has a problem, I tell her to go cry on a bag of money.”