‘Everybody Loves Raymond’: Why Ray Romano Hated the Hit-Show’s Title

There are a lot of popular sitcoms on television, from Friends to Seinfeld. While many of them are notable for one reason or another, one particular sitcom that has managed to stand the test of time is Everybody Loves Raymond.

The show, which began airing on television in the mid-nineties, became popular as the vehicle that shot comedian Ray Romano to stardom. More than that, however, Everybody Loves Raymond featured many realistic family situations that people all over the world could relate to. Still, if series creator Ray Romano had his way, there would have been one major change to the series. 

Who is Ray Romano?

Peter Boyle as Frank Barone, Doris Roberts as Marie Barone , Ray Romano as Ray Barone, Patricia Heaton as Debra Barone, Brad Garrett as Robert Barone, and Monica Horan as Amy MacDougall
Peter Boyle as Frank Barone, Doris Roberts as Marie Barone, Ray Romano as Ray Barone, Patricia Heaton as Debra Barone, Brad Garrett as Robert Barone, and Monica Horan as Amy MacDougall | Monty Brinton/CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images

Romano was born in Queens, New York, in 1957. Raised in a close-knit family, Romano attended several high schools as a child and was even classmates with Fran Drescher for a time.

In the eighties, Romano began exploring a career in comedy, after having worked at a few different odd jobs. He worked the standup circuit and appeared on a number of late-night talk shows.

He got his first big break after appearing on The Late Show with David Letterman. He made a big impression on the host as well as the studio audience, and soon after, began discussions to bring his series idea to television.

Romano’s series, Everybody Loves Raymond, became an instant hit with critics and fans. Viewers loved the everyman focus of the series and the talented ensemble of stars.

Romano became a star due to the show, and the success of the series gave him the clout to pursue other projects that he was interested in. In the years since Everybody Loves Raymond went off the air, Romano has continued to act, mostly in serious parts, and still stays active in the comedy world. 

When did ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ debut?

In 1996, Everybody Loves Raymond debuted on CBS. Starring Romano, Brad Garrett, Patricia Heaton, Peter Boyle, and Doris Roberts, the show was filmed in front of a live studio audience, giving it an old-fashioned feeling that audiences responded to.

The show focuses on Raymond Barone, a sportswriter, and his large, dysfunctional family. Raymond is often put in the middle of family disputes and is frequently forced to diffuse tense situations with humor.

Everybody Loves Raymond ran until 2005 and is widely considered to be one of television’s greatest comedies. Although the show has been off the air for fifteen years, it remains very popular in reruns with generations of fans. 

Ray Romano hated the title of his show

Although Ray Romano was front and center of the creation and production of Everybody Loves Raymond, he didn’t have complete creative control over the series, as he once revealed. In fact, Romano notoriously hated the name of the series that was loosely based on his life.

As Romano stated: “It was a title that, first of all, the critics … it 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.'”

Romano went on to admit that they used Everybody Loves Raymond as a working title, with every intention of switching it out later in the process. However, “it just grew on CBS, and we couldn’t get rid of it.” Fortunately for Romano, the series hasn’t gotten a lot of hatred at all, and in fact, remains a beloved part of television history for many viewers and critics.