‘Everybody Loves Raymond’s Brad Garrett on the Cast Being in NYC During 9/11: ‘It’s Hard to Believe We Were There’
During the height of popularity of the now-classic comedy Everybody Loves Raymond, the cast found itself in New York City on a publicity tour. It was September 11, 2001.
Their plans changed quickly once it became apparent the area, and soon the nation, was in crisis mode. With all flights cancelled indefinitely, the cast couldn’t leave New York. As Robert Barone actor Brad Garrett recalled, they instead got front-row seats to one of the most terrifying attacks on the nation.
The cast of ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ was on a publicity tour for the show
In 2001, Everybody Loves Raymond went into syndication, a significant event for any television program.
The comedy was on break and the cast was making appearances on various talk shows. The news of two planes flying into the World Trade Center towers changed everything, as Frank Barone actor Peter Boyle explained to the Television Academy Foundation in 2005.
“We were on one of our hiatuses,” Boyle said. “I came back to New York because I was coming back to New York anyway. We had this whole week of events planned to launch the syndication of Raymond. It began on Sept. 11 in the morning. So, Raymond and I went to CBS Early Show and then we went over to NBC Rockefeller to do The Rosie O’Donnell Show.
“And as we got there, we went into the green room and saw the second airplane go into the second tower. It was astonishing. We didn’t know what was happening at first. And then we had to evacuate Rockefeller Center.”
Brad Garrett’s memory of that day
“The whole cast was in New York,” Garrett told the Television Academy Foundation. “We were staying on the East side right near the park and we were literally in the car on our way to do The Rosie O’Donnell Show. I was getting ready in the morning, I’m watching the news, and they’re showing this first plane that went into the tower.”
Along with the rest of the city, Garrett at first believed that first plane’s flying into the north tower was a horrible accident. Until another plane was piloted into the Trade Center, this one into the south tower.
Garrett felt ‘comfort’ with his cast mates
The actor recalled the feeling of unexplainable doom that overtook him and the other Raymond cast members. So little information was known at the time while it was evident something catastrophic was taking place.
“Just to be there…you really thought it was possibly the end of the world,” he said. “It’s definitely a world that will never be the same. To see the people walking around, covered in soot, some were incoherent, the fear, the smell of the burning. And all you think about, I had two babies, is ‘I gotta get home, I gotta get home.’ You just think of all those people and the families.”
Garrett felt a sense of support in being with the rest of the Raymond cast.
“It was a very weird awakening and a real comfort of all of us being together in the greatest city in the world and seeing it come apart like this,” the actor said. “It was a tragedy; it’s hard to believe we were there.”