An imaginary behind the scenes view of one of my favorite television shows.
In 1996 , CBS debuted Everybody Loves Raymond , a sitcom about a hapless Joe named Ray Barone. Ray is the kind of guy who shirks most of his responsibilities , such as helping out around the house , and watching the kids. Instead , he would rather devote his time to what makes him happy , being a couch potato , playing golf , and hanging out with his buddies at Nemo's.
Not only is he irresponsible , but he's insensitive to his wife's feelings , as he demonstrates in every episode , which is one of the reasons they argue. Another is his lack of his responsibility.
The series is based loosely on the comedy of Ray Romano. It was successful in the ratings , and ran for nine seasons before it was cancelled in 2005. It also starred Brad Garrett , as Ray's older brother , Robert , who is jealous , and whines constantly about Ray being the favored one. The elder Barones are portrayed by Doris Roberts , as Marie , and Peter Boyle , as Frank. Marie constantly pampers Ray - which is the source of Robert's resentment - and is always arguing with Frank , who insults her at every opportunity , much of it having to with their marriage. Ray's wife , Deborah , is portrayed by Patricia Heaton. In every episode , Ray manages to put his foot in his mouth by saying , or doing something insensitive , and they wind up arguing.
After the series ended , one of the producers , Lisa Jackson , published a book about the cast and their experiences working together. The book , Everybody Hates Raymond , was a tell all that left virtually nothing to the imagination. According to Jackson , the entire cast , with the exception of the children , were exactly like their characters on the show.
From the book : "They were the mirror images of their characters , which is why they were chosen. Ray was a lazy , irresponsible jerk wad ; Patricia was an angry , bitchy woman ; Brad was a whiny crybaby ; Peter a gassy , insulting bastard , and Doris believed that she was God's gift to mothers.
"This pleased Philip immensely. He believed that as long as they were clones of their characters , they would have no trouble playing their roles. And getting into character and staying there from beginning , to end of series , should not be a problem. The only problem that Philip had with these people , which was not really a problem , depending on your perspective , was that they hated each other. They genuinely hated each other. They were always fighting and bickering among themselves , just like their characters on the show. They fought like cats and dogs , about anything and everything. Every day that I came to the set , I heard voices arguing somewhere , or someone screaming at someone else. They argued and fought during rehearsal , and they argued and fought during taping.
"One of the things they fought about was Peter's disgusting flatulence. He was constantly letting loose. The studio stank like an out house , or a sewer. No one wanted to rehearse or tape with Peter tooting all over the place. It was disgusting. We all had to wear gas masks , which made it difficult for the cast to read their lines , because Peter wouldn't stop tooting. Apparently , he didn't mind his own stench , even though it was bad enough to kill the devil himself , and each time he let loose , we wanted to kill him.
"Another thing they fought about was Doris's drinking. The woman was a lush and couldn't lay off the booze if her life depended on it. She drank like a fish. She loved alcohol in general , but preferred beer to anything else. She left empty cans and bottles all over the studio , the set , and in everyone's dressing rooms - including her own. When she was drunk - which was most of the time - she would barge into everyone's dressing rooms , whether they were there or not , and challenge them to a drinking contest. If a room was unoccupied , she would blabber at the walls , thinking she was talking to an actual person , completely oblivious to the fact that no one answered her back. Of course , no one ever took her up on her challenge. They would scream at her to get out , calling her a crazy old bitch , and slam the door in her face.
They would lock the doors to keep her out , but that didn't do any good. She would pick the locks , even while blind , stinking drunk , leave her empties , and leave the doors open. This went on for some time. Everyone complained numerous times to Philip. He said he would take care of it , but of course he never did. He didn't own the studio , so there was really nothing he could do. And there was no proof that it was Doris that was littering the studio. No one had actually seen her doing it. It was their word against hers.
"Doris had other problems other than drinking. When she wasn't challenging someone to a drinking contest , she could usually be found arguing with Patricia. On the show , Pat's character , Debra , resented the elder Barones' always barging in uninvited and unannounced , and when Doris was drunk , she sometimes forgot who she was. When she was drinking , she actually believed she was Marie Barone. So , much of the time , when she was plastered , she would deliberately pick fights with Patricia. She would pound on her dressing room door , or confront her in front of everyone else , accusing her of being an angry bitch who liked to bully people.
" 'I don't know what my Ramey sees in you!' she screamed one day. 'Sometimes I think you stay married to him jus' so you can blame him for all your prolems!'
"Patricia knew she was drunk as usual. 'Get lost you crazy old bat!' she said , shoving her.
Doris fell flat on her back and didn't get up. In fact , she didn't move for almost thirty seconds , and Patricia was starting to get worried.
" 'Oh my God! I didn't kill the old witch , did I?!'
"She ran from the room to get help , not realizing that Doris had only fallen asleep. When she came back , she was dragging Brad Garrett with her. By now , Doris's mouth was hanging wide open , and she was snoring loudly. A string of saliva had dribbled down her chin , and a fly was slacking it's thirst at it , as if it were a miniature fountain.
" 'She doesn't look dead to me!' Brad said irritably. He shook her awake and helped her up.
"Doris looked around groggily. 'whuz goin' on?'
" 'Patricia thought she killed you.'
"Doris's blood shot eyes widened. 'Now I remember! You pushed me , you tramp!'
"She grabbed Patricia , and the two of them rolled around the room , screaming and pulling each others hair out. Brad attempted to get them to stop , screaming at them as loud as he could , but they couldn't hear him above their own screaming.
"A few minutes later , Ray came running into the room. 'What's going on here?!' he shouted.
"Patricia and Doris finally stopped fighting and looked up at him. Their hands were full of chunks of each others hair , and there were several bald spots on their heads. They looked ridiculous.
"'You!' Doris said.
" 'You!' Patricia said. 'This is all your fault!'
" 'My fault!?' he said. 'What did I do?'
" 'Give me a minute and I'll think of something. Come here , so I can Kill you!'
Brad was insanely jealous , because of all the attention Ray got , both on and off the show , and in every episode he always said the same thing. And it didn't matter that they wanted to kill him. He was still jealous.
" 'Everybody loves Raymond ,' he said.