The CBS comedy Everybody Loves Raymond launched several cast members into stardom when it premiered in 1996. Featuring Ray Romano (Ray Barone), Patricia Heaton (Ray’s wife Debra), Brad Garrett (Ray’s brother Robert), Doris Roberts (Ray and Robert’s mom), and Peter Boyle (Ray and Robert’s dad), the legendary sitcom aired its final episode in May 2005.
Many of the show’s episodes were based on real people and events from the lives of Romano and show creator Phil Rosenthal. Choosing from nine seasons of hilarious plot lines, Heaton has a few that remain close to her heart.
Patricia Heaton got laughs from her own show
Romano, Heaton, and Garrett reflected on the series in an interview with Larry King in May 2005 just as they were nearing the show’s finale.
“It’s great to be on a job that lasts a long time that you love,” Heaton said. “I mean, I can’t imagine having to go to work every day and not getting along with the people or not liking the writing or whatever. So we just had the best of all worlds.”
“We were lucky enough to have this chemistry with the cast and these great writers,” Romano added. “It was a combination of everything and people related to it.”
The show’s storylines were so humorous, Heaton would often find herself in hysterics viewing episodes even though she already knew the content.
“I was on an airplane once watching our show, and laughing my head off like we’re doing here watching our own episodes,” the sitcom star revealed. “And the steward came up to me and said, ‘I just think that it’s so funny you laugh at your own show.’”
‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ season 2 episode
In the 11th episode of season 2, “The Letter” featured Heaton and Roberts in a battle of wills between in-laws. After Marie crashes Debra’s Tupperware party, Debra writes a letter to Marie to air her grievances over their tumultuous relationship. Heaton listed the storyline as one of her favorites.
”I had written a letter to Marie, telling her everything I’d ever been angry at her about,” Heaton explained, according to Entertainment Weekly. “I love those ones, where Marie and I can bond.”
Despite their onscreen battles, Heaton saw similarities between Debra and and her meddling mother-in-law.
“Sneaky, manipulative, she had a lot of the traits that Marie had,” Heaton told the Television Academy Foundation in 2006. “She was always a little bit angry that [Ray] couldn’t read her mind, that he wasn’t sensitive and everything he tried fell apart.”
Debra gives birth
Another top pick of Heaton’s aired in season 5. “Ally’s birth” highlighted a flashback of the birth of Ray and Debra’s daughter Ally. Naturally, several obstacles get in the way of arriving at the hospital in a timely manner. Debra ends up delivering her baby in Robert’s police car with the Barone brothers coaching her along.
“I love all of our flashback episodes, like the one where I’m giving birth in the back of Robert’s police car and Robert’s trying to deliver the baby,” Heaton shared. “I got to spend hours in the backseat of this car with Ray and Brad looking up my [skirt].”
The Everybody Loves Raymond alum apparently has a penchant for slapstick comedy, where she thrived on the required physicality of those particular scenes.
“I mean, when we’re looking at these clips, there’s a lot of physical comedy,” she told King. “The knocking down and the screaming and the legs up in the air, and there’s a lot of us falling down over couches … that’s my favorite stuff to do.”
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