Everybody Loves Raymond
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Everybody Loves Raymond is a '90s American sitcom that ran on CBS. It centers on Raymond "Sugar Ray" Barone, an Italian man who was just a momma's boy, until he got married and became a pussywhipped momma's boy, and his various escapades with his family and friends.
The series centers on the Barone family, an Italian family who have a natural tendency to let their fears impede on their free will. They consist of Raymond, a huge wimp; Robert, Ray's wimpy introvert brother who rarely says anything, cries a lot, and is jealous that everyone loves his older brother; Debra, Ray's wife who is basically just there to provide a character willing to occasionally defy Ray's mom; Frank, Ray's father who is a (dead) bitter old man; and Marie, Ray's mother who must be at least several millennia old (I mean, just look at her!).
The show relies on four recurring jokes:
- Ray's mom is a crazy psycho bitch.
- Ray is a massive coward. So is his brother.
- It is funny to watch a man's wife fight with his mother because he thinks that anyone related to him by blood is automatically allowed to use him as their doormat and therefore won't stand up for himself
- Ray's father makes dark, jaded, sarcastic remarks to show he is a bitter old man.
At work, in the locker room, his colleagues, all of whom are younger men, boast of their sexual prowess. One of them remarks that, with a "hottie like Amy," Robert must be "getting plenty."
Mortified, Robert makes an appointment to see his doctor, a female general practitioner. He is embarrassed to be talking to her about sex and is even more humiliated to confess to her his "shortcomings in bed." She examines him, announcing that "It seems you have shortcomings in and out of bed," dissing his penis as "not long, even for a short man." (Robert, at 6'8 1/2" tall, is anything but short, so her comment is doubly cutting). She then confides, "It's odd that you can be so tall and that Sugar Ray, who is much shorter, is also much, uh, longer." When she sees the stricken look on Robert's face, she offers him a false smile, adding, "Of course size doesn't really matter, and I'm sure Amy loves you for other qualities." Asked what he can do to remedy his sudden erectile dysfunction, the doctor says, "Be a man, like Sugar Ray."
On his way home, recalling his colleagues' remarks and his doctor's comment, which, heard again and again in his thoughts cause Robert to daydream about the worst day of Sugar Ray's life. Unfortunately, even the worst day of his older brother's life is happier and more successful than Robert's best day.
At home that night, Robert again tries to make love to Amy, but his incompetence arouses laughter from someone who is hiding under their bed. Robert routs the intruder, only to discover the identity of Amy's paramour - it's none other than is brother, Sugar Ray, clad only in his underpants. Just as he is about to strangle Sugar Ray, the clock's alarm goes off, awakening Robert. It's all been a nightmarish dream.
"Why did you set the alarm for such an early wake up?" Amy asks him. "No reason," Robert replies, quickly shutting off the alarm, "just a mistake." As he turns over to go back to sleep, a smile on his face, Sugar Ray crawls out from under the bed, clad only in his underwear, and exits the room.
We also get stories told from the point of view of Ray's brother Robert, who always felt that Sugar Ray was favored over him by his parents, Frank and Marie; by Sugar Ray's wife, Debra, and their children; by his own wife, Amy; and by the rest of New York City and the world.
For the most part, Everybody Hates Raymond was to remain true to the original show. Everyone was still to favor Sugar Ray, but there were a few changes in the cast. Sugar Ray's children would die, along with their grandfather (Sugar Ray's and Robert's father) in a car accident early in the show, because, according to the show's creator, Philip Rosenthal, "neither the old man nor the kids amounted to much from a dramatic point of view; little of the comedy, such as it was, involved them; and they couldn't act." The other characters were to have been retained and their basic quirks and foibles, continuing, were to have been exaggerated.
In Everybody Loves Raymond, Robert achieved success only at work, where his courage and competence as a law enforcement officer enabled him to become a captain on the police force, despite his having been gored in the ass by a runaway bull. In Everybody Hates Raymond, Sugar Ray's constant interference with Robert at work was to have cost Robert his job and Robert and Amy were to have had to move in with Sugar Ray and Debra, living in Sugar Ray's basement, where Sugar Ray's office is located. To perform his work as a sportswriter, Sugar Ray would constantly have had to interrupt his brother's life, barging in unannounced while Robert and Amy were were
having trying to have sex, asking them to turn down their television set because he was trying to write, inviting himself to have breakfast or lunch with them during a break in his writing, accusing them of causing him to experience writer's block, and, in general, making a nuisance of himself and putting Robert and Amy through hell.
Although Bill Cosby loved the pilot and recommended that the series be produced, he was outvoted by Rosenthal, owner of the show's would-be production company Worldwide Pants. "The public response to the pilot was terrible," Rosenthal admitted. "Everybody Hates Raymond was never aired because everybody loves Raymond." Everybody Loves Chris is still in the making.
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