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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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4/28: Morning Mash with Ray Romano interview

I just spoke with Ray Romano by phone. He’s going to be in Atlanta next Tuesday for a show at the Fox Theatre with his former “Everybody Loves Raymond” castmate Brad Garrett. He was, as expected, down to earth and just plain nice. (Details below)

Four years removed from “Raymond,” 51-year-old Romano has pocketed his (many many) millions. But the actor has had a tough time deciding what his next act would be.

He’s voiced Manny for two “Ice Age” sequels, dabbled in a couple of small films (none of his non-”Ice Age” films have been hits) and plays in charity golf tourneys.

Plus, he does some standup gigs. And for a week each year, he and Garrett hit a few cities to do standup and reminisce about the show’s nine years.

And he has finally found his next TV gig: Atlanta-based TNT has picked up Romano’s drama “Men of a Certain Age,” which will hit the air January 2010. (I’ll talk to him more about that later in the year.)

Would you want to go see Ray Romano and Brad Garrett live at the Fox May 5?

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Q: What’s the comedy show going to be like?

A: We’ll each do 30 minutes of standup, then take questions from the audience. I’m PG-13. No curse words. But I do talk about sex or my lack of having sex. A lot of people haven’t seen Brad. They still see him as Robert. He’s a little more R rated. Think of Don Rickles with a little edge to it. It’s funny. We also show outtakes from the show.

Q: When you see those outtakes, how do you feel?

A: It’s weird. I get nostalgic. I miss it. It feels like another life. It was such a bubble. I was producing, writing and acting. I didn’t feel I even had time to sit back and enjoy it.

Q: Has it been an easy transition for you, post Raymond?

A: It’s real hard. I’ve tried a couple of movies. But people see you as a character for nine years and you become ingrained into their consciousness. My buddy Kevin James [“King of Queens”], he’s doing it right.

Q: Who would have thought he’d have such a big hit with “Mall Cop!”

A: That thing was huge! We played Vegas together a couple of weeks ago. We went out on stage and I noted that his movie grossed $145 million. So with “Mall Cop” and my “Welcome to Mooseport,” we’ve grossed $148 million together!

Q: How’s your golf game?

A: I’m pretty bad. I realize you can be obsessed with something you suck at. Maybe that’s why you become even more obsessed. It’s a weird mix of hatred and love. The same feeling within the same moment. It’s something I never want to give up. But unless you devote 24/7 to it, you won’t get better.

Q: How often do you play?

A: Every week and a half or so. It’s hard to get better playing that often. I appreciate that at least I’m good at standup. I’m glad I have something I know I worked and honed.

Q: Do you feel you have improved as an actor? You were pretty green when you started “Raymond,” right?

A: My first gig was actually on “Newsradio.” I was on the original cast. I was in [Joe] Rogan’s role. After a day and a half of rehearsals, I was fired. I deserved to be fired. I was too green. I had a great audition but I wasn’t ready. When “Raymond” came along, I was writing it, producing it. It was very organic. I had an acting coach who would help me.

Q: And you didn’t have to worry about getting fired!

A: Stranger things have happened! If something didn’t feel natural, I just changed it. It made it more real for me. It’s like standup. The way I got better was to just keep doing it. You can take lessons and go to class, but the best way to learn is just do it. I feel more comfortable acting now.

If you go May 5 to the Fox Theatre:
Tickets are $35 to $70. You can buy them here at Ticketmaster.

11 comments Add your comment

Wink

April 28th, 2009
3:38 pm

I never understood how anyone thought EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND was funny. It’s painful to watch. Ray seems like a nice enough guy but if my brother talked like Brad on the show I would have wondered if he was mentally challenged. As for the rest of the cast:
his wife was a psycho, his Dad was an idiot and I would have moved away from Doris Roberts even is she was my own mother.

JTesla

April 28th, 2009
4:44 pm

The show wasn’t my thing, but I like Ray. Seeing both Ray and Brad in one show would be great.

RoHo Fan

April 28th, 2009
5:10 pm

Great Q&A!! I loved that show, and miss seeing Ray on the television or elsewhere. I hope his new show will be a hit.

Katie

April 29th, 2009
4:06 am

I never watched the show regularly, but I enjoyed it when I did. I guess to really appreciate it you’ve got to come from an Italian-American background. It was like someone based a show on my grandparents.

Savvy

April 29th, 2009
5:54 am

No. I would not go see them. I was underwhelmed by the show.

Stephanie

April 29th, 2009
8:00 am

Enter your comments here

Stephanie

April 29th, 2009
8:02 am

I’ve seen Ray and Brad together on Oprah. They seem like brothers in real life. I bet the show will be very funny. Wish I could go.

earlgreyhot

April 29th, 2009
2:19 pm

Loved the show and miss it terribly now (but still catch the reruns on TBS ^^) That show encapsulated so much of what real families are like crazy but also loving. Plus the show had a terrific cast (RIP Peter Boyle ; ;) . My family is going to the show and I’m looking forward to the Raymond outtakes.

Karl Childers

May 4th, 2009
2:48 pm

I like buscuits with mustard….

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…………..

Dundee

May 30th, 2009
7:48 am

I agree with Wink, it’s painful to watch. I used to like it but I can no longer stomach Marie who because she never accept Ray’s marriage endlessly took swipes at poor Deborah while Deborah for the most part just stood there and took it. But the show does have an air of reality. I think many marriages are like theirs. After 11 years their romance fizzled out – Ray’s more interested in playing golf rather than spending times with his wife and kids. In one episode it was like a self-inflicted wound for Ray to take his kids to the park for a couple of hours. Ray’s only interest in Deborah was sex. And as for Deborah, if not for the kids she would probably have left Ray years ago. I wonder how many young people after watching the show developed second thoughts about marriage.

RICHARD L Z KLEIN

February 2nd, 2010
2:36 am

RAY AND I HAVE A LOT IN COMMON. I WAS BORN IN FLUSHING QUEENS AND WAS TAKEN HOME TO WHITESTONE CLEARVIEW. I WENT TO BAYSIDE HIGH. I AM JEWISH AND I WILL TELL YOU THE FAMILY CULTURE IS EXACTLY THE SAME.

RAY, I LOVED YOUR SHOW AND I AM CONSTANTLY WATCHING THE SHOW.

YOUR FRIEND,

RICHARD L Z KLEIN