“Everybody Loves Raymond” was the first big project that Ray Romano had in the entertainment business, and there were plenty of doubts about his ability to hold up the show. Brad Garrett was one of the people that didn’t have much faith.
He talked about some of the risks in the show, such as that Romano would send the show spiraling and take the rest of the cast with it. Thankfully, those fears never materialized – instead, the show is one of the most famous and popular of its kind, and it was a big boost to Garrett’s career.
Is That Really the Name?
The name of this show is now recognizable around the world, but originally it was going to be something different. What was that something different? We don't know! “Everybody Loves Raymond” was the show's placeholder title for the pilot episode – from a snarky remark that Romano's real cop brother made once – but the name stuck.
They had intended to change it to something, but everybody seemed to like the name, and the rude comments Romano imagined never arrived. Nowadays, it's one of the most recognizable phrases and titles from the nineties.
The Paycheck Issue
Obviously, Ray Romano was the main actor, but the rest of the family was just as important. However, there was still an incredible wage gap that nearly stopped the show short once it was discovered. Romano was making almost two million dollars an episode towards the end of the series. Everyone else was only making about $160,000 per episode.
No small paycheck, but less than a tenth of Romano's earnings. Garrett staged a cast walkout in 2003, which lasted two weeks until more money came through with the help of syndication rights. The others collected about $20 million extra each.
Brad's Big Problem
Brad Garrett plays Raymond's huge brother Robert, a policeman that still lives with his parents across the street from Raymond. Brad Garret has been open about his problems with alcohol during his early time on the show, describing himself as a “high-functioning alcoholic.” He says it became a defense mechanism for things that were out of control in his life.
At the end of the first season, he realized how destructive it was to his health and future, and began to seek help. This was in 1997, and he is still, apparently, successful in his battle against his demons.
Changing Some Names
While a good deal of the show is based on real life, many things had to be left out or changed. Ray used his first name, his arguments, and many real-life stories, but as his family joined the show, some things had to change. Ray had twins in the show – just like in real life, and their names were meant to be Matthew and Gregory – just like in real life.
The show realized this might not be the best decision, so the fake twins got adjusted to Michael and Geoffrey. Slight adjustments, but it's all that was needed.