Ray Romano makes a wise career move
Ray Romano had plans to become an accountant before stepping onstage during an open-mike night at a New York comedy club in 1984. That same year, he won a stand-up comedy contest and started down a different career path.
Romano made regular appearances at comedy clubs and on talk shows, including “The Tonight Show” with both Johnny Carson and Jay Leno and the “Late Show with David Letterman.” The Letterman gig led to a deal with the production company Worldwide Pants Incorporated, leading to the sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond,” which began in 1996.
His hit TV show earned Romano nominations and awards, including a 2002 Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy and the 2002 and 2003 People’s Choice Award for Favorite Male TV Performer, and he shared the 2003 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series.
Besides having an award-winning TV series, Romano also tackled other projects. He headlined a comedy festival at Carnegie Hall, won and donated $125,000 on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” and wrote the best-selling book “Everything and a Kite.” He also released the CD “Ray Romano: Live at Carnegie Hall,” whose proceeds went to the September 11th Fund.
Romano lent his voice to the 2002 animated film “Ice Age,” where he played Manny the woolly mammoth. He also appeared in “Eulogy” (2004) and “Welcome to Mooseport” (2004). In 2006 he revised his role of Manny in “Ice Age: The Meltdown.”
Everybody loves BradBy Deana Waddell
Brad Garrett is free at last, or so he says. The former co-star of “Everybody Loves Raymond” has ended his nine-year run on the Emmy award-winning sitcom and gone back to doing what he does best: stand-up.
The towering comedian takes the stage by storm in a no-holds-barred comedy routine that leaves audiences laughing long after he has left the stage. It’s no wonder the funnyman was named the first $100,000 grand champion winner on “Star Search” in 1984 at the youthful age of 23.
Fans of the hit show may be caught by surprise at Garrett’s quick wit. Best known as the dull, deep-voiced Robert Barone, Garrett is nothing like his alter ego — his voice is not so deep, and his animated demeanor is anything but dull.
The comedian, who has worked with such stars as Frank Sinatra, Smokey Robinson and Sammy Davis Jr., performs what would be the musical equivalent of an unplugged show, where his routine is uncensored and hilarious. The two-time Emmy-award winner isn’t afraid to stray from his routine when somebody from the audience walks in late, leaves to go to the bathroom or just looks ripe for the picking. And his humor isn’t for the fainthearted — anyone and anything is open for mocking.
Check your politically-correct thoughts at the door and open up your mind, as Garrett has an anything-goes attitude and doesn’t hold back. Celebrities such as Michael Jackson and Paris Hilton are fair game, as are his wife and children. And don’t be surprised if he picks on you, too.
The comedian, whose voice can be heard in such films as “Casper,” “Toonsylvania” and “Finding Nemo,” shines brightest when he is put on the spot, answering any number of questions from the audience. The night I saw the comedian, a college student asked Garrett to “bust a move” like he sometimes did on “Everybody Loves Raymond.” Garrett first teased the student, poking fun of him and the number of drinks he might’ve had, and then invited him and a friend up on stage for photos. Making every minute memorable, Garrett channeled Robert Barone and goofily danced while posing for a photo shoot all to the music of “Disco Inferno.”
Other highlights include Garrett, who likens himself to a cross between Greg Brady and Herman Munster and proves it by impersonating Munster, doing a laugh-inducing imitation of former co-star, Ray Romano.
Paying homage to his moments on the show, Garrett ends the night with amusing outtakes from “Everybody Loves Raymond.” While Garrett may complain that Romano is “one rich bastard,” it’s Garrett’s humor and spontaneity that are priceless.