ROMANO TAKES A STAND
EVERYBODYLovesRaymond star Ray Romano had a Claytons exit after the sitcom wrapped production back in 2005. Thanks to constant repeats running on 10 Peach, his celebration of the average marriage has long hit the funny bone of those living the same suburban nightmare, or those of us who recognise it and laugh from afar. Invited to do a stand-up special for Netflix, Romano (pictured) chose to revisit not only the same kind of material but also the place where his showbiz career got off the ground – New York’s famous Comedy Cellar and a secondary spot, “right around the corner”, The Village Underground. Like his TV alter ego, Romano has been married for 32 years, with four children. He jokes he’s at the stage in life where he needs to make friends with doctors, because his body is betraying him. “I went to bed recently and woke up with a sprained ankle. How does that happen?” He has such an effortless delivery and connection with the crowd, who are gob-smacked when he arrives without fanfare to do his sets. The material feels incredibly familiar, like it’s an extension of the sitcom stuff; but not in a tired, “we’ve heard this all before” way. He’s just brilliant at making acute observations about the banality of life and finding the funny in the mundane and minutiae of modern life. Sure, as a multi-millionaire comedy king, his life might look a little different now; but he’s the same ol’ Ray at heart.