Phil Rosenthal, who based the long-running series on characters from his family and Ray Romanos, is the author of Youre Lucky Youre Funny (Viking Books), which explains how he turned his real-life experiences into comedy gold and how others can too.
Rosenthal admits everyone has arguments at home but comedy writers use their sense of humor to release their frustrations. The key, he says, is not to keep the arguments going.
As a result, he says many real-life incidents in his life were turned into scripts such as the Raymond episode where he signed his parents up for a Fruit Of The Month Club. Rosenthal says he really did that and his own parents looked at him like he had just joined a cult.
Rosenthal admits basing his humor on his family sometimes gets an adverse reaction.
As he puts it, There were times when I made fun of a family member and my mom called me after the episode and yelled, Are you out of your mind? We have to see these people!
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