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Hannity

Ray Romano's Last Laugh

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," May 18, 2005, that has been edited for clarity and was rebroadcast on May 30, 2005.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Just a couple of hours ago, Alan sat down with the star of "Everybody Loves Raymond," comedian Ray Romano.

Video: Romano Talks to Colmes

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COLMES: ...appreciate it.

RAY ROMANO, COMEDIAN: My pleasure.

COLMES: Look, are you doing OK? Do you need a job? What's the work situation here?

ROMANO: The unemployment check is quite a drop, quite a drop off.

COLMES: Is it? Did you have to file and everything?

ROMANO: I filed while I still had a job, so I had people file for me.

COLMES: And then the unemployment try to get you in a similar job? Is that...

ROMANO: Yes. Yes. Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

But no, look, it hasn't sunk in quite yet.

COLMES: Well, you're not worried, are you?

ROMANO: I'm not worried financially. But I have to get out of the house.

COLMES: Is that the deal?

ROMANO: I have four kids. I need a job. I do want to work again.

COLMES: Congratulations. You know, nine years. That's rare in this business.

ROMANO: Thank you.

COLMES: Two hundred and ten episodes, 65 Emmy nominations.

ROMANO: Yes, not myself, but the show.

COLMES: Oh, the show?

ROMANO: Yes.

COLMES: But you are the show, I mean, clearly with a lot of help, but...

ROMANO: Yes, we did pretty well, yes. You know, it was bittersweet this week, these past couple days. But you take a little bit of pride in it.

COLMES: Absolutely. What was it like sitting there and watching? Where were you watching the final episode, and what was that like for you?

ROMANO: Oh, I didn't watch it. Hey, "24" is on. Hey, that's a FOX...

COLMES: Thanks for promoting a FOX show.

ROMANO: I TiVo. We watched it. It was pretty nice. We watched it all — the whole cast was in town and doing all of the press. We had a whole day of crazy — pretty amazing stuff, from morning to night.

We rang the bell at the stock exchange. Yes, that was pretty amazing. And then we all went to the hotel that we're staying at, and they set up a banquet room just for friends and family, couches.

COLMES: Bigger table than you had in the actual kitchen of the...

ROMANO: Bigger table, yes. We had more room. The mother actually sat over there. So it was good. And my mother and father on each side — I watched with my mother and father on this big screen in there, and three times my father turned to me, "Is this on TV now?" Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

COLMES: Was this an emotional rollercoaster for you? Or was it, "It's over finally"?

ROMANO: Well, when we filmed the finale in January, that was big. That was pretty big. And that was emotional — that was very heavy for all of us, leading up to it and finally doing it. We had to postpone it a week because Patti Heaton got sick. She got laryngitis. The night of the final taping, we had to send the audience home.

So there was a lot of pent-up emotion when it finally happened. And then it was over. So I was removed from it a little. But there was still a sense that the show was still alive because these episodes hadn't aired yet and the public was seeing them. So this was a second ending of it.

And it hit again, I mean, watching it there for the final time and knowing that this was the last time people were going to see a live one, a new one, yes, we lived through it again. And then they had a retrospective before it, and they put that music to it. You know, music always gets you.

COLMES: Yes, that's true.

ROMANO: But what's weird is also, being three months since we had been on stage and rehearsed it, when you're doing it, you're in this bubble. And you almost can't appreciate that people like it, the quality of it.

So it's only been three months, but it was fun to watch it, having not done it for a while, because I got a little bit of a different sense of it. And I did get to appreciate it more.

COLMES: One gets a sense that everybody actually got along and liked each other in real life.

ROMANO: Yes, it was pretty boring, yes.

(LAUGHTER)

ROMANO: Everybody, you know, on the show got along.

COLMES: No real conflict?

ROMANO: Not really, you know? I mean, there were a couple of financial things, but that's with everything, you know? You want money, right?

COLMES: Wait, they pay me for this?

ROMANO: Well, no. They pay you FOX money. But, no. I especially had a great time with the writers. I mean, the time I spent in the writer's room, I never laughed harder than when I was in there.

(CROSSTALK)

COLMES: Is there any talk of a spin-off or is Brad doing something? Any kind of...

ROMANO: There's talk. Yes, there is talk of Brad. You know, Brad's the natural one. And they're talking about Brad moving out to live with Amy's parents, it's the wife on the show's parents, in Philadelphia. But it's just in the talk stage now. I don't know. Brad wants to do Broadway. I don't know. "The Tall Man Cometh"?

(LAUGHTER)

COLMES: Why end the show now? I understood that Les Moonves, the head of CBS, would have loved another season. Certainly, there are probably some people working there would have loved another paycheck.

ROMANO: Yes, yes.

COLMES: But what made it nine seasons?

ROMANO: Yes, yes. You know, to be fair to people, they wanted it to go on. And it's just natural, you know, a lot of people just for security, you know, you have a great job. You're working with great people.

The only ones who know exactly creatively where we are, and how hard it was to come up with new stories, are myself, and the writers, and Phil Rosenthal. And we were there. And so it's hard to explain to them because they see these shows that I think the quality remained the same. I think we didn't dip at all.

But it was very difficult to get there. And we knew we were reaching the end. So you don't want to have that year where you think, "Oh, we should have gone out last year."

COLMES: Like the phrase, "jump the shark."

ROMANO: Yes, yes, yes. You don't want to jump the shark. You know, we don't want to have to look for stories. We don't end like with Kazoo, like on "The Flintstones," when they added the little flying guy. So we just wanted to leave while we were still on top, because we knew we didn't want to compromise it at all.

COLMES: So know what's your next job? Do you know what the next thing is going to be? Or are you sitting there saying, "I can do this, I can do this, I can do this, I can do that, I can..."

ROMANO: Well, I mean, I could do this. I want to do this. You know, I'm going to do stand up. I love doing stand up. And I did it while the show was on, not a lot.

It did it two or three times a year. I would play and perform in Vegas. Then when I came to New York, I would hit the clubs. So I love doing that and I will do it again. And I want to write new material because it's the same old...

COLMES: Would you do a sitcom again?

ROMANO: I don't think I'll do a network sitcom. You know, I think I have done it. And, as far as network sitcoms go, that's my legacy. So I don't want to touch that.

I will do, you know, something like on HBO seems intriguing. I want to curse. It's been nine years. It's been nine years since I cursed on camera. Can FOX — no, we can't do that. We're on cable, but no.

COLMES: Ray, thank you very much.

ROMANO: My pleasure. Thank you, man. It's always fun.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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