‘Vinyl’s Ray Romano: I’m Done With Sitcoms

Comic stars in new rock drama executive produced by Mick Jagger


Ray Romano in the HBO drama 'Vinyl'

Ray Romano is done with TV sitcoms.

The EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND star — who returns to TV in HBO’s new rock-n-roll drama VINYL — insists he has no plans to return to the 30 minute comedy format that made him a multimillionaire and a worldwide celebrity.

“I can safely say I am never going to do a multi camera sitcom again,” he insists.

“I did it.  I don’t want to have to follow what I already did.  If that is my legacy, fine.  I want to do comedy again, of course.  But multi cam, I am happy with the way I left it.”

RAYMOND aired for nine seasons on CBS beginning in September 1996.  It was nominated for 69 prime time Emmy Awards, and won 15.

“I want to keep working, keep it going,” the father of four says.

“I am not going to retire or anything.  I would like to do something great again.”

VINYL stars Bobby Cannavale as Richie Finestra, a record company executive struggling keep pace with the changing face of the music business while simultaneously battling his own personal demons.

Romano stars as Zak Yankovich, one of Finestra’s business partners.

Set in the 1970s, the series is executive produced by Martin Scorsese and Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger.

“My agent sent me the script and said, ‘See if you like this role,’” he told TheTVPage.com in an exclusive interview.

“The cool thing was Marty had never heard of me.  Never saw me.  My audition tape, he was seeing me for the first time.”

Here’s more of what the comedy legend had to share:

RAYMOND is such a big part of your legacy…

I don’t mind that that is part of it, but, you know, I made my mark in that genre.  I still do stand up.  I don’t do it as much.  The one good thing about [VINYL] is that it filmed in New York so I got to hang out at the clubs where I started.  I was five blocks from The Comedy Cellar down in the Village, so on the nights I wasn’t working I would go down there.  I would come up with some good material so that was great.  I still play Vegas three or four times a year.  And I do a lot of charities.

VINYL is set in the mid 1970s.  What music were you listening to back then?
People make fun of me because my favorite band in the ‘70s was Chicago.  But I liked everything:  The Who, The Stones, The Beatles were big for me.  I had my Led Zeppelin albums, my Black Sabbath albums.  But my iPod right now — every song I play, my wife would hate because it is from the 1970s.

What is your relationship to music as an artist yourself?
My mother is a Juilliard graduate.  She studied to be a concert pianist and then she gave it up to have a family.  So she taught for 50 years.  She taught us piano.  I play little piano.  I play drums.  I annoyed my family for a little bit.  But otherwise… I like all types of music.  I can’t specify one.  I an a rock ballad guy.  I like rock ballads.

What is the best music to get lucky to?
I lost my virginity to the first three minutes of “Stairway to Heaven.”  Try that.

How cool is it to be in a show about rock and roll that is produced by Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger?
I don’t even think you have to ask that question.  But it depends what your definition of cool is.  Meeting Mick Jagger.  Snorting fake Coke…

What is fake coke made of?
It’s like a lactose lactate powder. Some for of milk powder. I snorted a little bit of it. He had a snort almost every day. He was really working hard.

VINYL airs Sunday nights on HBO.

Sean Daly

Sean Daly

Editor-In-Chief at TheTVPage.com
Sean Daly is a veteran entertainment journalist.His work has appeared in People, Us Weekly, The Toronto Star and other top publications. He was the west coast TV reporter for The New York Post from 2008 - 2013. Sean is the author of Inside AGT: The Untold Stories of America's Got Talent and Teen Mom Confidential: Secrets and Scandals From MTV's Most Controversial Shows.
Sean Daly