Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Lost Script Notes to Everybody Loves Raymond

By Doug Lieblich * Other Doug Lieblich Posts

As a hip professional working in the entertainment industry, or as we insiders call it, “the biz,,” I have had the privilege of obtaining all sorts of juicy industry gossip. One of my favorite tidbits of Hollywood lore arrived in my collection a few years ago. It was a set of script notes that CBS emailed to the showrunners of Everybody Loves Raymond. Now, for you non-industry people (read: morons), script notes are the comments and revisions a script endures before it “goes into production.” Usually these notes stifle the creativity of the writer. Let us now observe the secret battle of censorship over the late great CBS sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond.

Episode #137: Beer Today, Gone Tomorrow

Lns 1-5: We would really prefer to open up with Ray walking on set and announcing that he’s home rather than a fade in on him waking up in a puddle of his own vomit.

Ln 9: Error: It’s more in Debra’s character to pour Ray a glass of lemonade rather than a glass of DRAINO.

Lns 17-20 : The sex scene between Ray’s parents is a bit gratuitous. You can omit it.

Ln 18: Having Ray’s brother, Robert, watch the sex while eating pudding and making farm animal noises is not a believable B-story.

Ln 35: We only have enough in the budget to rent one cow. Maybe instead of a milking competition the family can put some oversized sunglasses on it. Now that’s funny, the CBS way.

Ln 39: We also don’t have the budget to pull Jonathon Taylor Thomas out of rehab for a guest appearance.

Ln 41: As mentioned before, we’re renting the cow, not buying it. Therefore, the slaughtering scene must be removed.

Lns 60-80: The dialogue does not really explain Ray’s motivation for burning down that gay bar.

Ln 94: Ray should address his father as “Dad” not “thundercunt.”

Ln 160: We absolutely love the idea of a ghost haunting the Barone household, but can we make it a black ghost?

Ln 175: Once again, sex scene between the parents = unnecessary.

Ln 190: Please change “horse cock” to “thank you.”

Lns 203-218: The flashback to Vietnam does not set as an adequate pretext to Robert’s irrational fear for blind dates in the B-Story.

Ln 220: typo: “your’e” should be “you’re”

Ln 230: typo: “goddamn-it-i-hate-my-life-as-a-writer-for-this-show-please-kill-me-to-end-this-hell” should be “fruit”

Ln 249: We cannot replace the live studio audience with a burlap sack full of geese and large dogs.

Ln 252: The third sex scene between the parents and the writer of the episode should also be removed.

Ln 264: It might be a little early in the season for Ray to lose a finger.

Ln 288: Standards and Practices has a problem with Ray blaming the fact that he lost his job because of “conniving Jews.”

Lns 300-307: Please add a rap song scene with the black ghost.

Ln 315: It is fine if you want Ray to adopt two kids from an orphanage, but you can’t have him return them at the end of the episode.

Ln 333: No one can survive a monster truck impact at that speed.

Ln 345: Please change the ghost’s line from “oooooooh” to “I’mma gonna haunt yo ass.”

Ln 356: It is not in Ray’s character to beat his wife.

Ln 387: Remove wife beating scene

Ln 390: Remove wife beating scene

Ln 410: Remove wife beating scene.

Ln 411: Probably better to use a steel pipe rather than a chunk of dry wall.

Lns 412-449: Remove wife beating scene.

Ln 450: Please add closing joke: “I guess we better get some sunny weather tomorrow.”

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