Interviews

 

Lew Schneider

Writer / Producer

Lew Schneider on how Everybody Loves Raymond was pitched to him; he wondered if Ray Romano could actually act

49:34

Don't write with an eye to, 'I think I can sell this thing.' I think that's frustrating. If you start thinking about the commercial appeal of what you're writing, you're going to be in trouble. 

About this interview

In his two-hour Archive interview, Lew Schneider talks about his first interest in performing as part of the "Mask and Wig Club" at the University of Pennsylvania. He chronicles his experiences at Second City in Chicago and his work as a stand-up comedian. He talks about his move to New York City, where he became the host of a children's game show called Make the Grade.  He describes the CBS summer series Wish You Were Here that had him traveling on-location across Europe (where his character filmed his trip with a camcorder to send video letters back home). He then relates his move to Los Angeles and his casting as a regular on the FOX series Down the Shore, where he met future Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal. With The George Wendt Show, Schneider transitioned to writer-producer, and he describes his work on this show with Peter Tolan. He then speaks in great detail about his work as a writer-proudcer on the entire run of the long-running sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond. He discusses working in the writers room, the atmosphere on the set, and the real-life stories that were made into episodes. He speaks about such classic series episodes as "Boob Job" (where Debra tricks Ray into thinking she has had a boob job), "The Christmas Picture" (in which Debra invites her parents to be a part of the Barone's family photo), "Wallpaper" (in which Frank and Marie crash the car through Ray and Debra's house), "Humm Vac" (where Debra discovers that Marie's home is as clean as she says it is when demonstrating a new vacuum), "A Vote for Debra" (where Ray votes against Debra for president of the school board), and "Bad Moon Rising" (where Ray tries to deal with Debra's PMS). Lastly, he briefly speaks about some of his post-Raymond projects including The New Adventures of Old Christine. Gary Rutkowski conducted the interview in Pacific Palisades, CA on July 16, 2007.

Don't write with an eye to, 'I think I can sell this thing.' I think that's frustrating. If you start thinking about the commercial appeal of what you're writing, you're going to be in trouble. 

Interview Highlights

Embedded thumbnail for Everybody Loves Raymond

Lew Schneider on how Everybody Loves Raymond was pitched to him; he wondered if Ray Romano could actually act

49:34
Embedded thumbnail for Everybody Loves Raymond

Lew Schneider on the writers on Everybody Loves Raymond; there was no "writer's room"

36:19
Embedded thumbnail for George Wendt Show, The

Lew Schneider on The George Wendt Show; originally based on NPR's "Car Talk"

33:22
Embedded thumbnail for Everybody Loves Raymond

Lew Schneider on how they came up with story lines for Everybody Loves Raymond; how they ran out of "good ideas" and were down to just "shitty things that happened"

03:49