The truest friendships are forged not only during the best of times but also during the hardest of times. Ray Romano and Kevin James have each achieved success with careers spanning decades. On numerous occasions the two comedians turned actors have even collaborated on projects.
However, are Ray Romano and Kevin James friends outside of their professional duties?
Before the Fame
Most actors and comedians are no stranger to the hustle and struggle that is demanded of them early on in their careers. Both Romano and James started their careers pursuing comedy in the late 1980s in New York. They were trying to make a name for themselves in standup. Romano jokes that they, “bonded over getting turned down for every audition we went on.”
The two later relocated to Los Angeles where they lived in the same hotel while trying to land sitcom roles. James claims that at the time he and Romano, “tried to play a lot of golf, because we didn’t have a lot of work.”
The Best of Times
By the late 1990s, both Kevin James and Ray Romano had begun to make names for themselves as comedians. In 1996 Ray Romano was given the opportunity to become the star of his own show on CBS, Everybody Loves Raymond. During its nine seasons on the air, one of the repeat guest stars and writers on Everybody Loves Raymond was Kevin James.
A few years after Romano’s show began, Kevin James began starring in his own sitcom, The King of Queens. His show found similar success to Romano’s, and also ran for nine seasons. Romano guest-starred as Doug’s (Kevin James) Long Island friend on multiple episodes. The two continued to appear on one another’s show as part of a network program crossover on CBS.
Post Sitcom Era
As the end of their sitcoms drew near in the early 2000s, Romano and James began to entertain other roles, this time in film. The pair starred in a golf documentary as themselves — two comedians trying to make the cut at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2005. In the documentary Kevin James tells a reporter that the tournament is something he and his friend Ray Romano attend each year together.
The following year, Romano and James co-starred in the dark comedy film, Grilled, and played two door-to-door meat salesmen in desperate need of making a sale. After poor test screenings, the film went straight to video and was never released in theaters.
The friendly collaboration between the two did not end there, however. In the years since their shows went off the air, Romano and James have co-headlined comedy stand up tours. At a show together in Las Vegas around 2008, Kevin James even did a spot-on impression of one of Romano’s old bits– showing that the two have been close for a long time. Most recently in 2016, after a decade away from sitcoms, Romano guest-starred on his friend’s latest show– Kevin Can Wait– as a friendly, pushy car salesman.
The friendship between the two began when both were struggling to launch their careers. They have experienced the highs and lows of the entertainment business together.
Yes, Ray Romano and Kevin James are friends. They still remain friends and collaborators to this day.
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