When Everybody Loves Raymond ended in 2005, 32 million people watched the final curtain call. Ray says he was surprised to find he went through a sort of depression. "When the show was ending, [my therapist] said, 'You want to start coming twice a week?'" he says. "About three or four months after Raymond ended, I said, 'Yeah, let's start going twice a week.' He knew this was a big change."
Ray says the cast and crew became like family and he thrived on the creativity of the show. "I was doing that for nine years, and I was doing stand-up 11 years before that. So it was 20 years of working and creating stuff," he says. "All my energy was focused on this and my passion, and overnight it was over. So all of a sudden there was this big void and what do I do next?"
Though he enjoyed his time at home, Ray says he needed another creative outlet. "I don't want to say work is who I am, but some people feel more centered and more whole when they're producing and creating," he says. "That's kind of where I felt I was."