The show Everybody Loves Raymond, which was created by comedian Ray Romano with a lot of the show's plots based around his real life experiences with his annoying and somewhat strange family, became a hit tv show known for its realistic characters and its honest views on many of life's issues such as overbearing parents, and generally being worried about how your parenting is affecting your kids such as teaching them good morals and being a good role model.
The show focuses on Ray Barone, played by Romano. His character is that of a mama's boy in which he is easily manipulated by his meddlesome and old fashioned mother Marie. Here she constantly plays favorite with him by making him food and being generally nicer to him than to her other son Robert. Robert, the older sibling, knows he is the black sheep of the family and is usually the butt of all the jokes from all the characters in the show; especially their dad Frank. Their father is described in the show as a boar of a man, being vulgar and insensitive by making wisecracks about his life, children, and especially his wife Marie who he mostly complains about and makes fun of.
Frank was considered to be the funniest and most popular character on the show and was generally well liked on the set by his cast mates which made his death all the more heart breaking.
On December 12th, 2006, Peter Lawrence Boyle died of Kahler's disease. This reportedly saddened all of the cast members as they had bonded with the man that played their father/husband/inlaw/grandpa. They apparently knew that Peter was sick and knew he didn't have long for this world.
In 2007, CBS, the studio that broadcasted the show, revealed that there was supposed to be a tenth season of the show, but due to the declining health of Peter Boyle they nixed the idea. But before cancelling the season they did film one episode that only aired once in the spring of that same year.
The episode was simply titled "Dad". The episode begins in Ray's kitchen with him, Robert, Marie, his wife Debra, and their kids Ally and twins Michael and Geoffrey. One thing that was noticeable was that Robert's off and on girlfriend later wife Amy was sobbing, but what was stranger was everyone else was just kind of staring at each other with noticeably upset and shocked faces. What were they shocked about? Strangley enough the episode went three minutes of them just staring at each other until Ally broke the silence.
"Dad, do you think that grandpa wants us to be upset?"
"Ally sweetie, I know for a fact that grandpa wouldn't want us to be upset over his.... d-departure but it's just human nature to get emotional over these kind of situations." Ray responded. Ray obviously didn't want to say what had really happened so he played it off as not that big of deal so he wouldn't upset his daughter and himself even more.
The episode was definitely more serious and darker in nature than any other episode. Also, it seemed that the characters weren't wearing their usual outfits on the show as they had messy looking hair, none of the females were wearing make up, and they were wearing their pyjamas as if they all just got up. Supposedly the episode mostly took place in the kitchen.
"I always loved Frank, sure he was a walking barn animal at times but he cared for all of us and loved his kids, his grandchildren, and his in laws. Sure we drove each other crazy but that's what made our bond stronger was accepting that no relationship is perfect and we aren't always going to get along, but it was our realization that we did all we could do for our children and it was our new duty to help out our children's children." Said Marie.
They cut to commercial break and when the show returned Amy and the kids were gone and wouldn't be seen again until the very end.
A subtitle saying that five hours had passed opened the second act, this time the family was dressed in their regular clothes except for Robert, who was in his cop uniform since that was his job on the show.
"You know, when I first met Frank, I thought that you know he was a nice guy and all, but.." Debra said before being interrupted.
”but what?" Marie said with a slightly agitated voice.
"Well, I thought that he hated me at first. But he did grow on me when I married Ray is what I was trying to say Marie." Debra responded.
"You think he hated you dear? He adored you Debra believe me he was honored to be your father in law. To be honest with you Debra, I, uh.."
"what?" said Debra. "Listen Marie, I know how much Ray means to you and I felt at times that you never liked me because you felt like I was taking your place, but trust me, I would never be able to take the place of a mother. Is that what you were trying to say?"
"Yes dear, and.. Thank you, daughter." marie tearfully replied as her and Debra hugged since one of the big factors of the show was Marie's obvious dislike towards Debra.
During the show there was said to be no laugh track and the characters made little to no attempts at humor in the episode.
"You know, even though dad never said anything encouraging or anything supportive to me, and obviously paid more attention to Raymond, I knew that he loved me and was proud of me for following my dream. Sure he mocked my height, my style, me still living with him and mom in my 30s I knew that I was something special to him." Robert said tearfully as the second act ended.
Supposedly, after the second act ended the show's time block had only seven minutes left which wasn't enough for a third act but it apperently leaked into the next show's time slot which was coincidentally a rerun of the first episode.
The third act began as. The family was outside of Frank and Marie's house since they lived across the street from Raymond. Raymond starts talking but the video feed was messed up during the broadcast and only the first half of what he said was presented. He said something along the lines of " I know this will be hard for everyo.." But after the speech they go inside the house where there are EMTs and on duty Robert allowing the family to go inside the bedroom.
Everyone, including the kids and Amy, stare at what is supposed to be Frank's corpse wrapped in the blanket. Everyone breaks down and they apperently all have their own line but the feed once again cut out. All that was heard was Marie saying "i never thought that today would be the day, i tried waking him up, but when i saw his face i just knew."
Each character then goes up the corpse and kisses it on the head and whispers something into its ear. Only Ray's whisper was audible to the audience.
Ray timidly went up to the corpse last and with tears down his cheeks he kissed his deceased father on the head and said,
"Not everybody loves me, but Everyone loves you, dad."
Everyone else is gone and only Ray is in the room, he walks towards the door and takes one last look at the body, he closes his eyes and lowers his head as he leaves the room and shuts the door behind him.
The screen fades to black and the episode is over.
In interviews with cast members years later they all deny the existence of this episode and when asked more about it they look like they are close to breaking down and crying.
Perhaps it is best to just pretend it never happened as it would be too painful to remember the death of Frank from the cast's perspective and also the fans too. Maybe, just maybe, CBS will consider burning that supposed lone copy of the episode just for the memory and honor of Peter Lawrence Boyle.