The Eyes: A Husband's Love?


Welcome back! The cast of SURVIVOR: PALAU will be revealed on The Early Show on CBS the morning of Thursday, January 13, 2005. The tenth season of our favorite (and the best) reality show is just around the corner, which means my in-depth analysis of the 20 new castaways and their strategies and the game in general will begin again in just a few weeks!

But, for now, I am continuing my discussion of the best sitcom of our generation, EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND. Over the past two weeks, we looked at two major relationships from the show that represent true-life relationships the vast majority of American families experience: the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship of Marie and Debra and the sibling rivalry of Raymond and Robert.

This week’s column will be devoted to the one remaining character of the five that I have not addressed hardly at all yet: Ray’s father, Frank.

Frank Barone is played by Peter Boyle. He is the only member of the Raymond cast to never have won an Emmy for his role on the show. This continues to surprise me, because if I had to choose a favorite out of all the characters, Frank is the one I would choose. Peter Boyle does an excellent job of capturing the persona of Frank.

Frank is considered by many of his family members on various occasions to be a “baboon.” He is, to put it simply, rude, and he has no qualms about being who he is. He does not hide his true self. He is a veteran of the Korean War, and that, combined with a rough youth, turned him into a more abrasive person.

The excellence behind the acting is that Frank does not come off as mean. He is an absolutely hilarious character, and when I watch the show, I always find myself on the edge of my seat whenever Frank is about to divulge his latest punch-line.

Right from the very first episode, the viewer gets an understanding of what Frank is like when he taps into Ray and Debra’s answering machine, listens to their messages, and then repeats them on the machine so that when they play their answering machine, they hear Frank. He is also very fond from the pilot onward of relaxing with his fly unzipped and open.

One of the things Frank is most famous for throughout the series is constant one-liners directed towards his wife, Marie. He makes smart remarks to everyone, but especially to Marie. (NOTE: Later, I will be providing a list of some of my favorite Frank quotes and conversations from the series so you can get an idea of what I’m talking about.)

Now, this is where his character goes deeper. There are several instances where the viewer sees that the “zings” between Marie and Frank mutually are just how they communicate; there is true love there. Frank just doesn’t go around gushing his feelings. He is a “man’s man,” and grew up in a society where a man showing his true feelings was off-limits. The same was true of homosexuals. (Frank is a definite homophobe.)

Regardless, he truly does love Marie. She takes care of him. That is why their relationship works so well even though they constantly argue and throw one-liners at each other. Marie has a desperate need to take care of her family, and Frank needs to be taken care of. Each person’s need is met.

There are some instances where Frank DOES show his true love for Marie. The prime example is an episode in which Frank was voted “Man of the Year” at his Lodge, where he hangs out with his friends. Ray and Robert were therefore required to do a tribute for him at his acceptance ceremony. Well, as it turns out, Frank is “Man of the Year” mainly by default, because his abrasive personality and stinginess puts off several people; Ray and Robert do the best they can with the tribute, but in the end, it falls on the short end of the stick.

The events in that paragraph take up a whole of 10 minutes of the show. The rest is completely between Marie and Frank after they get home from the ceremony. One of the most touching scenes of the series occurs when they are in their bedroom ready to turn in for the night. Marie wears cream on her face when she goes to bed. Frank sits next to her as she lies there, and tenderly wipes the cream off because “he likes her better without the crap on her face.”

While this may appear insignificant, it gives the reader a full sense of the depth of Frank’s character. Yes, he is abrasive. Yes, he is a homophobe. Yes, he is a cheapskate. But underneath all that hardness, he truly does care for his family, and that can never be forgotten.

It can’t be forgotten on the whole with this show. Each character is very three-dimensional, and that is why the show is so successful and excellent. No character is purely one way. Each person in the family has their own strengths and weaknesses and personalities. These personalities click, and often clash, and that is where the comedy comes from. But that is also where the realism comes in, and you realize that this family is a true microcosm of the American nuclear family.

I think an advertisement I saw in a magazine for season 1 of the show on DVD in September sums the situation up very well:

“Laugh because it’s funny. Cry because it’s true.”

I will leave you now with some of my favorite dialogue from the show involving Frank. Remember that the comedy comes from the acting, so while some of the lines may come across as mean-spirited, it’s really not. As I said, the acting of this character is absolutely incredible, and since the final episode will be this year, I hope that Peter Boyle finally gets his long-deserved Emmy nod this September.

“See” you next week!


Marie: I think it’s awful what’s happened to that store. They used to give you samples all the time. They even helped you take your bags to the car.
Frank: Now I have to take you to the car myself.


Frank (speaking to Robert): What the hell is going on with you? I’m talking to you on the phone the other day, I don’t even understand what you’re saying! What did you call me ‘dog’ for?
Robert: That’s a good thing. It means I like you.
Frank (smiling): Oh. Then from now on, I’ll call you ‘jackass.’
Marie: FRANK!
Frank: What? It means he’s great! (Then, after Raymond walks in): Hey, ugly.
Raymond(taken aback): What’s that all about?
Frank: That’s Robert-talk. It means you’re good-lookin’
(He turns to Marie.)
Frank: Hey, good-lookin.’


Raymond: I help out around the house sometimes.
Frank: Oh. That’s nice. Do you dust too? With a little feather duster? Nancy?
Raymond: You know, Dad, when you call me ‘Nancy,’ what are you implying, exactly?
Frank: That your name should be Nancy.
Raymond: And you mean that as an insult?
Frank: Yes, I believe I do.
Raymond: But that’s not nice.
Frank: That’s why it’s a good insult.


Raymond (talking to single-brother Robert): This is marriage. You wake up in the morning, and she’s there. You eat, she’s there. You come home at night, she’s there. You go to bed, there. And I know, that sounds like a bad thing. But it’s not. It’s not. Not if it’s the right person. Then it’s good, it’s good, it’s really, really good.
Frank: I’d like a minute for rebuttal.


Marie (talking to Robert after he breaks up with another girl): You know you’re killing me, Robbie? Do you even care that you’re killing me?!?!? Dig a grave and throw me in!
Frank: I’ve got a shovel.


Marie (after she discovers that Frank sold one-half of their joint burial plot): When were you going to tell me about this?
Frank: I wasn’t. I figured that if you went first you couldn’t yell at me. And if I went first, yell all you want!


Frank: Can’t you ever just be quiet?
Marie: Don’t you tell me to be quiet! I have a mind of my own, you know! I can contribute! I’m not just some trophy wife!
Frank: You’re a trophy wife? What contest in hell did I win?


Frank: I’m still going to live longer than you.
Marie: What, 30 seconds?
Frank: 30 seconds in paradise!


Frank (at a Thanksgiving where Marie made a tofu turkey): May I have my carving knife, please?
Marie: Thank you, Frank.
Frank: I want to slit my throat.

Raymond: Everyone makes jokes about their wives, Deb.
Frank: I never.
Raymond: What are you talking about?!?!? What about the time you said you wished a tidal wave would come and sweep Mom out to sea?
Frank: I have never been more serious about anything in my entire life.
Marie: Last week you called me an old bag.
Frank: If that’s a joke then it’s on me.


Allie (referring to the tropical fish in the tank her Grandpa Frank just got for his birthday from Raymond): What should we call them?
Frank: Well, we can call those two Lee and Stan, and that big one with its mouth open we’ll call Marie!


Marie (after Robert breaks up with yet another woman): For goodness sakes, Robbie! Do you want to die alone?!?!?!
Frank: YES!!!!!!!!
(Marie turns around and glares at him.)
Frank: Oh, him.


(NOTE: Obviously, this is not all there is. Over nine seasons, there have been plenty memorable Frank moments. These are just some that were my favorites or that I thought off on the top of my head. As soon as this column is posted, I’ll remember a lot more, I’m sure, that I meant to include here and just forgot. But enjoy, and please watch the show!!!! You’ll love it!)