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Ray Romano: Actor-comic returns to his stand-up roots for ‘Garden of Laughs’
The 55-year-old actor-comedian says performing live is his passion, so he jumped at the chance to participate in the “Garden of Laughs” event at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.
“Yeah, I love to act and explore different characters, but I’m still learning and finding out if I’m good at all,” Mr. Romano said of his work in front of the camera.
“When I do stand-up, I’m in my element. This is what I am a pro at doing.”
Mr. Romano joked about the upcoming benefit: “I want to know when I’m going on. Because I don’t want to go last.”
He calls performing with old friends a “win-win situation.”
That experience dates back to their days at the Comedy Cellar in New York’s Greenwich Village.
“I did 15 shows a week when I lived in New York. I did five shows on a Friday and seven shows on a Saturday. It was everything I did, and it was my sole source of income,” Mr. Romano said.
“It’s pretty baffling to hear how successful it is in Australia and Israel. Mainly because I was in it,” he said. “It’s because the story was very relatable because it’s family. Family is the same no matter what language you speak.”
Mr. Romano feels that same theme shines through in the animated “Ice Age” film series, in which he voices a wooly mammoth named Manny. Mr. Romano says he’s proud to have each of his children perform a speaking line in each movie in the series.
But now it’s back to the stage, and Mr. Romano couldn’t be happier.
“A ballplayer reaches a certain age that he can no longer hit the ball out of the park. Then he retires. But with stand-up he can keep doing it. Yes, you have to learn to adjust and you have to be more current and hopefully you hold up for some time.”
Madison Square Garden President and CEO Hank Ratner says the Garden of Dreams Foundation has conducted events and programs for more than 215,000 children and their families, including those facing homelessness, extreme poverty, illness and foster care.
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