Tuesday, April 4, 2006


Just because 'Everybody Loves Raymond' has left the airwaves, that doesn't mean we've seen the last of Ray Barone's extended family. We just have to extend the search for them a bit further out.

At the turning of the year, Alka Seltzer celebrated its 75th anniversary with a commercial starring Frank and Marie Barone (as portrayed by Peter Boyle and Doris Roberts).

And now we've another branch of the Barone family, perhaps first cousins, in the fourth episode of 'The Sopranos' ("The Fleshy Part Of The Thigh").

Richard Barone, owner of a waste management company, already appeared in 'The Sopranos' in several episodes. Tony Soprano held a phantom job in the company so that he had a W2 for tax purposes as well as for the medical coverage.

But with this new season of 'The Sopranos', Richard "Dick" Barone was dead. Luckily for Toobworld purposes, his character passed away off screen. That way we're spared looking for a splainin as to why Frank Barone was seen at the funeral.

Dick's son Jason was forced to step in - after being kept on the outside all of his life, - to take care of his father's affairs for the sake of his mother. It's possible that if his father (who was played by actor Joe Lisi) was a cousin to Frank Barone, that would mean Ray and Robert Barone were second cousins once removed from Jason Barone.

Or maybe not. I don't know what I'm talking about when it comes to the terminology of genealogy. But I do like looking at the family tree graphs you see in the back of "The Lord Of The Rings".

And there are other possible cousins to be found in the TV Universe. Slightly older than Robert and Raymond Barone would be Paulie Barone, the simpleton of the family, who made a living by driving a hearse. (Paulie was played by David Elliott back in the late 1970s on 'Joe & Valerie'.)

They may have had some kinfolk who took their own advice about California being the place they ought to be - Jon Barone (Richard Garlund), as seen in "Sing Something Simple", an episode of '77 Sunset Strip', and William Vaughn's "Barone" in the 'S.W.A.T.' episode "Omega One". (But that might have been just an alias.)

A couple of years ago, the entire Barone family traveled to Italy to get in touch with their roots. And so it's entirely possible that they could be related to TV characters named Barone, like Marcelo (played by Fulvio Stefanini in 'Suave Veneno') and Nino (from 'Ness Uno Escluso' with Tony Palazzo in the role).

Whether or not they were ever intended to be all related, I have to figure that by now it's too late to deny it within the framework of 'The Sopranos'. (Of course by stating that, I've probably thrown down the gauntlet for them to find a way to poke a hole in my theories.)

One final note: if you studied that list of potential family members carefully enough, you may have noticed something in there......

I'm a sexist pig.

I didn't bother looking up any female characters named "Barone". I figured at best they'd be using the surname as their married name. But as for any unmarried Barone women, well.... they wouldn't be carrying the name into the next generation.

Unless they were very, very naughty.


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