Friday, November 03, 2006

Frank Barone (Peter Boyle)

Frank Barone has lived in Lynbrook, Long Island, New York for most of his life and is of Italian heritage. His father (originally named Albert but was later renamed Joe) came to the United States and changed his name to Barone, causing much confusion when Raymond and Ally attempted to contact Frank's aunt Serena, still in Italy. The actual family name is unknown.

Frank is the one member of the Barone family who will unleash anything that is on his mind. Always derogatory and very derisive, Frank insults Marie and even uses names like Nancy and Shirley to describe men (mostly Ray and Robert) who are not macho enough. He often hangs out at the Lodge, where lodge policy (or tradition; it is not definitively explained) is to swim naked in the pool. Refusing to pay for any kind of repair, Frank also considers himself a general handyman and attempts to make repairs around Ray's household (often with disastrous results).

Frank's pastimes are eating and watching TV. He proclaims Marie is his cook and she often gives in, cooking him things from grilled cheese to ham, but once Ray comes over, Frank has to wait until after Ray gets his hands on the food. Frank will usually eat anything, even if Debra cooked it. Frank often watches television with his pants unzipped and that has become a running gag. When Marie temporarily moved in with Ray and Debra, Frank rented the Arnold Schwarzenegger collection ("Except the one where he gets pregnant.") and discovered salsa.

Frank's behavior often results in many people disliking him. Some of Frank's behavior include keeping score at his granddaughter's t-ball game, holding a record breaking football for ransom, and getting insider information on sporting events from Ray and betting on them. Despite his transgressions, Frank is a very passionate man and has a passion for dancing. He also deeply cares for Marie as he admitted when she said they had a "loveless marriage." Some of Frank's more tender moments involve taking the fall for Debra when Marie loses a sentimental item or handing Ray money to take his children to the zoo. During a moment of father-son bonding, Raymond and Robert discover that their grandfather was a physically abusive disciplinarian towards Frank, and that Frank had vowed never to be like him with his own children. This cast their father's abrasive and derisive behavior toward them in a new light and drew the trio imperceptibly closer. The cast often makes jokes about Frank's being fat and bald as well as of the way he smells. He brushes these jokes off with complete acceptance of his slovenly behavior and his trademark "Holy crap!"'

In one episode where Frank gives brightly-wrapped condoms ("things") to trick-or-treaters, he is dressed as Frankenstein's monster. Peter Boyle previously starred in Mel Brooks's Young Frankenstein (1974), playing the monster.