Ray Romano embarks on a comedy career

What led Ray Romano to embark on a career as a standup comedian? Keen to impress a date one night, Ray, on a whim, performed on open mike night at a local comedy club. "It was the girl's birthday," he later recalled, "and I wanted to give her a unique birthday present."

[No stranger to adversity, Romano (who once planned to become an accountant) flunked out of two high schools, dropped out of two colleges, pumped gas (before being robbed at gunpoint, twice), and left his bank job to deliver futons by day while working as a stand-up comic at night.]

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