EXCLUSIVE: Ray Romano Talks 'Everybody Loves Raymond' 20th Anniversary: 'I Got Lucky'

Raphael Chestang

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Everybody Loves Raymond's debut on CBS, and ET got the show's star, Ray Romano, to open up about his early days on the sitcom.

"I got very lucky," Romano tells ET at an event celebrating the weSPARK Cancer Support Center in Los Angeles. "You got to get lucky with one of those shows."

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In 1996, Romano was still living in Queens with his wife, Anna, and their three kids, Alexandra, Matthew and Gregory. He commuted to Los Angeles to tape the show, knowing that success was not a guarantee.

"I had just gotten fired from NewsRadio," Romano recalls. "I got fired during rehearsal for the pilot on day two, so we weren't about to move or anything until season two. Every time we got renewed it was kind of a nail biter."

As the show grew, so did the Romano family. They had son Joseph in 1998.

WATCH: Ray Romano Says 'Everybody Loves Raymond' 20th Anniversary Reunion Is 'In the Works'

Romano explains that family was a big part of what made Everybody Loves Raymond so successful.

"It's universal," Romano says. "Across the globe, people identified with it, because families are all about love and dysfunction."

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