Listen: ‘I’m Sorry’ Star Andrea Savage Recounts That Infamous ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ Vulva Sculpture Episode

“I’m Sorry” creator and star Andrea Savage owes a debt of gratitude to “Everybody Loves Raymond.” The Emmy-winning CBS sitcom was known for mining its writers’ real-life family foibles for stories, and that’s also what Savage achieves with her TruTV comedy.

Savage told Variety’s My Favorite Episode podcast that she hasn’t yet met “Raymond” creator Phil Rosenthal, but she remembers reading how those writers’ room discussions led to several classic episodes. “I think that may be why I gravitated subconsciously to this show,” she said.

“I could tell the difference between a wacky sitcom premise and something that has its base in a reality… I think that show and other things like it trickled into my brain, and I’m doing my pushed-out, female lead character version of that kind of show.”

On this edition of the podcast, we talk to Andrea Savage about her favorite episode of TV ever, a 2001 installment of “Everybody Loves Raymond.” We also discuss how real “I’m Sorry” can get, how relatable it is to fans, and even what we can all learn about marriage from her show. Listen below:


Savage’s pick for favorite episode is “Marie’s Sculpture,” the fifth episode from season 6 of Phil Rosenthal and Ray Romano’s hit comedy “Everybody Loves Raymond.”

Written by Jennifer Crittenden, in the episode Marie, played by Doris Roberts, takes up sculpting. But when she brings home a sculpture that looks like a vulva, Ray and Debra have to pretend to like it without hurting Marie’s feelings.

The show aired on Oct. 22, 2001 — just over a month after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, which is a bit surprising in hindsight, given its rowdy subject matter. Savage was also intrigued by the fact that the episode made it to primetime.

“This was CBS, primetime, and they had a vagina sculpture,” she said. “I do mostly cable stuff, so it seems tame-ish, but at the time I think this was a groundbreaking thing. I felt like [‘Raymond’] was an edgier show than its packaging. So it sort of slipped into people’s homes. It had some edgier stuff.”

Meanwhile, asked to pick her favorite “I’m Sorry” episode, Savage chose “Acts of Service” from Season 1. In the episode, Andrea (Savage) and Mike (Tom Everett Scott) look to spice up their marriage via a self-help “love language” that includes “acts of service, physical touch, words of affirmation, gift giving and quality time.”

“Andrea and mike are the cornerstone of the show and it allows all the bigger comedy to stem from it,” Savage said. “It does make writing storylines for them very hard in terms of their relationship is very good.” But Savage said she hears from many fans who tell her how excited to finally see a couple on TV “that’s like my marriage.”

“I’m Sorry” is currently streaming on Netflix, with selected episodes also available on TruTV’s website.

I'm Sorry Pilot Shoot ID: 26252_001
CREDIT: Erica Parise

Variety‘s “My Favorite Episode with Michael Schneider” is where stars and producers gather to discuss their favorite TV episodes ever — from classic sitcoms to modern-day dramas — as well as pick a favorite episode from their own series. On “My Favorite Episode,” some of the biggest names in TV share their creative inspirations — and how those episodes influenced them.

Be sure to subscribe to “My Favorite Episode” on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes post every week.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Emmy Contenders 2019

    Emmys 2019: Critical Last Looks on 'Game of Thrones,' 'Fleabag,' More Contenders

    With only days to go before the 71st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, the final voting have long since been cast and counted. But hopes still abound for favorite series and performers. Here, Variety’s television critics look at the leading races, who’s going into the final stretch with some real heat and what they hope will [...]

  • Set di "Gomorra 4", regia di

    Italian Commissions Offer Big Incentives for TV Productions

    Italian TV is traveling around the world as never before, and giving audiences a deep dive into the country’s locations. They range from storied cities such as Rome, Venice, Naples and Milan to classic countryside backdrops, including Tuscany and Umbria. There is also the southern sensuality found in Apulia and Sicily, and, of course, the [...]


    TV Ratings: NBC's 'Downton Abbey' Special Less Than Grand

    NBC aired its “Return to Downton Abbey: A Grand Event” special Thursday night to mark the release of the new “Downton Abbey” movie. However, the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) and co. would probably turn up their noses at the 0.4 rating and 2.8 million viewers the special achieved last night. It was beaten in the [...]

  • Glow Netflix Emmy Comedy Race

    'GLOW' Renewed for Fourth and Final Season at Netflix

    The final bell is ringing for “GLOW.” The Netflix series has been renewed for Season 4, which will also be the show’s last. Series creators, executive producers, and showrunners Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch will return in those roles for the final season, along with executive producers Jenji Kohan, Tara Herrmann, and Mark Burley. The [...]

  • Halsey, Ashley Nicolette Frangipane. Singer Halsey

    Emmys: Halsey to Sing In Memoriam Tribute at Sunday's Ceremony

    Pop star Halsey has been tapped to perform during the Emmy Awards on Sunday, while comedians Adam Devine and Thomas Lennon will also contribute to the telecast. With no Emmy host this year, producers Don Mischer Prods. and Done+Dusted are relying more on presenters and other contributors to keep the show moving, Halsey, whose hits [...]

  • Bianna Golodryga CBS News

    Bianna Golodryga Joins CNN in Full-Time Role

    Sometimes, it pays for news anchors to take root in more than one organization. When Bianna Golodryga joined CBS News in the fall of 2018, she carved out a unique role for herself. She would work as a co-anchor on “CBS This Morning” while maintaining a position she had already established as a contributor to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content