Too often disruption means new — something that’s never existed. But can a disruption be a return to the past? Phil Rosenthal, creator of Everybody Loves Raymond and I’ll Have What Phil’s Having, certainly thinks so.
“To me, disruption is an interruption,” Rosenthal explains. “And the film industry needs to be interrupted… but that doesn’t require something new.”
The 56-year-old entertainer raises eyebrows and gesticulates lavishly as he hones in on Hollywood’s tendency to prioritize looks over content.
“I grew up on shows like The Honeymooners, All In The Family and Mary Tyler Moore,” he continues. “Shows that were more like plays than like sitcoms… But now it’s become about the illusion of entertainment — dangling something shiny to mollify an audience into thinking 22 minutes went by fast.”
Rosenthal has spent two decades campaigning for “old fashioned” television. With Raymond, he ignored requests to make the series as “hip” and “edgy” as its ’90s counterparts. (“You’ve seen me, Mr. Hip and Edgy.”) And with his season-old show, What Phil’s Having, he’s differentiating himself from the adventure model exemplified by hosts like Anthony Bourdain to create a new type of travel series: one that inspires the everyman to travel.