Patricia Heaton's secret to sitcom success? Saying yes!

Patricia Heaton Reveals the Real Reason for Her Sitcom Success

Patricia Heaton may be on "The Middle" but she's at the top of her game when it comes to comedy and motherhood. The two-time Emmy winner for her role as Debra Barone on "Everybody Loves Raymond" has made her a household name and it seems lightning struck big twice for her in primetime. But when she sat down with's Brian Balthazar she revealed her unusual secret to success - the need to be employed!

"Let me just dispel this myth," says Heaton. "I get one call a year. One call when I'm out of work! I say yes every time because we have four kids to put through college... When I'm in between shows I'm like, 'Kids, we're gonna have to sell the house!'"

Four kids! That must explain why Heaton is the master of playing mom on TV. Now, Heaton is taking her maternal hilarity to the big screen in "Mom's Night Out" in theaters right now just in time for Mother's Day. Heaton plays mom to a teenaged daughter who takes the night off with some of her mommy friends only to have one dramatic night which includes her character getting tased.

"I wasn't sure I wanted to do the movie, but when I saw the taser scene in the script, I thought 'Oh, I gotta do this." Getting tased on-screen may seem like a simple maneuver for an actress like Heaton, but she admits having studied the technique of one "Modern Family" star. "I did a sitcom with Kelsey Grammer called 'Back to You'. Ty Burrell who stars in 'Modern Family' was in 'Back to You'. He played a reporter. He gets tased on the show! He did is so well, I remember I stayed around to watch him rehearse because he was so funny... so cut to years later, I see this scene in the movie and I go, 'I'm gonna look back and look up Ty Burrell getting tased and that was my research!" Oh, what a tangled sitcom web she weaves!

We recommend you watch her full interview here on as we put her to the test in a celebrity mom quiz. You can also catch her in "Mom's Night Out" open in theaters right now and every week on "The Middle" Wednesday nights at 8pm on ABC.
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