Gianni, played by Jon Manfrellotti, is Ray's friend
Gianni is an old friend of Raymond, he has appeared in a number of episodes along with his other friends but also has been part of the central plot in many episodes. He and Ray used to work together as futon repairmen until Ray finally got his job as a sportswriter. Ray actually met Debra while working with Gianni on her futon. At some point Gianni quit this job and began working as a contractor. Gianni regularly appears among Ray's circle of friend along with Andy and Robert. Ray and Gianni would have their friendship tested when he was working on Ray's kitchen. Gianni was frequently lazy on the job and charged Ray with an enormous bill. They fight, but eventually make up. Robert doesn't like Gianni, mostly because Gianni used to date Amy and screwed him on a contracting job for Robert's sink.
Jon Manfrellotti briefly appears as a Cable Service Tech in episode "The Game" from season 1, in which he and Ray don't appear to have met before. Since Ray and Gianni are shown to have been friends and had worked together before Ray met Debra, the unnamed cable guy is certain to be a seperate character from Gianni.
Gianni has similar views on women and life to Raymond and also shares many interests with Raymond such as watching sports and playing golf. Gianni works as a contractor and as in one particular episode, he is hired by Ray to fix the stove although it does not go well. Gianni often makes fun of Raymond particularly his large nose, his immature behaviour is what also annoys Debra sometimes.
Behind the scenes: Claude GianniEdit
Though both the Internet Movie Database and Wikipedia have the character listed as "Claude Gianni", there is no concrete evidence in any Everybody Loves Raymond episode that suggests his first name is "Claude", nor that "Gianni" is his last name. He did in fact work for "Claude's Futons" with Ray in a flashback sequence, but nothing indicates that Gianni owns the business nor is named Claude. The viewer only visually sees him as a delivery man.