Leah Remini and Kevin James Pay Tribute to 'The King of Queens' on Show's 25th Anniversary: 'So Grateful'

"As soon as production started on season one, I knew I was home," Remini said of the CBS sitcom, which premiered on Sept. 21, 1998

<p>Mireya Acierto/Getty; Allen Berezovsky/Getty</p> Kevin James and Leah Remini

Mireya Acierto/Getty; Allen Berezovsky/Getty

Kevin James and Leah Remini

Leah Remini and Kevin James are looking back on The King of Queens with love.

On Thursday, the stars paid tribute to the CBS sitcom as it marked its 25th anniversary.

The series, which premiered on Sept 21, 1998, ran for nine seasons until May 2007. It followed middle-class married couple Doug (James) and Carrie Heffernan (Remini) as they lived in Queens, New York with the latter's father, Arthur Spooner (portrayed by the late Jerry Stiller).

<p>Robert Voets/ CBS via Getty</p> Kevin James and Leah Remini in "The King of Queens."

Robert Voets/ CBS via Getty

Kevin James and Leah Remini in "The King of Queens."

Related: 'King of Queens' Cast Remembers Late Jerry Stiller During Virtual Reunion: 'Just the Greatest'

James, 58, shared a photo of the three stars on Instagram Thursday and expressed his gratitude for the show and his costars.

"25 years ago today, we aired," he wrote in the caption. "I am so incredibly blessed to have taken this ride with the insanely talented @leahremini and Jerry Stiller. I love you both so much. and thank you to the GREATEST FANS in the world 🌎 LOVE YOU! 🙏❤️"

Remini, 53, posted her own heartfelt Instagram tribute to the "truly special show," raving about her costars and the series' fans. She also shared a fun clip from one of the show's episode, in which Carrie buys Doug a shirt from the "Big and Tall Store."

"By the time I signed on as Carrie Heffernan, I had been to hundreds of auditions, was cast in many pilots and some short-lived series, and was finally offered The King Of Queens," she began her caption. "As soon as production started on season one, I knew I was home, and I am blessed to say I was part of a truly special show that went on for nine seasons and 207 episodes and still lives on successfully in syndication."

The actress praised James and Stiller, along with their "amazing" costars Gary Valentine (Danny), Patton Oswalt (Spence), Victor Williams (Deacon) and Nicole Sullivan (Holly).

"They all made me laugh every day," she wrote. "Our gifted guest and recurring cast made the show what it is. Working with the cast, crew, and our awesome and dedicated writers and producers was a dream come true for an actress."

Related: Kevin James and Leah Remini Mourn 'Kevin Can Wait' After CBS Cancels Sitcom

She then then acknowledged the show's fans and their fierce dedication, recalling one viewer who commented that her family is a "three-generation King of Queens household: her mom watches it, she watches it, and now her daughter watches it."

"I want to let you all know that I see the comments where you say that you fall asleep every night to The King of Queens, that it got you through a rough day and tough times in your lives," the star continued, "that you laughed for the first time in your day watching us, or that you watch several episodes a day, or that you and your family bond over watching the episodes in syndication."

<p>CBS via Getty</p> Kevin James and Leah Remini

CBS via Getty

Kevin James and Leah Remini

"It means the world to me, and I’m so grateful for this experience that lives on and on," she concluded her tribute.

Related: Hollywood Mourns Beloved Actor Jerry Stiller: 'What a Giant'

In 2021, the King of Queens cast gathered virtually for a charity reunion and held a table read in honor of their late costar Stiller, who died in May 2020 at age 92.

"He was the dad, he was the one in his undershirt after the show wrapped," Remini recalled of the late actor. "Jerry could have been in the first scene and they said, 'It's okay for you to go. You don't have to stay all night while we're filming,' and he would stay."

Bobby Bank/WireImage "The King of Queens" actor Jerry Stiller, who died in May 2020.
Bobby Bank/WireImage "The King of Queens" actor Jerry Stiller, who died in May 2020.

"He cared so much about you," James chimed in. "I remember, there was one taping we had where I was sick beforehand ... and Jerry came backstage to my dressing room and he goes, 'Can I help you?'"

"I miss him so much — he's just the greatest," the Kevin Can Wait actor added. "A lot of people see him how he acts, the cranky old man yelling and screaming, but it was the opposite of who he was. He's an angel."

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All nine seasons of The King of Queens are available to stream on Peacock.

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