Modern Family ended in 2020 after a 11-season run and changed the way family sitcoms were presented on television.
Starring Ed O’Neill as Jay, Sofia Vergara as Gloria, Julie Bowen as Claire, Ty Burrell as Phil, Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Mitch, Eric Stonestreet as Cam, Sarah Hyland as Haley, Ariel Winter as Alex, Nolan Gould as Luke and Rico Rodriguez as Manny, the show, which challenged familial stereotypes with a generous dose of laughter, will be remembered for years to come.
Here are ten lesser-known facts about Modern Family:
1. Luke Dunphy is a genius
On the show, Luke isn’t the brightest bulb but in real life, actor Nolan Gould is a genius. The actor revealed on the Ellen DeGeneres Show that he is a Mensa member and has an IQ of 150.
2. Julie Bowen was pregnant with twins in the pilot
When the pilot episode was being shot, Julie Bowen was pregnant with twins. She was right for the part and the makers went ahead with her though they had to strategically place objects in front of her so her belly could be hidden on the show.
3. Joey could have been Phil?
Matt LeBlanc aka Joey from Friends was in line to do Phil Dunphy’s part which eventually landed in the lap of Ty Burrell. The makers considered Craig T Nelson for Jay Pritchett’s part, but Ed O’Neill bagged the role.
4. Fizbo isn’t a Modern Family character
Cameron’s clown character Fizbo made an appearance in the early seasons of the show and was a part of the storyline throughout. But as revealed by actor Eric Stonestreet, Fizbo wasn’t created by Modern Family writers. On the Today show, Eric revealed that Fizbo was the name given to his clown character by his father when he was just 9 years old. His grandmother made the costumes and Fizbo often performed at kid’s birthday parties.
5. Modern Family cast is quite like a real family
During the early seasons of the show, the cast made a pact that they will submit themselves for supporting parts in award shows as the show is an ensemble and does not have any lead actors.
6. Mitch and Jesse have something in common
On Oprah’s Next Chapter, Jesse Tyler Ferguson revealed that he had to come out thrice to his own father. The writers of the show borrowed this tidbit from his life and modeled Mitchell’s character on it. On the show, we are told that Mitch had to come out to Jay multiple times.
7. Ariel Winter’s familial issues
Ariel Winter was legally emancipated from her mother when she was 17. The actor spoke about this on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and revealed that she was under her sister’s guardianship for a while but was fully independent before she turned 18. Allegedly, Ariel’s mother had spoken ill of her on numerous occasions and also caused some problems on the Modern Family set.
8. First primetime gay-kiss
In 2010, a Facebook campaign was started to highlight the fact that the gay couple on Modern Family had actually never kissed on the show. In September 2010, the first episode which had Mitch and Cam kiss in the background was aired, making it the first time a gay couple kissed on primetime television.
9. Haley’s TV family is much like her real family
During the farewell featurette, actor Sarah Hyland revealed that her fiance Wells Adams not only asked her parents for her hand in marriage but also tracked down Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell to ask for their blessings.
10. Who are they talking to?
The Modern Family viewers have always wondered, who are all these people talking to as they give interviews? Co-creator Christopher Lloyd spoke about this in an interview to Archive of American Television. He revealed that the original plan had a Dutch filmmaker who had lived with the Pritchetts as an exchange student in his youth and had now come back to make a movie on his ‘American family’. At the time, the show was titled My American Family. The makers found this tool to be too cumbersome so the filmmaker character was dropped but the documentary style was retained.
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