Modern Family is one of the best comedy shows that has appeared on our TV screens. This show revolves around three different types of families (nuclear, step- and same-sex) living in the Los Angeles area. Everyone is interrelated through Jay Pritchett and his children, daughter Claire and son Mitchell. The show was created by Christopher Lloyd (Doc Brown from Back To The Future) and Steven Levitan.
There’s probably a lot that you did not know about this show which was broadcast on ABC (and other TV networks around the world) between 2009 and 2020, but today I’m changing that.
Here are 20 Interesting Modern Family facts that you might not have known
1. Luke Dunphy is actually ‘n genius in real life. On the show, he isn’t the brightest bulb but in real life, actor Nolan Gould revealed on the Ellen DeGeneres Show that he is a Mensa member. Gould has an IQ of 150.
2. The Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting produced a frame-by-frame remake of Modern Family, entitled Haft Sang which premiered on June 30, 2014. In their version the same-sex relationship between Cam and Mitchell was replaced by a heterosexual relationship . Also, Haley Dunphy’s character is replaced by a teenage boy.
3. When the pilot episode was being shot, Julie Bowen (Claire Dunphy) 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.
4. Even though he is the best at acting like a particularly eccentric gay man, Eric Stonestreet (Cameron) is straight.
5. 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.
6. Ed O’Neill’s characters have been reading the same newspaper for 30 years. Eagle-eyed viewers noticed that Jay reads the same prop newspaper on Modern Family that his character Al Bundy read on Married…with Children. Many shows use the same prop newspaper because all of the photos and text have been cleared legally.
7. Cameron’s clown character Fizbo made an appearance in the early seasons of the show. He was a part of the storyline throughout the show, but actor Eric Stonestreet has revealed that Fizbo wasn’t created by the 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.
8. Manny’s full name is Manuel Alberto Javier Alejandro Delgado.
9. During the early seasons of Modern Family, 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.
10. Sofia Vergara may seem like a natural for the role of Gloria (a vivacious and va-voomy trophy wife), but she was nearly a dentist. She was pre-dental in her native country of Colombia but dropped out two semesters before she graduated.
11. 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.
12. The Dunphy house situated in the Los Angeles’ Cheviot Hills neighborhood sold for $2.15 million. It was originally built in 2006 and was used solely for its exterior shots. Most surprising of all is that the Dunphy abode was actually empty. Only the exterior of the house was used to depict the Dunphy residence on the show, as any interior scenes were shot on sound stages.
13. 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 (Claire Dunphy) and Ty Burrell (Phil Dunphy) to ask for their blessings.
14. Season 4 of Modern Family was postponed due to legal action before a salary negotiation was reached. After much deliberation the studio decided to give all the members of the family a substantial raise and subsequent raises every season. These days the cast, including the likes of Sofia Vergara, Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Mitchell), Eric Stonestreet (Cam), Ty Burrell (Phil) and Julie Bowen (Claire), walked away with salaries of around $200,000 – $250,000 per episode.
15. Who are the characters talking to when they’re getting interviewed? Co-creator Christopher Lloyd has actually revealed that the original plan for the show would have featured 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 show’s makers found this tool to be too cumbersome. The filmmaker character was dropped but the documentary style was retained for the show.
16. Modern Family has won 21 Primetime Emmy Awards and 6 Writers Guild of America Awards. The show also later received a GLSEN Respect Award for its portrayal of “positive images and storylines that reflect a diverse America.”
17. Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s dad had to be told three separate times his son was gay for it to actually stick in his brain. When the writers learned about Jesse’s threefold coming-out story they had to make Mitchell do the same.
18. The show’s writers take stories directly from their real lives. When one writer, Danny Zuker, was sick with gallstones and had to call 911, his wife prettied herself up to look good for their hometown’s famously attractive EMTs. This made the show.
19. The Dunphy parents and kids share a bedroom. Literally! They used the same set for each room and swapped out the furniture when it was time to shoot in one or the other.
20. Sofía Vergara really hates Stella. Even after her character, Gloria asked to get the dog, Sofía couldn’t help making nasty faces whenever she had to carry it, or when it would lick her face. So, the show runners changed the writing so that Gloria now hates Stella too.
Check out this clip featuring funny moments from Modern Family below:
Well, there you have it, 20 facts you might not have known about Modern Family. I hope that you’ve learned something today that you did not know before. Feel free to share this article with your friends if you did.
You can stream Modern Family on Netflix in South Africa.
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