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Emmy Contenders: Behind the scenes with Ty Burrell and his favorite 'Modern Family' moments

June 9, 2011 |  2:33 pm

Ty Burrell

On occasion, we here at Awards Tracker will check in with a show’s cast members to get their responses to some random questions. Here we spotlight Ty Burrell of ABC's Emmy-winning comedy "Modern Family," in which Ed O’Neill and Sofia Vergara star as Jay and Gloria Pritchett, whose complicated family life includes Jay's son Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson), who lives with his partner Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) and their toddler daughter Lily, and Jay's daughter Claire (Julie Bowen), who lives with her husband Phil (Burrell) and their three children. Check back later for more with "Modern Family."

What was your favorite scene to shoot?

“A scene from late in the season. The whole family is at Alex’s middle-school graduation. It was a marriage of the off-screen family and the on-screen family that we’re so lucky to have on our show. It was a brilliantly sunny day. Julie and I were doing some truly fun and challenging physical comedy. Then, in between scenes, I was throwing the football around with Chris Lloyd [co-creator] hanging out on this giant soccer field with the cast and Steve Levitan [co-creator], who was directing that episode, joking with the kids, etc. Just a big, blissful memory.”

What is your favorite off-camera moment on set?

“When we finish shooting for the day and we’re all still hanging around trying to crack each other up. I can’t think of a better symbol of our good fortune than a group of people who make jokes for a living, lingering around after doing it all day, laughing their heads off for the sheer joy of it.”

Tell us something about one of your castmates that most people don’t know.

“Ed O’Neill is a black belt in jujitsu. If you make him angry he will very lovingly make you unconscious.”

What’s your favorite television comedy of all time?

“How to decide...? ‘Mr. Show’ and ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus’ for being thrilling. ‘News Radio’ for its huge, perfect cast. Bill Cosby in anything on TV (incuding ‘I Spy,’ which was often funny). Both Bob Newhart shows. I really could go on forever .... "

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-- Elena Howe

Photo: Ty Burrell, left, and Reid Ewing in a scene from "Modern Family." Credit: Adam Larkey / ABC

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