Time to learn them!
1. Ed O’Neill was almost a football player. In 1969 he was signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers as an outside linebacker, but was released before the regular season began.
2. The Dunphys were in a “got milk?” milk mustache campaign.
3. Cam isn’t gay in real life! Even though he is the absolute best at acting like a gay man, Eric Stonestreet is straight.
4. Manny’s full name is Manuel Alberto Javier Alejandro Delgado.
5. Ed O’Neill has been reading the same newspaper for 20 years! Ed O’Neill has been reading the same newspaper as Al Bundy in Married with Children and Jay Pritchett in Modern Family.
6. Mitchell and Jay’s father-son relationship is drawn from Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s real life.
7. Ed O’Neill has two daughters named Claire and Sophia. On the show, Jay has a daughter named Claire (Julie Bowen) and a wife named Gloria played by a “Sophia” (Sofía Vergara).
8. Julie Bowen was 8½ months pregnant during the pilot episode. When Julie Bowen, who plays Claire Dunphy, first read the script, she fell in love with the show. She told USA TODAY “I was 8½ months pregnant with twins when I shot the pilot, so I was definitely harried.” During the episode, Bowen had to hide her pregnancy behind laundry baskets.
9. Britney Spears was offered a role in Season 3. Modern Family co-creator Steve Levitan told E! Online that Britney’s camp responded at the end of third season so it was too late for the year. He stated “If we use someone like Britney Spears who is just such a presence, we need to make sure that it’s OK for us and works within our show. That there’s some fresh take on using her in the show.”
10. Ed O’Neill was a former social studies teacher at Ursuline High School, and was signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1969. His football career was short-lived. He was cut in training camp.
11. In the original pitch, a Dutch teenage exchange student was going to live with Jay and film the family. Modern Family co-creator Steve Levitan told nj.com that a Dutch exchange student named Geert Floorjte was going to live with Jay and develop a crush on Claire while Mitchell would have a crush on him. Thankfully this idea was cut.
12. Nolan Gould is a genius! Nolan Gould, who plays the “dumb” Luke Dunphy, told Ellen “When people learn I’m a member of MENSA, they’re shocked.” With an IQ of 150, this young actor recently graduated from high school at the age of 13 and is currently taking college classes.
13. Ty Burrell owns a bar in Utah. Phil Dunphy used to live in Salt Lake City and co-owns a bar with his brother Duncan called “Bar-X”.
14. Sarah Hyland has kidney dysplasia. She was diagnosed when she was nine, and last year her father donated a kidney when she needed a transplant.
15. It’s a running gag throughout the first season that Phil is “going to fix that step.”
16. Jesse Tyler Ferguson came out multiple times.Like his character on the show, Jesse Tyler Ferguson had to come out to his father on multiple occasions until his father finally believed him, hence the inspiration for Mitchell having to keep coming out to Jay.
17. Sofia Vergara’s son is named after a ‘Scarface’ character! Her son Manolo was named after Steven Bauer’s character in the movie. Maybe you recognize Steven Bauer as Avi from Ray Donovan.
18. Julie Bowen was in ‘Happy Gilmore.’ Yes, it’s true, Claire Dunphy is the same girl that helped Adam Sandler beat Shooter McGavin in Happy Gilmore. Mind = Blown.
19. No Leading Actor/Actress for Modern Family. Since Season 1, all the actors and actresses have made a pact to submit themselves to the awards as Supporting Actor and Actresses, so that no one in the ensemble considers him/herself to be more important.
20. Phil’s birthday is April 3rd. During “Game Changer” episode (Season 1 Episode 19), Phil jokes that the original iPads are released on his birthday: “The iPad comes out on my actual birthday. It’s like Steve Jobs and God got together to say, ‘we love you, Phil.’”. Joel Keller from Aol TV criticized the episode for product placement: “[Apple] has enough buzz from tech media types who get the vapors every time Jobs dons his black mock turtleneck to introduce a new product, and it’s not like they don’t already have a monstrous advertising budget. Do they really need to infect our favorite shows, too?”.
21. Craig T. Nelson was offered the role of Jay Pritchett. Although he turned it down, he has had quite the success playing Zeek Braverman on Parenthood.
22. Ariel Winter is one tough girl. Alex Dunphy isn’t just a book nerd. Ariel has her purple belt in Taekwondo.
23. Julie Bowen wears a pacemaker. The actress has been wearing a pacemaker since her 20s due to heart problems.
24. Rico Rodriguez’s older sister is also an actress. Manny’s real-life sister Raini is known for her roles in Mall Cop, Girl in Progress and her Disney show, Austin & Ally.
25. In college, Stonestreet was studying criminal justice before he landed an acting career.
26. Ed O’Neill is a black belt! It took 15 years, but Jay Pritchett has his black belt in Brazilian Ju-Jitsu.
27. Sofia Vergara battled cancer. Sofia Vergara was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2000 when she was 28 years old, but had a full recovery after treatment.
28. Nolan Gould plays the banjo. On an episode of Ellen, she gave him a brand new banjo and he played her a song.
29. Julie Bowen went into labor on a set! While she was on the set of Boston Legal she was doing a fake labor scene and she actually went into labor with her son Oliver at the tail end of filming the scene.
30. Sofia Vergara may seem like a natural for the role of the 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.
31. Aubrey Anderson-Emmons got her lucky break playing Lily because of fickle toddlers. It turned out that the twins who originally played Lily were burned out on acting, so she was called in to replace them.
32. Three-time Emmy nominee Jesse Tyler Ferguson recently starred as Leo Bloom in a production of Mel Brooks’ musical ‘The Producers’ at the Hollywood Bowl.