When the cast of Modern Family went Inside the Actors Studio (airing tonight on Bravo), it wasn’t just Ed O’Neill, Sofia Vergara, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Eric Stonestreet, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson who stared down James Lipton and his infamous blue index cards.
“In theory we had six people on stage, but only in theory,” Lipton tells EW. “We really had 12 people.” That’s because each of their characters showed up as well. Ever want to know what’s Gloria Delgado-Pritchett’s favorite word? Or what turns Cameron Tucker off? Look no further because EW exclusively presents James Lipton’s trademark variant on the Bernard Pivot Questionnaire with the cast (and characters) of ABC’s hit series.
Yankee haters, you’ll particularly appreciate Ty Burrell’s response to “What noise do you hate?” Check out the (occasionally NSFW) video after the break:
To prepare for the four-and-a-half hour taping, Lipton decided to approach each cast member “as if [each] were the only guest on the show that night.” That resulted in 22 days of intensive research before anyone even took the stage.
He thinks that Modern Family resonates as strongly as it does because it’s a comedy with warmth. “Jerry Seinfeld, who is a certifiable genius, said that ‘no hugs, no learning’ was the secret of Seinfeld,” Lipton considers. “But this show has plenty of hugs, plenty of affection, plenty of learning. They went in the other direction.”
Lipton’s also eager to speculate why this seemingly liberal-friendly comedy about a blended family — with a gay couple and their adopted kids — recently topped research firm Experian Simmons’ list of scripted series most enjoyed by conservatives: “Modern Family really upholds the most traditional values, and as one after another of their political leaders, like John Ensign, turn out to be sexual swine, [conservatives] are looking for new heroes.”
Ed O’Neill & Co. aren’t the only TV ensemble Lipton’s been pursuing, however. “Bravo and I have talked about Glee,” he hints, “because I’ve written two Broadway musicals. It’s a part of my life.” Bravo hasn’t yet signed the crooning twentysomethings (or their teenage alter egos), but just the mere prospect of Brittany answering Proustian questions should make Gleek hearts flutter.
PopWatchers, do you plan to watch Modern Family on Inside the Actors Studio tonight? And are you hoping that James Lipton will take a New Direction?