Wednesday, January 04, 2012

What do the cameramen covering MODERN FAMILY talk about?

The conceit in MODERN FAMILY is that everything is being filmed for a documentary. So I thought, imagine if some of the cameramen got together after work for a drink to compare notes.


In a popular Italian restaurant.  Bob and Jim sit at the bar. Tom enters.

TOM: Hey guys. Sorry, I’m late. But I got a good one. Phil and Claire were knocking one off before lunch and the kids walked in on them.

BOB: Wow.

JIM: What did they do?

TOM: The kids? They screamed and ran out. And after that I don’t know. Seth was assigned to them. I stayed back with Phil and Claire. They couldn’t have been more freaked.

BOB: Wait a minute. You were inside their bedroom?

TOM: Uh huh. Got the whole thing.

JIM: Even before the kids interrupted?

TOM: Yeah. Why?

BOB: Why? So you were in the room while they were fucking?

TOM: Y’know, now that you mention it – that is a little weird, huh?

BOB: Uh… Yeah.

TOM: That explains a lot.

JIM: What do you mean?

TOM: Phil wants to have sex all the time.

JIM: I guess when they all sign that release form giving us full access that means full access. Even the bedroom.

BOB: Which probably explains why the Dunphy crew is two people and the one covering Gloria is now up to ten.

TOM: And Mitch & Cam are on their own after 9:00.

BOB: Hey, I can top that. I worked the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills the first season.

TOM: They let you into the bedroom?

BOB: They blew me.

JIM: Speaking of Mitch & Cam – my day off was yesterday and when I got to their place this morning it seemed like their baby grew two years.

BOB: So it wasn’t just me? Last week she was just an infant. Suddenly she tripled her height and weight and now speaks better than Gloria.

JIM: Can you understand a word she says?

BOB: Who cares?

JIM: You got a point.

BOB: The Beverly Hills Housewives want to run her over with their car.

TOM: Maybe Cam just picked the wrong baby up from the park. That’s the kind of thing that happens to these people every week.

JIM: That’s not typical of most families, is it?

BOB: The Real Housewives leave their kids in parks on purpose.

JIM: I want to follow them.

TOM: Hey, how old do you think Manny is? 16?

BOB: 14.

JIM: 50.

They laugh.

JIM: You laugh but at the rate the baby is growing they’ll graduate high school the same year.

TOM: Which will be one year sooner than Haley?

BOB: Well, I gotta go. Phil is learning how to walk a tightrope.

JIM: I’d ask why but it’s Phil so what’s the point?

TOM: And I’ve got Jay helping Manny make a science project.

BOB: See you at the E.R. around 11:00.

TOM: (spotting someone) Hey, guys. Isn’t that Haley?

They turn and look.

JIM: Yeah, what’s she doing here with another family?

BOB: The way they’re acting, you’d think she’s their daughter.

TOM: Boy, they’re sure having fun here at the Olive Garden.

JIM: Maybe I better get my camera.

BOB: Me too.

TOM: Hey, I saw her first!

All three scramble out of the room to get their equipment.


Here is the footage that they shot.


RockGolf said...

FRIDAY QUESTION: According to, there are plans underway for a TV series based on Romancing the Stone. Since you & your partner largely re-wrote the script for the original, can see it working as a regular series? (Article is linked by my name)
A propos WV: fiters

RockGolf said...

BTW, the article is a hoot!

danrydell said...

I'd volunteer to be on the Dunphy camera crew. Sophia is hot, but Julie Bowen...

Hubba. Hubba.

Anonymous said...

This made me LOL. Thanks.

Somewhat related: why are all kids in sitcoms so damn short? Even when they play teenagers, like Sarah Hyland, they seem to barely reach 5 feet. What's up with that?

Naz said...

Nothing wrong with being short .... said the 4'11" commenter.

Dr. Rock Golf, MD said...

Kids in showbiz are short due to a rare malady called Webster-Coleman syndrome. Apparently, constant exposure to bright lights and make-up affect the thyroid gland and reduce the quantity of HGH (Human Growth Hormone) generated during adolescence. There is no known cure.

Johnny Walker said...

Haha, an excellent point. I'm not sure the "documentary" style of Modern Family is even needed.

Paul Duca said...

Anonymous...child performers are preferred to look younger than they really are--and height is a part of that. It also gives them more options in cast. Listen to that spot--Sarah Hyland is portraying a college student, before MODERN FAMILY cast her as a high schooler.

Dr. this case it isn't that funny...Emmanuel Lewis (Webster) and the late Gary Coleman had serious kidney conditions that affected their growth. The irony is that it helped their careers, keeping them small and chubby-cheeked and cute, even as they chronologically reached the period of adolescence. And if I may dare to enter more controversial waters, an African-American male sustaining a physically and sexually non-threatening appearance can be more appealing to the mass audience.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if this rates as a Friday Question, but I'd like to hear your take on the sitcom "Work It" now that it's aired.

JimBriggs said...

"Sarah Hyland is portraying a college student, before MODERN FAMILY cast her as a high schooler."

I heard her say "Grandma came up for a visit." No mention of college.

BigTed said...

Meanwhile, the guys filming "The Office" are saying, "Just a couple more years, and our documentary about the paper business will finally be finished! Also, we've wasted our lives."

Tallulah Morehead said...

Very funny post. Andy Worhol should have said: "In the future, everyone will be famous for 7 seasons."

"Anonymous said...
Why are all kids in sitcoms so damn short? Even when they play teenagers, like Sarah Hyland, they seem to barely reach 5 feet. What's up with that?"

It's because of proportion. You see normal-sized genitalia or or boobs look HUGE on smaller people.

No wait. That's why gay male porn stars tend to be short. On the other hand, if you're insisting the camera crew film you having marital relations, you must be aiming for porn stars.

The new Baby Lily is 37, and REALLY short. She was the Asian Baby Harry Potter until Rowling shut down the production. (The old baby Lily had to be let go. Drinking problem. She was on the bottle morning, noon, and night, and would cry like a baby if you took it away to get a shot. Also, she ended her affair with the studio exec who had ordered her cast.)

benson said...

Did I miss something? "the conceit in Modern Family". Is that a typo? The "concept"?

BigTed said...

"Conceit" (noun), Webster's definition 3:

"A fanciful idea" or "an organizing theme or concept."

benson said...

Thank you. I'm usually pretty good with vocabulary, but I learned something new today. Again, thanks.

BigTed said...

Glad to help (I said conceitedly).

Thomas said...

Yeah I remember commenting on that bedroom scene when it aired. That was really weird. It reminded me of arrested development when they actually closed the door once to reveal there was a camera.

Though I wasn't nearly as hilarious as you where.

great post!

YEKIMI said...

What, they couldn't hire a gay cameraman to film Cam & Mitchell? {Although looking at those two, I would think the sex would resemble a polar bear tossing a seal around before devouring it.]

WV hossing: What Dan Blocker (Hoss) did on Bonanza between takes....i.e., "Dan, quit hossing around!"

DyHrdMET said...

dude, i think you need to get regular sitcom work soon. your talents are being wasted on your blog.

Paul Duca said...

How did you know tonight's first scene was Phil's medical exam--including a "bend over"?

Dr. Leo Marvin said...

Can't believe I snoozed on Ken's blog for a day and missed my once a year chance to pile on with how much I hate Carson Daly.

Tallulah Morehead said...

You think the change of Baby Lilies is bad? How I detest Hollywood sham! I just learned that the baby who plays Baby Harry Potter in the flashbacks in HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS is A DIFFERENT BABY than the one who played Baby Harry Potter in the opening scenes of HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCEROR'S STONE 10 years ago! Why? Wasn't he good enough? Was he culitivating pot? Did he knock up a royal?

Are we just supposed to ignore this blatant change of tiny children? This is worse than when they changed Darrins! They didn't even bother to pretend Baby Harry Potter had had baby plastic surgery, even though he already had the scar!

How do you think this makes Daniel Radcliffe feel, knowing he could be replaced by a new baby at any moment, as is happening to him right now on Broadway!

When they changed Dumbledores, at least they had an excuse; Richard Harris was dead. Good lord! Is that it? Did the original Baby Harry Potter DIE??? I can think of no other reason.

What's next? Using fake alcohol in drinking scenes? SIMULATED sex in love scenes? I am an ARTISTE! Give me real booze and a real penis, and I'll give you Art - eventually! And Art will be smiling.

Buttermilk Sky said...

There's always been a rumor that MGM fed drugs to Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney to keep them short, so they could play teenagers into their late twenties. Could this still be going on?

VW: jawsm - shark ejaculate

D. McEwan said...

"Buttermilk Sky said...
There's always been a rumor that MGM fed drugs to Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney to keep them short, so they could play teenagers into their late twenties. Could this still be going on?"

"Could this still be going on?"

Hello? you posit a rumor, and then assume it's true. It's not "still" going on, because it never did go on! MGM gave Judy and Mickey drugs to get them "up" in the morning, and keep their energy going into long rehearsals and late shoots, which was bad for her, but since Mickey's still around annoying people well into his 90s, I guess it didn't hurt him. But they were not given growth-inhibiting drugs. The stuff people will believe.

Anonymous said...

That was freaking hilarious. I love that damn show.

Unknown said...

I'm not anonymous. I guess I shouldn't drink when I write this stuff.

Chris said...

Here's a question for today: When you write an episode, do you write an outline first and then start doing the actual teleplay or start typing the lines directly from the story idea you have? Which one do you like better?