When it was announced that Elizabeth Banks would guest star on ABC's new hit comedy "Modern Family," one assumed she would ham it up as she has in "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" and "Scrubs." Ham it up she did, as Mitchell and Cameron's wild, hard-partying friend.
However, when it was announced that Edward Norton, star of such dark movies as "Fight Club" and "American History X," would play a musician, the last thing I expected was the guitarist from '80s one-hit-wonder band Spandau Ballet.
"Modern Family's" ensemble has quickly become one of the sharpest on TV, and I think Ed O'Neill's "Jay" and Ty Burrell's "Phil," in particular, are Emmy-worthy. Bringing in two guest stars actually wasn't all that necessary, but seeing Norton and Banks interact with the cast was a real treat.
In this episode, Mitchell and Cameron learned that their new baby and old friend weren't going to mix - as Banks not too subtly implied that she wouldn't mind getting rid of it altogether since it got in the way of her wild lifestyle.
Meanwhile, it turned out that Phil isn't a complete disaster as a person, because he certainly knows how to shower his wife, Claire, with gifts on her anniversary. She, on the other hand, was totally clueless and invited Norton's character to give them a private show, assuming that "True," the first song they ever heard, was something special to him.
Instead, it turned out that he barely had any clue of the band beyond that. It seemed that Norton wanted a chance to really let loose here, which he certainly did, but the interplay between Burrell and Julie Bowen, already perfect, was what made it stand out.
The funniest part of the episode, however, was Jay and teenage granddaughter Haley's game of cat and mouse, as she tried to sneak out of his house for a party. Unfortunately for her, he was two steps ahead of her, having gone through this before with her mother.
This episode was another great example of how this show captures the family dynamic in new and unique ways and it didn't need two big-name guest stars to pull it off.
Did you watch last night? What did you think of Banks and Norton? Share your thoughts on video, or in the comments below.
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Can't watch modern family. The shaky camera makes me sick and looks stupid. Like the director or cameraman is incompetent.
Spandau Ballet were one of the biggest bands in England in the early eighties. They were only slightly less popular than Duran Duran.
I loved this episode and I love "80s one-hit-wonder band Spandau Ballet" of whom Wikipedia says:
They were one of the most successful bands of the 1980s, achieving ten Top Ten singles and four Top Ten albums in the UK between 1980 and 1990.
So hmpf! Make that ten hit wonder band!
We normally do not watch sitcoms any more but thoroughly enjoy Modern Family. Noisy/over the top guest stars seem to distract and interrupt the normal wonderful flow and interplay, whereas Shelly Long was great and fit in. As far as Christopher Lloyd, he is a wonderful writer but if you'll check such sites as IMDB.com, you will find that he is a different person from the talented actor with the same name.
The best show this year - watch it at least twice a week and cannot wait for the next one. Cameron, Phil and Jay are all hilarious!! The writing and the subtle but not so subtle jokes are the absolute best on tv. Love the ongoing "gotta fix that step" line by Phil – reminds me of every time Tim Taylor would go to the basement and hit his head!! If you have not seen this show - you are missing out. Laugh all over again at work on Thursdays discussing the show with coworkers. Thank you to the writers, directors (love the mockumentary dialogue with us -the viewers), and the actors. Could go on and on - LOVE IT!
"Spandau Ballet" were one hit wonders?? REALLY?? How old were you in 1983, 50? Does "True" or "Gold" ring any bells?? Two band members, the Kemp brothers Gary & Martin, even went on to star in a major hit movie "The Krays", about twin gangsters in 1960's London. Jeez Louise, get a clue!!
Love this show. Ty Burrell is hotter than a ten dollar Rolex.
Thank God for Chelsea Lately on E., She introduced me to this wonderful, funny show. Also, thank God for my DVR, because I like to enjoy this show when I have a few quiet moments to enjoy it and laugh outloud. Hope it is around for a long long time.
Love the show. Best new night of television. My husband and i laugh so hard. Its refreshing.
This show is the best comedy on TV without Ed & Elizabeth. I would have watched either way. Don't get me wrong, they were good, but not a necessity,
Absolutely love this show!!! It's hilarious. However, I was more impressed by Shelly Long's guest role as Didi than Elizabeth Banks and Edward Norton. Although the Spandau Ballet story was funny.
BTW, the Christopher Lloyd who writes and produces this show is indeed the same Christopher Lloyd who wrote and produced Frasier and is the same Christopher Lloyd who acted in the Back to the Future movies and Taxi. Which explains why this show is so good.
"Hi honey! Just fixing the porch light, they're the damndest things. Now I can see EVERYTHING that goes on out here, Who comes, who goes..."
That was great.
Finally A comedy show thats ACTUALLY funny, this an cougar town, i haven't watched a comedy since 2000, nothing good. But now, YAY
My partner and I catch it every week. I love the smart humor!
My favorite bit was the foreshadowing of the arrival of their mother. The bird hitting the window and the kids going from playing together to fighting was a sign to me that this show does not insult the intelligence of it's audience.
Cameron screaming, "IM GOING TO BREAK THE WINDOW!" had us pausing our DVR in order to catch our breath.
I'm glad so many people love it!
Being part of a Modern Family I am pleased to see mainstream america fall in love with the show! Times are changing slowly here in the U.S. thru comedy people can see were all the same!
That was a great and funny episode; we loved it.
Modern Family + Cougar Town + Glee = I love my DVR!
Absolutely adore this show–one of the funniest series in YEARS!
As for Banks and Norton, it says a lot about the quality of the program if producers can coax established actors to take small (but VERY funny) supporting cameos.
Both performances were nicely done and didn't overshadow the ensemble regulars at all.
Last night's show did NOT need the guest "stars". They were needless set dressing. Ty Burrell and the rest of the cast can carry the show themselves. Ty is so funny, I usually have to pause so I can catch my breath.
Modern Family is the funniest show on TV.
1.21 jigawatts: Sorry but the writer is not the same Christopher Lloyd as the actor...
This is a great show in general. Well written, witty and somewhat plausible in America. I enjoy watching Ed O'Neil in this role. He is a great actor and unfortunately was type cast years ago. This is hopefully a re-birth for him.
Easily the best show on TV. The 30 minutes absolutely flies by and leaves me wanting more. Cougar Town follows nicely though, and it's a wonderful Wednesday of TV. Good job ABC.
The reason this show doesn't use a laugh track is because it doesn't need to tell anyone when to laugh. It takes me two hours to watch each episode because I have to hit "pause" so much so I can catch my breath from laughing so hard. Every actor stands out in his or her own unique way on the best comedy since "Frasier." My favorite line (so far) is from the first episode when the Ty Burrell character is bragging about being the "cool dad" and knowing all of the modern texting lingo: "LOL: laugh out loud. . . . WTF: why the face?"
I agree that it was not necessary to bring in other actors but it is by far one of the most funniest shows I have seen in a long time. I must say that the last episode wasn't as funny as the others. Can't wait until next Wed..
I agree with you CBS about that scene – my wife and I have watched it at least 4 times! Our favorite show as well. My loving it is probably the kiss of death and will cause it to be cancelled if recent history is to be believed. Sorry all.
Great show... Glad I tuned in early on because it is one of the best new shows, comedy or otherwise. Norton and Banks were good, but the show doesn't need any 'guest stars', it's funny just the way it is. It has something for everyone.
Great show–but come on, Spandau Ballet wasn't a "one hit wonder"–they had a handful of hits back in the early 80s–obviously you're not a "Fandau"!
Sofia Vergara and her tv son and the gay couple are the best and oh so realistic. Ed O'Neil looks just too old and sorry folks, there is absolutely no chemistry between O'Neil and Vergara and to make matters worse, they never kiss, hold hands, zero.
love the show, sharp, new, creative, fun to watch, funny BUT they need to cut out the characters talking to the camera,no need for that and it is annoying. the show is great and doesn't need characters talking into the camera.
My new favorite comedy. Cam makes me less homophobic with each episode. Can't wait to see Phil's face when Claire and Gloria finally have a friendly smooch. Hope the show has a long, long run!
The best comedy on Television.(Simply put).
Like everyone else, my family and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this show. Finally a show we can't wait to see it each Wednesdy. The entire cast and script work so well together. I usually tape it on the DVR and watch it over and over. The funniest episodes so far to me, was the episode with Shelley Long and of course watching Lilly's Daddy running across the parking lot with a trash can screaming, " I'M GONE TO BREAK THE WINDOW!!! I SWEAR TO GOD I'M GOING TO BREAK IT! "
This is the ONLY can't miss show in our house. "Al Bundy" (Ed O'Neil) has graduated into a great character in Jay. He makes the show, but everyone else just adds to the mix. I hope the cleverness can continue....the writers and the actors should be winning some awards.
Sofia Vergara and O'Neil are excellent. The gay couple is hillarious
Modern Family + The Middle = Perfect Wednesday Treat
Episode 5 Coal Digger (When Shelly Long appears as Jay's ex-wife)
Mitchell: You love scrap booking.
Cameron: Did I Mitchell? Did I?
Mitchell: Stop, don't do the double question thing to prove a point. I hate when people do that.
Cameron (holding baby Lily through the bedroom door) replies: Do I Mitchell? Do I?
I watch all the episodes on Hulu every chance I get.
Sad to watch as the once promising Ed Norton moohes into
a comfort-zone PC parody of himself.
Where is the daring? Surely not in costume dramas, franchise
slumming and stale 70's gestures of 'consciousness'.
Remember -Hollywood is now finanaced through and through
by the junk credit meisters of the awesomely genocidal Red Chinese
-and somehow Norton and all the others can't seem to get
their creatively bankrupt heads around it.
let's not forget who is mostly responsible for this show. a brilliant man and pioneer scientist of time travel....DOC BROWN!!! (christopher lloyd)
Love this show!!! Look forward to it every week! Better than the Office.
Best show on tv. This show could give 30rock a run for its money.
Mitchell: Can you turn it down?
Cameron: I can't! It's who I am!
They had me hooked on the first episode with The Lion King/new adopted baby bit at Mitchell and Cameron's. I find myself laughing out loud at this show! Love it!
Best new show on TV for a very long time! We never miss it and usually end up watching it twice. LOVE every single character, but especially Phil, Jay & Cam
Can't get enough of this show...it's so fresh/unique with great storylines/wonderfully humorous (yet "human") characters and just a joy to sit and watch the interaction and family dynamics portrayed. ("The Middle") is also one of my favs, too. 'Bout time someone created enjoyable/entertaining shows that don't involve crime scenes or hospitals!!
Love this show. The writing and dialogue is fantastic. The actors play their characters to a tee. Not much makes me laugh out loud anymore on tv...30 Rock and Curb are about it. It's so nice to have this show that doesn't try too hard yet scores mightily.
Love it! Hilarious! The first episode was the best. The totally unexpected "Lion King" reference with the baby cracked me up! Also love that there is NO canned laughter! They don't need it!
I love this show! It is truly entertaining and I wish it was an hour long instead of the 1/2 hour!! Cameron is my favorite but I truly enjoy them all!! Phil is UNBELIEVABLE and so very funny. Can't wait for LIlly to grow up to share some thoughts with us..how funny that will be! Thanks to all the writers for such an enjoyable 1/2 hour evening!!
"Modern Family" is this season's best new show. Luckily, I can DVR it and watch each episode as often as I choose.
The best comedy in years!! And – thank you God – no annoying laugh track. It is so quick I do watch it twice. 30 Rock is great, but I think this one is better.
Love, love, love this show. Look forward to Wednesdays now! Edward Norton was fabulous as well as Elizabeth Banks. This really does now now a modern family is in this decade.
I'm so glad that people like this show! It reminds me of Arrested Development and hope it lasts longer. It's so funny!
Modern Family and In The Middle are great! Best sitcoms since Friends!
One of the best new show this year...will keep on watching.
The author of this article missed one important detail of Edward Norton's character. He wasn't the guitarist, he was the bassist. Get it right!
Easily one of the best shows/casts on television! TV should spend time developing these shows instead of reality shows we get so often.
We've got a fan club going here and my wife and I are part of it. What a breath of fresh air! A show that believes I have a brain and can recognize humor without a laugh track. Really sharp writing, performed by a wonderful cast. Each week, the characters get a little more fleshed out and delineated. It's looks like they're hardly working and the comedy is right on the mark. Great material lends itself to a light touch. Hope it lasts!
I've read that Benjamin Bratt will be playing Manny's dad
Great show. Watch some moron cancel it.
I have really enjoyed this show since it's premiere. It's a great ensemble but I think you made an error calling Ed Norton's character a guitarist I believe it was supposedly the bassist which, to me, made it extra hilarious.
"The next Seinfeld"? Is that supposed to be a compliment? This show is nothing like Seinfeld. It's more like "Arrested Development" or "Sons & Daughters", two shows that were brilliant but were poorly supported by their networks and therefore rated low.
Seinfeld, on the other hand, was a show that was geared toward gimmickry, which to me, isn't very funny.
"Modern Family" is quirky and it makes you think. It doesn't have a laugh track to let you know when something is funny.
this show is AWESOME! love all the characters but little Manny is a classic. best new show on t.v. by a mile
Ty Burrell is the funniest actor i've seen since a long time.he has perfect comic timing as the character Phil.
absolutely love the show.
This show is phenomenal. Pure genius. Fantastic writing and a cast that absolutely does it justice. I'm so impressed on every level. I only wish there were more episodes available to watch. I keep watching the first ones again and again.
Last night's episode was one of the best. Ed Norton–Loved it.
I love Modern Family! I have been watching since day one. It is excellent.
This show is awesome. I love it. Ed O'Neill looks so much like my own father (and if my mom weren't around, I'm sure her replacement would look a lot like Gloria if he played his cards right!). The cast is excellent and definitely worthy of Emmy nods. Wednesday is the new Thursday night for awesome TV (especially now that they're eliminating Hank – DUMB! though I did enjoy Eastwick).
I have a hatred of all things sit-com. But I love Modern Family! The absence of a laugh track allows me, the viewer, the dignity of deciding what is funny and what is not. And this show is hilarious.
Love this show! Finally a sitcom worth watching. Hope the great writing continues for a long time. Please don't cancel!
My husband and I love this show. It is really funny seeing grandpa being one step ahead of his granddaughter because of how her mother was. While my kids were growing up I did things that my dad had done to me (check windows at bedtime so no sneaking out lol)
Hope this show is on for years to come.
What I love about this show is that, as hilarious as it is are, it is also very sweet and uplifting, without a hint of irony or sarcasm – you never, ever doubt that love and respect are the ties that bind these people together. Blood and guilt also, but that, too, is part of a family dynamic.
I really don't watch comedies, I love this one and watch it every week.
I am in LOVE with this show! I laugh out loud every episode. I can't spread the word fast enough! It's an absolute gem and destined to be among the greats!
I love this show... another great part about last night was listening to to Gloria try to sing to Lily... cracked me up! Edward Norton is always great... felt like I was watching a bit of "Death to Smoochy" with the character. The sarcastic little sister is great too.
The show is hilarious! Some of the best writing/acting on television. I only watched it to catch a glimpse of the show that followed it, Cougar Town and became hooked with it. On the other hand, Cougar Town is the worst show on television and was such a huge waste of time. Not funny, bad acting and beyond horrible writing. I hope ABC loses that show.
Great cast, great show, great writers. keep it going.
I finally sat through a complete episode. It was very funny and I would love to make it through more of them, but that stupid shaky camera crap has got to go. I end up so sick within the first few minutes, I have to turn the channel. At least last night, most of the camera shots were steady. If they would tone the camera realism down some, I would watch this show regularly.
I thought I was the only person who laughed out loud at this show. I look forward to Wednesdays at 8:00 to see it. I love the cast!
This show sounds awesome! I enjoy all of these actors. I think i will wait until the end of the season before I get invested in yet another incredible show. The big networks seem to have a thing against talent and success, too many of my favorite shows have ended up in the trash because of ABC, and if what I have heard about the show so far is true, then it will likely become a victim of its own success. Here's hoping intelligence still exists at the network.
The show is inspired. Its acting and writing are on a par with any of the finest comedies ever to grace the small screen. Each episode displays a sly wit and cleverness reminiscent of "Seinfeld," while the aburdist interplay among the show's endearing cast of family members conjures up memories of "Arrested Development." The fact that the show attracts heavy hitters like Edward Norton and Elizabeth Banks so early in its run speaks volumes about its quality and, hopefully, its staying power.
I love this show. My husband was away in Military training when the show started. I told him about it and it wasn't so sure. Oh course when he returned home we watched the show and he fell for it. Wednesday is now dedcited to "modern family."
all you guys said it for me! kudos to the actors and writers you make my wednesday nite!
hands down the funniest show on TV. ensemble cast works well together. i don't watch network TV but i never miss this show.
Love this show (my favorite new show!).. ed o'neill is absolutely hilarious.
Fantastic show! Great episode last night.
I've been telling my husband about this show and he finally watched it. He was laughing so hard it was hard to talk with him. I LOVED Ed Norton. He was so perfect, and Eliabeth was good too. I hope this doesn't get cancelled. Monday used to be by favorite night, but now I'm reconsidering. I've changed plans to watch this.
This show is AWESOME! However, I am inclined to say that the first 4 shows of the season were the funniest. I love Jay's character, Mitchell and Cameron are just too cute and every bit as funny as Jay! Jay and Manny really ham it up making it very realistic! I hope the show gets better as time goes on and will level out to be a long running comedy series! This is one of our top 5 all time favorites! Keep the laughs coming!
Love this program. I laugh and laugh as some of the characters have stepped right out of my realm. The writers have to be proud and who would have thought "Al Bundy" could come across so sensitive. Kudos to the entire cast as they each add spice to the mix.
I actually watched the whole episode last night and found it very entertaining. Liz Banks was hilarious and Ed Norton actually did well. But by far the best part are the every week characters. Even the kids did an awesome job and the 'cat and mouse' story line was the best. The 'bike' story line was hilarious too!
This is a great show! I love it....Ed Norton was hillarious!
I absolutely love this show and I so rarely ever watch sitcoms.
I got hooked on this show the moment I first saw it! I just love Manny! He's hilarious! I hope this one won't be canceled in a long time!
I love this show so much. Its absolutely hilarious, cast perfectly, written brilliantly and the one piece of television that I think can give 30 Rock a run for its money at the Emmy's this year.
The best part of the episode was when Jay sprayed his stepson with the water bottle for leering at his grandaughter...
I really like this new show! I find it very funny.
I love this show! Mitchell and Cam are my favs. The whole family dynamic is hilarios. Big kudos to Christopher Lloyd.... You are a genious.
I have missed good sitcoms since Seinfeld went off the air, but now I finally have one!
Excellent show, excellent writing, excellent cast!
My favorite show on the air! It's hilarious yet realistic...
Great new show! I look forward to Wednesdays! Manny is the best. I thought Banks and Norton were funny to watch but MF doesn't need them. Although I am looking forward to seeing who is Manny's dad.
This show is incredible!! Never thought Ed O'Neill would be this funny. But he is great! And my second (a tie) fav character(s) are Mitchell and Cameron. Please, please oh please, NEVER cancel this program!
This is the best comedy of the new season. The whole cast fits perfectly and the writing is excellent.
best show on television
Best new show since Arrested Development. Hopefully, this show will have a better, longer run.
I love love love this show...it is currently my fav.
I'm afraid to say how great this show is, for fear it will be cancelled! It is one of the funniest in a long time. The guest stars are really not necessary.
Monday night line up used to be my favorite night of the week worthy of watching some TV. I am slowly moving that night to Wednesday as a result of Modern Family. Elizabeth and Ed were awesome as guest cast members. I look forward to seeing who else joins the cast for a special episode.
I dont know about everyone else but I love manny!!! last night when he said he was going to get an expresso, i laughed so hard! he's great! i love this show!!
The best show – it's laugh out loud funny! I have switched doctor's appointments to see it.
This is one of the best comedies in a long, long time.....love the character Cameron!!! Perfect casting and great writing....
My absolute favorite show! Ed O'Neill is fabulous. I love the gay couple and the thinks he's so cool Dad. Ed O'neill's wife and stepson are hilarious. I could have saved myselfsome typing, I Love Them All!
I love this show, its one of best on TV right now. Don't cancel it ever.
This is the best on TV. I'm amazed, didn't think they could ever come up with a superb cast with the best writing and direction. Can't live without it. Absolutely the funniest show. Word of mouth more and more people are learning about it and I know it will be enormously successful. Thanks for the laughs.
I thought both stars were awesome, especially Edward Norton, he was hysterical.
This is also one of my husband and my favorite shows, along with so many folks commenting here, we love it.
Wednesday's on ABC has turned out to be our favorite night! The Middle, Modern Family, Cougartown and Eastwick, WTG ABC!
The funniest part of last night's show was Gloria singing to Lily...and Alex commenting on knowing why the baby wouldn't fall asleep.
This show is the best comedy on TV! I love it.
This is what all guest appearances should be like! This show consistently delivers! One of the rare gems of the season! Elizabeth and Ed fit into the eclectic fabric of characters that is Modern Family without overshadowing the already-brilliant cast and writing. It wasn't about the regular players bowing in awe to or acting around their guests and their storylines. It felt like watching just another in a string of offbeat, yet familiar, encounters and interactions that have come to embody the charm of this show...this time with the added bonus of oustanding actors who had fun being a part of it. It was like it was their honor to be the guests rather than the other way around. Job well done!
This show blows.
This show is absolutely amazing. My whole family sits down to wath it together. its hard to get my dad to laugh. This show cracks him up!
Love this show!!
Please don't cancel it.
A fantastic show – the only one I look forward to all week. Christopher Lloyd is a genius and this cast just does a spot on job!
Each week I am impressed with the acting and writing. More than that though – it's a show with solid humor chops and heart. Love it!!
Modern Family is one of the best shows on television right now. Characters are great. Casting is great. Well written. I did not know it was Edward Norton till the credits. He was very funny. The show can hold its own without big name guests but great actors supporting the regular cast cannot hurt as long as it does not overshadow the existing dynamics of the cast.
This show is hands-down the funniest on TV right now and in a long while in my opinion. I laugh out loud the entire time....Love It!!!
Ed Norton was AMAZING-his accent flawless, and the show was as hilarious as always. Loved his mullet! By far the best half hour spent watching TV every week, with the best cast. in years! (Elizabeth Banks was ok.)
the entire cast is just spot on. banks & norton were entertaining & did not overshadow the regular cast.
One of the best new shows ever!! Hilarious! I can't wait to watch every Wednesday night.
This show is just great! I just loved Jay's interaction w/ his grandson, hosing him off! This show makes me laugh out loud every week. We talk about it at work every Thursday. You have to watch it twice, as you usually miss something, from laughing! Everyone should TUNE IN! The next Seinfeld is here!!!
This is our favorite show!!! It never ceases to make us laugh. Having those "BIG TIME" stars was nice, but this show is funny with or without them.
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