MODERN FAMILY: Josh Gad Previews His Guest Spot - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

MODERN FAMILY: Josh Gad Previews His Guest Spot

November 23, 2011 by  

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to reunite with old friends and that’s exactly what the Dunphys will be doing in tonight’s brand new episode of MODERN FAMILY, “Punkin Chunkin” — Josh Gad’s Kenneth, an old family friend, returns to the neighborhood for the holidays and make quite the impression on Phil and Claire.

For Gad (who spends his nights in New York as part of the cast of Broadway’s THE BOOK OF MORMON), the opportunity to appear on the show wasn’t just about guest starring on a successful comedy series: it also gave him the chance to reunite with his BACK TO YOU costar Ty Burrell (Phil) and former bosses Steve Levitan and Christopher Lloyd (who created both MODERN FAMILY and BACK TO YOU).

Keep reading for what Gad told me about filming the guest spot, reuniting with his former coworkers and if he’d be game to come back…

Given your crazy Broadway schedule, how did this guest spot come to be?
Josh Gad:  Steve and Chris  and I have a long history together — they gave me my big break on television, which was [Fox’s] BACK TO YOU, which was short-lived, but they gave me the opportunity to establish some lifelong friendships between me and Steve and Chris and also the brilliant Ty Burrell. And it’s something we had been talking about for a long time — we actually ended up pitching a show after BACK TO YOU that didn’t go anywhere — but we always knew we wanted to collaborate again, it was just a matter of when and how. And the moment finally came when they called me up and said, “Can you get out of your night job to come play with us for the day?” And so I did. I wound up flying in Monday morning and flying back late Monday afternoon in order to get back to do THE BOOK OF MORMON, but it was well worth it.

That must have been intense for you.
JG: It was intense, but it was also exhilarating at the same time because it was like, “This is insane, how am I going to do this?” and then you just do it, you just go off adrenaline.

Did you share most of your scenes in the episode with Ty?
JG: I did. It was so, so much fun to play with him again after all these years. Ty and I have remained very close friends and we’ve been wanting to work together again and it was an elusive effort until now. So we had a blast. It was like we hadn’t had a day apart from each other since BACK TO YOU. It’s like we fell into the same crazy antics and routines.

Your characters certainly had an interesting relationship on BACK TO YOU. I know you said you felt like you fell back into the routine together, but what was the biggest change for you on set this time around?
JG: I think the biggest change is not looking over our shoulders going, “Oh my God, is this going to be our last day at work?” There’s something about having both of be in these enormously successful entities right now — he on MODERN FAMILY, me on THE BOOK OF MORMON — that gives you a sense of security and you’re a lot more confident in your comedy. You’re not like, “What do I have to prove to the network so we don’t get cancelled?” [Laughs] That’s nice. Having that security and the ability to mess around and play.

That’s good. So what can you tell me about your character?
JG: He’s an old friend of the family, he grew up in the neighborhood, and he comes home to visit and he loves, loves Phil and his wife and he comes back and they’ve lost touch with him, so they’re not aware that this little schlub from the neighborhood has wound up doing quite well for himself, becoming a self-made millionaire. And Ty[‘s character] ends up learning a very valuable lesson, which I probably shouldn’t give away. But it winds up being an existential question he has to ask himself.

I know it’s the Thanksgiving episode, so do you get to share a meal with the family? Or are you outside of that storyline?
JG: I’m outside of that storyline. I wish, maybe if I had more time available, but I literally had a five hour window to shoot all my stuff and get out of there. They were really accommodating.

Wow, that’s a short amount of time. Who else did you get to share scenes with besides Ty?
JG: All the Dunphys. Julie Bowen (Claire) and the kids. I didn’t get the chance to work with Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Mitchell), who is my old playmate from our old days on Broadway.

Oh, wow, even if you didn’t get to work with him, that’s a lot of familiar faces.
JG: Yeah, it really was a big reunion, even just to see everybody again.

Is there the potential for your character to come back when you’re not so tied up in THE BOOK OF MORMON?
JG: I certainly think there is the potential — we’ll see. Hopefully the character will be embraced and then there will be demand. The people will say, “I want to see Kenneth more!” But if not, then no. [Laughs] We won’t ever see from him again. We’ll just say he did well and retired early.

Well, poor Phil does need more friends…
JG: He does need more friends. We’ll see what happens.

Will you be watching MODERN FAMILY tonight at 9 PM on ABC?

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