Belfast Telegraph

Jesse Tyler Ferguson recalls awkward pants prank by co-star Ed O'Neill

Jesse Tyler Ferguson didn't think his co-star Ed O'Neill was capable of practical jokes on the set of Modern Family until recently.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson was left red-faced after his Modern Family co-star Ed O'Neill stuffed his pants as a prank during a scene in a steam room.

The two actors have played father and son Jay and Mitchell Pritchett since the award-winning show began back in 2009 and it’s just wrapped its eighth season.

When quizzed on Tuesday night's (07Mar17) Conan talk show whether he knows everything about his castmates after working with them for so long, Jesse admitted they sometimes surprise him as he revealed how his onscreen dad recently played a practical joke.

Setting up the scene by explaining Mitchell is in a steam room only to realise Jay is also in there naked, requiring Ed to wear a pair of nude underwear, Jesse, 41, said: “We get to the part of the scene where I’m supposed to glance over and look at him, and I notice that Ed is HUGE (points to crotch), like distractingly massive.

“So I’m nervous about looking again ‘cause I don’t want him to think I’m staring but it’s hard not to look, and then I see him a little bit uncomfortable... And I was like, ‘Oh my God, Ed has an erection.’”

Thinking Ed, 70, was suffering an embarrassing bodily function Jesse noted he immediately felt “protective”, especially with cameras surrounding them.

However it wasn’t long until he noticed everyone else laughing and finally decided to see for himself what the joke was.

“He sort of stands up still readjusting and I allow myself a really good glance and he has stuffed his underwear with a fake penis to get at me,” Jesse grinned. “He was so proud of himself, because he’s not a jokester – he doesn’t do pranks.”

Convinced Ed didn’t come up with the idea himself Jesse questioned their co-star Eric Stonestreet, who plays Mitchell’s husband Cam, only to discover he was not involved at all.

Jesse’s amusing story will also reassure fans a ninth series of ABC’s Modern Family is on the way after recent reports that the show was in limbo due to a dispute that affected the cast's contracts.

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