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Ty Burrell Compares Modern Family's Phil Dunphy To A Dog

Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan's "Modern Family" premiered in late September 2009, and little did anyone involved realize they were working on what would become one of the all-time great sitcoms of the era. The program would run until April 2020 and reach 11 seasons and 250 episodes (we feel these 30 are the absolute best), having made several of its characters television favorites in that time. While most of the sprawling family would find fans of their own over the years, the members of the Dunphy household are among the most popular of the show's massive cast.

At face value, the Dunphys are your typical suburban nuclear family. The family unit is led by parents Phil (Ty Burrell, but this "Friends" star could've taken the gig) and Claire (Julie Bowen), who do their best to bond with their aging children, daughters Alex (Ariel Winter) and Haley (Sarah Hyland) and son Luke (Nolan Gould). However, more often than not, the Dunphy clan finds itself in absurd situations of a wide variety, relating to everything from family gatherings to school events. A good amount of these scenarios are also brought to life by Phil himself, either on purpose or by complete accident.

Given his selfless yet reckless personality, Ty Burrell has compared Phil Dunphy to a dog. Here's why he feels this is an apt comparison to make about his "Modern Family" alter-ego.

Burrell feels Phil has a dog-like personality

As "Modern Family" began its run on television, Phil Dunphy actor Ty Burrell spoke with E! News about his latest acting venture. He also shared his thoughts on the Phil character, describing his personality as similar to that of a dog. "He's this well-intentioned guy, super earnest. His tail is always wagging when anyone comes home, as if he thought they were never going to come back. And yet, at the same time, that tail is knocking crap off the tables," he said of the head of the Dunphy household, and given the 11 seasons worth of TV we all spent with him, it's hard to disagree with Burrell's assessment.

Burrell played the happy-go-lucky, occasionally foolish, but almost always kind-hearted Phil Dunphy to perfection throughout his time on "Modern Family." According to Burrell himself, it wasn't easy to leave the role behind after 11 seasons on ABC, but it had to happen eventually. Besides, the end of "Modern Family" meant the end of folks mistaking him for Phil, as he explained on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert." "People sort of assume you are the character," Burrell said, noting that he won't miss people conflating him and his on-screen role, especially since that phenomenon can take a derogatory turn.

 There's some overlap between Ty Burrell and Phil Dunphy, but not to the degree that some seem to believe. After all, the "Modern Family" character is far more similar to a dog in terms of his personality than Burrell.