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Modern Family: Ariel Winter Says Successful Comedy Is Not Trying To Be Funny

Since airing in 2009, the cast of "Modern Family" has brought laughter in bucketloads to countless individuals. Showcasing the lives of three different family units, the show explores the family's dynamics in honest and hilarious ways that audiences latched onto until the show's end in 2020. So just what's the secret that kept the show so funny?

According to Ariel Winter, who played the Dunphy's middle child Alex, the formula isn't as complicated as some might think. When asked by Backstage in a 2019 interview what she learned from being on the show, Winter comments, "With comedy, don't try to be funny. That's really helped me. Just say the lines as you would say them, interact with other characters, and try to make it as real as possible. It will come out funny. I've also learned a lot about timing." Winter adds that the show's production team inspired her to learn more about the filmmaking process. 

There's no denying that much of the comedy from the "Modern Family" cast comes from the honesty they bring to their roles. But they're not the only ones on the "Modern Family" team to keep things real.

A lot of Modern Family is based on real life

Whether they're busting our guts with laughter or making us hold back tears, "Modern Family" strikes a chord with audiences from any and all backgrounds. While much of this can be attributed to the efforts of the show's stellar cast, equal praise must also be given to the show's creative team, who put more of themselves into the series than you may realize. 

In an interview with MOFY Nation, show creators Steve Levitan and Christoper Lloyd discussed what goes into crafting the all-too-relatable chaos of "Modern Family." "So many of the stories are taken directly from our lives," Levitan commented, who felt that the show's realness adds to its widespread appeal. Lloyd dove even deeper into the writing team's process, saying how they aim to make the writer's room a safe space to birth honest ideas. "Three quarters of the stories on our show were based upon things that happened to the writers in our room or to people we know," he says. "The first part is based in fact and the next two or three pieces we manufacture." 

It probably doesn't take too much thinking to recall scenarios from your own life that seem sitcom worthy. But striking the magic balance to make it work on television is what the "Modern Family" cast and crew do best.