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Modern Family Wiki

Brushes with Celebrity[1] is the eighth episode from Season 9 of Modern Family, it aired on November 29, 2017.

Plot Summary

The Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker clan recount all their biggest celebrity encounters. Phil shows a house to his musical hero and is determined to make a good impression despite the intense pain radiating from a very inconvenient part of his body. Meanwhile, Jay's day at jury duty takes an unexpected turn when he gets to serve it alongside one of America's biggest football icons. Finally, Manny's encounter with his favorite playwright and a celebrated actor and comedian don't go exactly as you'd expect.

Episode Description

The whole family recounts all their biggest celebrity encounters. Claire joined a book club and tried to make her best in order to impress her "friends". Alex helped her to use the word sanguine and Luke gave her advice to make a good impression. Phil is due to show a house to Chris Martin from Coldplay, his musical hero, however his excitement is tempered by a pain in his groin. Chris shows up and the two get along, however Phil is eventually unable to hide his discomfort for long and passes out from the pain. He wakes up in hospital to learn he is suffering from an enlarged testicle, and is horrified to find Chris came along to support him in his moment of embarrassing need. Naturally, Chris's presence turns the heads of everyone in the hospital, and when Claire shows up she brings her book club hoping introducing them to Chris will help her score brownie points. Phil feels mortified, and tries to run but his swollen testicle prevents him making a quick getaway. Chris feels bad, and to make it up to Phil he sings an improvised song extoling the virtues of Phil as a realtor. Everyone is entranced to the point that a patient flatlining goes ignored for several seconds.

Elsewhere, Jay has to serve as a juror and since a fellow has labor pains, she is replaced by his idol, Terry Bradshaw. At lunch break, Jay meets Bradshaw and, at first, hits off with him until he commits a faux-pas by mocking his performance in a movie, which puts Bradshaw against him. Jay tried to make it up to him during the juror selection process, however his increasingly obsessive actors get him dismissed and a restraining order. However Jay has the last laugh, as he frames the order since it has Bradshaw's signature.

Also, Manny and Gloria eat at a restaurant and Manny meets his favourite scriptwriter who is extremely reclusive. When Manny approaches him, under Gloria's encouragment, to give him praise and ask advice the writer is mean and hearsh to him. Manny is bummed out, although he isn't too upset. However Gloria refuses to let this slight go unchallenged and goes over to chew him out against Manny's pleas. Her stern words make the writer cry, and Gloria is gratified while Manny is embarrassed. Suddenly Billy Crystal comes over and praises Gloria for how she handled the asshole and starts to give Manny advice on how to write. However neither recognise him, and quickly make an excuse and leave, apologising to the writer on the way out telling him they totally understand how he feels now.

And for Mitch and Cam, they are desperately wanting to participate at a garden show when the meet the anchorman during shops at a building center. He fails to pay attention for them and finally reveals that he is here, because he works here and his show is no longer on tv.

Main Cast

(The characters striked out do not appear in this episode)

  • Jay Pritchett
  • Gloria Pritchett
  • Manny Delgado
  • Joe Pritchett
  • Claire Dunphy
  • Phil Dunphy
  • Haley Dunphy
  • Alex Dunphy
  • Luke Dunphy
  • Mitchell Pritchett
  • Cameron Tucker
  • Lily Tucker-Pritchett

Guest Starring

  • Chris Martin as Himself
  • Terry Bradshaw as Himself
  • Billy Crystal as Himself
  • Brandon Firla as Scott Hunter
  • Peter Giles as Sam Anvilmaker
  • Ron Perkins as Judge Katz
  • Sharon Muthu as Lawyer
  • Vladimir Perez as Bailiff
  • Donielle Nash as Pregnant Juror
  • Danilo di Julio as Doctor
  • Lisa Linke as Nurse
  • Zabeth Russell as Juror Eight
  • Maria Pallas as Marie
  • Tiffany C. Adams as Donna
  • Caitlin Muelder as Angie


  • Sanguine actually means "optimistic or positive, especially in an apparently bad or difficult situation."
  • Joe appears only in an interview.
  • Phil had a massively inflamed testicle in this episode.
  • Haley and Lily are absent in this episode.
  • Alex and Luke only appear in the teaser.
  • Billy Crystal actually never says his full name during the episode.

Cultural References

  • Jay and Gloria discuss Who's the Boss? and Tony Danza. Gloria initially thinks he's referring to Bruce Springsteen.
  • Jay criticizes the film Failure to Launch, in which Terry Bradshaw played Al.
  • Cam claims to have seen Daniel Day-Lewis at a dry-cleaner, referencing his Lincoln role
  • Billy Crystal references the movie City Slickers, in which he plays Mitch Robbins.
  • Billy Crystal references the movie Princess Bride, in which he plays Miracle Max with the line, "Have fun storming the castle."
  • Jay says to Terry lock up a Steeler" referencing Bradshaw's time with the Pittsburgh Steelers.


AV Club gave it a "B", praising Chris Martin's performance.