I always saw Ty Burrell as just another Anthony Clark. That's why I could never watch Out of Practice or Back to You. ...Okay, that's not the only reason; both of those shows just were not funny. I could tolerate Clark in Yes, Dear because the show had heart and humor, despite his awkward antics and oftentimes squeaky-pitched voice. Burrell's voice has the proper octave, though, and his sense of comedy doesn't include wide-eyed head bobs or wild arm-flailing. And perhaps the reason I was unsure about Burrell in the past was because I never saw him a role that fit so perfectly before, but Modern Family gives us the perfect look at this character actor.
Why My Friends Are Talking About Him: Burrell stands out among the quirky cast of Modern Family, which is a hard thing to do considering the mass of talent there. Yet he manages to through a hilarious regression into a hapless man-boy husband and father of two with a slightly inappropriate crush on his father-in-law's new wife. Burrell plays Phil with just the right amount of leftover awkwardness from his own teenage years to seep into his hip-dad act. Whether he's misusing internet slang like "WTF," accidentally shooting his daughter's boyfriend with a BB gun in a lesson gone awry, or stealing a random kid's bike to hide a supposed slip-up from his wife, Burrell is clearly having fun, and though Phil may not take anything too seriously, the actor behind him certainly is.