Posted at 5:00 AM Apr 20, 2010
By Merritt Martin
For those of you who don't know him, Phil Dunphy is a dad of three, a husband, a real estate guy and the object of my undying affection. He's a geek for tech gadgets (iPad and insane remotes, included), a former cheerleader and an aspiring coach of anything his kids are interested in. He wears damn good pants, has gotten stuck in a porta-john and looks awesome in a fake cop-stache. Need I go on? Yes.
Admittedly, I'm a fan of Ty Burrell, the actor who plays Phil, but there's just something--at least 10 things, actually--about the bumbling goof with the good heart and the burly eyebrows that makes ABC's Modern Family more like a fantasy...in spite of the fact that I would never consider having three children (TV or otherwise).
Now, I don't know Ty Burrell from Adam (though I'm sure he's fabulous), and I'm fully aware that I'm discussing a fictional character, which is why the following is a list of reasons that I would TV-marry Phil (as in, I assure you I don't believe he is real), crush on Ty (as in, a celebrity looks/talent combo crush) and maintain at least a modicum of dignity (as in, I'm aware I'll get teased for this, but I'm also guessing I have some fellow TV-wives out there).
10. Claustrophobia/Severe Fear of Clowns
I appreciate a good phobia. I like a man that tempers his masculinity with a little vulnerability. And yet, while Phil is so tooooooooootally freaked out about small areas such as the crawlspace below the house or by his brother-in-law's surprising presentation as a professional Auguste clown, he's going to try his best to hide it from his kids. Mind you, that best isn't necessarily good enough, but the attempt is awesome. "My boy was in trouble, so I put my fears aside and I came to his rescue. Now, does that make me a hero? Yes it does." It also means that I could tackle the painted faced horrors and the closets if he could take care of any stray possums that might wander into my general area.
9. His Atrocious Attempts at "Peerenting"
As it says in his bio and he explains on the show, Phil "acts like a parent and talks like a peer." While Phil thinks this makes him the proverbial cool dad, it really doesn't. What it does do, however, is make him adorably loveable...and someone I'm routinely embarrassed for, but if that's not a perfect combo for a TV husband, I dunno what is. (Sidenote: I love that actor Ty Burrell can rock a character this funny and also nail a serious role like Allan Arbus opposite Nicole Kidman and Robert Downey, Jr. in Fur.)
8. His List of Desired Gifts
In "Great Expectations," Phil bought his wife jewelry, surprised her with balloons and sent her flowers for their anniversary. May seem trite, but they're awesome gifts for Claire, who, it turns out, is an awful gift giver. She awarded Phil with coupons for hugs because she says he's hard to buy for and never wants anything. But nothing could be further from the truth. As he told the camera during his talking head, he wants lots of awesome things: a robot dog, night vision goggles, a bug vacuum, a GPS watch, speakers that look like rocks, a yogurt maker... Seeing as how I once had a kinda-sorta robot dog I won from Dave & Busters and I desire all but the GPS watch, I think we'd be perfect together.
7. His Knack for Coming Up With Band Names
You might not know this from watching Modern Family, but you could probably guess it: Phil is a band name master. As the MF site will attest, he's got some ace candidates on his loose-leaf, including The Profiteroles, Tender Patch, Funk Shui, the Secret of My Intentions, Morbid Scoundrel and (one that I too "came up with" way back in 5th grade, and, sadly, I'm not joking) Oven Mitt.
6. That Time He Tried Role-playing
For Valentine's Day, Phil and Claire decided to mix things up and have a spicy night in a hotel...but with a twist. The two planned to meet in the bar as strangers and then see where the night took them. I absolutely applaud his commitment to the Clive Bixby character ("So what's your story? Miss America pageant in town?"), if not the mock turtleneck.