Guess Who's Coming to Dinner: Best "Modern Family" Cameos


With the fourth season of Modern Family arriving September 24th on Blu-ray and DVD, and with that the show is just 4 episodes shy of that big magical "100 Episode" marker that networks use as the threshold for syndication. That also means Modern Family has had 96 episodes and thus 96 opportunities for great cameos.In the fourth season alone we got Matthew Broderick (as Phil's awkward man-date), Elizabeth Banks, Shelley Long, and many more. To celebrate all the stars who've popped up here and there, we've compiled a list of some of the best cameos Modern Family has had so far.


David Cross as Duane Bailey

A good antagonist can define a hero just as much as what that hero does, and so when Claire Dunphy needed a villain in her crusade for town council, Modern Family gave her David Cross as Duane Bailey. Why? Because few actors do smug condescension better than David Cross, and few characters bristle quite as much at said smug condescension as Claire Dunphy. It was a perfect, hellish match.


Matthew Broderick as Dave

With two Tony Awards, there’s no denying that Matthew Broderick is an insanely talented actor both on the stage and the silver screen. When he made his appearance on Modern Family the audience was not disappointed! Dave, who was also a bulldog alum, brought lots of awkward moments and laughter when he got a bit confused by the signals Phil was sending him.


Matt Dillon as Robbie Sullivan

In season two, Matt Dillon appeared as Claire’s ex-boyfriend from high school. Though he played a sleaze, Robbie Sullivan will forever be remembered by Modern Family fans for the unexpected make out session he had with Grandma Dede in the kitchen. He definitely did not win back the love of his high school sweetheart, but Robbie did not allow that to ruin his day.


James Marsden as Barry

When the charming James Marsden appeared on Modern Family with his sexy smile, no one was complaining! He was certainly a treat for the eyes of all the female viewers, but we can’t blame Mitchell and Cameron for kicking out their “neighbor” Barry when they discovered that he had been living in their daughter’s princess castle. It was good while it lasted and Barry’s spiritual practices were certainly entertaining.


Minnie Driver as Valerie

Minnie Driver made a guest appearance as Valerie, Claire’s old friend in season one. She was beautiful, well-dressed, and seemed to have it all together. You can’t really blame Claire for feeling slightly inadequate. Driver perfectly portrayed the friend that is a middle-aged woman’s worst nightmare.


Benjamin Bratt as Javier Delgado

With recurring appearances as Gloria’s ex-husband Javier Delgado, Benjamin Bratt definitely deserves a place on this list! Javier is not exactly the perfect father-figure for Manny, who looks up to his biological dad. His wild personality adds on to the crazy family we all love. We can’t wait until the next time he makes his appearance!


Nathan Lane as Pepper

Modern Family has received high praise for handled its two gay leading men in a way that doesn't make them out to be your typical cliches, and for being willing to show their affection. Of course, it'd be hard to appreciate that if we didn't have Nathan Lane starring as their incredibly stereotypical, drama queen gay friend Pepper. Lane stands as the show's most over-the-top character to date, and chances are he'll only be outdone by himself in seasons to come.


Philip Baker Hall as Walt

Luke is a weird kid, and at times it's hard to tell if he's a secret genius or dumb with occasional moments of wisdom. We got a sense for his wisdom beyond his years courtesy of the friendship he developed with his grouchy, curmudgeon of a neighbor Walt played by Philip Baker Hall. While their friendship was amusing, and ultimately taught Luke about death, it also offered up some laughs as Claire and Phil struggle to fully comprehend why a kid and an old man would be friends.

Lex Walker • Editor

He's a TV junkie with a penchant for watching the same movie six times in one sitting. If you really want to understand him you need to have grown up on Sgt. Bilko, Alien, Jurassic Park and Five Easy Pieces playing in an infinite loop. Recommend something to him - he'll watch it.


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