Emmy Episode Analysis: Ty Burrell (‘Modern Family’) sweats bullets at father-in-law’s country club in ‘Grab It’

Ty Burrell has been a constant presence the last eight years in the Best Comedy Supporting Actor Emmy race for playing Phil Dunphy on “Modern Family.” The performer already has two wins in this category for the ABC family sitcom (2011 and 2014), and additionally contends this year as Best Actor in a Short Form Series for “Boondoggle.” For his latest “Modern Family” bid Burrell has submitted the episode “Grab It” for Emmy consideration.

In “Grab It” Phil wants to join Jay’s (Ed O’Neill) country club, where his son Luke (Nolan Gould) is currently working. Jay reluctantly agrees to sponsor Phil, and much to his chagrin his son-in-law is a surprise hit with his club pals. Later, Phil gets trapped in the sauna, and agrees to withdraw his application from the club if Jay goes trampolining with him.

Can Burrell win for this episode? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.


This episode plays to Burrell’s strengths as a physical comedian, particularly when he gets caught in the steam room. It’s the kind of broad, farcical submission that brought the actor his first two Emmys.

Emmy voters love repeats, and Burrell’s already got two trophies on his shelf. Is he due for a third?

SEE 2017 Emmy nominations list: All the nominees


The bloom has faded significantly from the “Modern Family” rose. The five-time Best Comedy Series victor that used to pull in double-digit nomination hauls is now down to just three bids, including Burrell’s. The show also failed to pick up a single trophy last year, and the same might happen this time.

Speaking of repeat winners, last year’s victor Louie Anderson (“Baskets”) is back for more, as is two-time champ Tony Hale (“Veep”). Plus, there’s Alec Baldwin, hoping to pick up a third trophy for “Saturday Night Light” to go along with the two he already has for “30 Rock,” and overdue contenders Tituss Burgess (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”) and Matt Walsh (“Veep”). With so many viable possibilities, voters may choose to reward Burrell in the Short Form category instead if they’re eager to give him a trophy.

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