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The Sweet Jay And Claire Moment On Modern Family That Was Completely Improvised By Julie Bowen

In Season 1’s “Come Fly With Me,” Jay and Claire’s husband, Phil (Ty Burrell), are in a rough spot. Jay hit Phil in the head with a plane, so he has to apologize to him. He does so as Phil lays on his couch in pain, and by the time he’s done, he’s at the center of a giant group hug — something he’s not too enthused about. Moved by his rare display of emotion, Claire kisses Jay on the head and thanks him. According to Ed O’Neill (via Francesca Crisafulli on YouTube), Julie Bowen improvised this herself. He then gave her credit for coming up with such a special moment on the fly.

While this is a prime example of Jay and Claire’s close connection, it also says a lot about the chemistry between O’Neill and Bowen. In fact, pretty much the entire “Modern Family” cast gelled in no time, meaning that filming the show was a breeze. On the flip side, it also meant that saying goodbye to the program after 11 years was no easy feat. During a chat with the Business Journal Daily, O’Neill recalled the final days on set as incredibly emotional. “The last two weeks of shooting, there was a build up of emotion and you could feel it all around you…People were getting choked up, and it built up to that last day,” he said.

Nevertheless, “Modern Family” indeed came to an end in April 2020 and countless tears were shed. Thankfully, all involved have 11 seasons worth of unforgettable moments to look back on. Seeing as O’Neill remembers it so well, Bowen’s improvised subtle Season 1 exchange between Claire and Jay appears to be among his most fondly remembered.



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