Posts tagged ‘Ty Burrell’

The Penn Stater Daily — April 24, 2014

Ty Burrell

Burrell grabs a cold one in his new digs. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Funny business: Our March/April cover boy, Ty Burrell ’97g, scored a new role: bar owner. Burrell just opened Beer Bar, a cozy brewpub in downtown Salt Lake City. The new spot is right next door to Bar X, a cocktail lounge Burrell co-owns. Like its name, Beer Bar’s menu is nothing fancy (think bratwurst and fries). The real attraction: a whopping 150 brews on tap.

Speaking out: April is sexual abuse awareness month (more on this later today), and a powerful event last night on campus helped spread the word. At “Take Back the Night,” now in its fifth year at Penn State, survivors of abuse — both men and women — gathered in front of Old Main to share their stories. Said senior Nicauris Rosario: “To see men stand up and share how they are affected by these situations, it opened a lot of people’s eyes.” Check out the Collegian‘s coverage here

Big money: Just how successful are the Weebly guys (David Rusenko ’07, Dan Veltri ’07, and Chris Fanini ’12)? Onward State helped answer that question yesterday, in a story about the Web startup’s founders. Thanks to recent funding from Chinese company Tencent and a California-based venture capitalist, Weebly’s now valued at $455 million. So yeah. Pretty successful.

Mary Murphy, associate editor



April 24, 2014 at 11:18 am Leave a comment

New Issue: On the Way

coverOur March/April issue is hitting mailboxes this week — and, trust me, it’s a fun one.

Perhaps I’m a bit biased, considering I interviewed the eight alums featured in the cover story, “What’s So Funny.” But then again, there’s really no possible way to include Ty Burrell ’97g, Keegan-Michael Key ’96g, and six other hilarious writers and performers in one story without laughing—a lot—in the process. I hope you enjoy reading the piece as much as I enjoyed working on it.

Another feature in the issue focuses on some interesting research from labor and employment relations professor Alan Derickson. In his new book, Dangerously Sleepy: Overworked Americans and the Cult of Manly Wakefulness, Derickson explores the roots of America’s obsession with sacrificing sleep for work. Senior editor Lori Shontz ’91, ’13g interviewed Derickson about our country’s “complicated relationship with sleep,” which goes back further than you might think.

In “Old Made New,” you’ll learn about some cool renovation projects in the works around University Park. Here in the office, we were wowed by the computer renderings of the HUB-Robeson Center expansion and the new South Halls, complete with sleek modular furniture and private bathrooms.

Other good stuff in the March/April issue: The details on a new, lifesaving “kidney swap” program at Penn State Hershey, a short feature on football coach James Franklin, and an introduction to Penn State’s new president, Eric Barron.

Have you received the latest issue? What do you think? Tell us at or in the comments below.

Mary Murphy, associate editor

February 26, 2014 at 4:26 pm 4 comments

The Penn Stater Daily — Feb. 19, 2014

A moraler for life: If you’re a Penn Stater, you know THON. And if you know THON, you know that among the key figures on the BJC floor for 46 hours are the moralers, who help dancers stay at least functional, if not perky, through the ordeal. Onward State asks the key question: What if we had moralers for our real lives? The result: This series of videos starring “Max the Life Moraler,” which made associate editor Mary Murphy and me laugh pretty hard Tuesday afternoon in the office. Bet the clips make you laugh, too.

Ty Burrell Media Tour: Ty Burrell ’97g is making the interview rounds promoting his upcoming movie Mr. Peabody and Sherman, a remake of a 1960s cartoon about a genius dog, Mr. Peabody, and a little boy he raises. I’m not sure how I missed that back in the day, but somehow I did. Anyhow, even playing a genius dog can’t make anyone forget Burrell’s breakout role, Phil Dunphy on Modern Family, and in this clip, he discusses his favorite Phil Dunphy scene. It involves an airplane. And he adds, “It’s just so fun playing this big little boy. I’m very lucky.”

State Patty’s Day Prevention: Yet again this year, Penn State will pay downtown bars to not open on State Patty’s Day, the student-created faux-holiday that has become the worst day of the year for area police and EMTs. As explained in this Collegian story, The amount of money will depend on how many the bar serves: It ranges from $7,500 to those with a 350-person occupancy to $2,500 for those with less than 100. For the record, State Patty’s Day this year is Saturday, March 1.

ICYMI Eric Barron interviews: Video of the president elect’s introductory news conference and his interview with WPSU’s Patty Satalia are available online: click here to watch the news conference, and click here to watch the WPSU interview. In other Eric Barron coverage, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette weighs in with an editorial that praised the choice but not the secrecy surrounding the search.

Lori Shontz, senior editor

February 19, 2014 at 10:10 am 1 comment

The Penn Stater Daily — Oct. 29, 2013

Settlements reached: It was announced yesterday that Penn State will pay $59.7 million to settle lawsuits filed by 26 victims of Jerry Sandusky. The settlements will not be funded by student tuition or taxpayer funds, according to officials. (See this news release for more details on how the settlements will be paid.) Said President Rodney Erickson: “We hope this is another step forward in the healing process for those hurt by Mr. Sandusky, and another step forward for Penn State.”

An interesting comparison: On the heels of the announcement, Bloomberg Businessweek posted this piece, comparing Penn State’s settlements to the deals struck by the Catholic Church with four men abused by a former priest. The takeaway: Victims in both settlements received about $2.3 million each.

Get a room: On a lighter note, new research from SAS and Breffni Noone, a faculty member in the School of Hospitality Management, shows how bad online reviews can affect a hotel’s bottom line. According to the study, “consumers simply will not choose a hotel with negative reviews.” Which means I’m not the only one who won’t book a room until I’ve skimmed at least 50 reviews for the word “bedbug.”


Muppets! The next Muppets movie isn’t due in theaters until March 2014, but this fun new poster, featuring Ty Burrell ’97g, was released yesterday. According to, Burrell plays Jean Pierre Napoleon, who—judging by this pic and that creepy mustache—appears to be a bad guy.

Mary Murphy, associate editor

October 29, 2013 at 11:55 am Leave a comment

A Comedy Connection

Keegan-Michael Key '96g and Jordan Peele (as Barack Obama) in a sketch for their Comedy Central show.

It’s not often that scripted television makes me laugh out loud. As a full-fledged reality TV junkie, I’m far more likely to crack up watching the latest Real Housewives blowout or a melodramatic rose ceremony on The Bachelor.

So you can imagine my shock when I found myself in hysterics during Key and Peele, a new sketch comedy show on Comedy Central. The sketches are smart — politically incorrect, but not mean-spirited. And both title stars are very, very funny.

Some of our readers might remember that the “Key” in the title is a Penn Stater: Keegan-Michael Key ’96g earned his MFA at Penn State, and doubly cool, he’s buddies with Ty Burrell ’97g, from ABC’s Modern Family. Both actors have roots in Utah. In this interview from The Salt Lake Tribune, Key mentions their connection, and Burrell made a cameo in a recent Key and Peele sketch.

Key and Peele premiered in January, and it’s been earning rave reviews, like this one from the Los Angeles Times. It airs Tuesdays at 10:30 on Comedy Central.

Mary Murphy, associate editor

March 15, 2012 at 4:46 pm 2 comments

Here’s a Random Assortment of Happy News

Update: It looks like the Daily Mail has removed the story about Ty Burrell already. I can’t even find a cached version to show you. It’s too bad, because the story and photos were pretty sweet. If anyone knows a way to view the article online, please let us know in the Comments section. —Tina

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I hit a wall where I don’t think my brain can process one more piece of ugly or sad news coming out of the Sandusky scandal. In case you happen to be feeling that way today, we offer you a few bits of more upbeat news.

—Chicago Bears placekicker Robbie Gould ’03 is having an excellent year. This story from the Bears’ website was written a couple of weeks ago, just after he had kicked field goals of 50 and 53 yards in the same game, a loss to the Raiders … and then this past Sunday, in an overtime loss to the Broncos, he kicked one of 57 yards—a team record.

Better yet, this past Monday—the day after the Denver game—he took a bunch of needy kids shopping. Gould, through his Goulden Touch Foundation, gave a $120 shopping spree at Target to each of 99 kids from Mooseheart Child City and School, a place for children and teens who don’t have a stable home life. Gould was there for the shopping, and the article about the event has a small gallery of photos from the event that should make you smile.

—Then we have Modern Family star Ty Burrell ’97g and his cute little adopted daughter. It seems little Frances


December 14, 2011 at 11:15 am 2 comments

Penn State Night at the Emmys

Ty-BurrellHe was nominated for an Emmy Award last year, but this year Ty Burrell ’97g actually won the thing.

Burrell captured an Emmy last night for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy, for his role as the dorky dad Phil Dunphy on the ABC sitcom Modern Family. The show itself also won for Best Comedy, and Ty’s on-screen wife, Julie Bowen, won for Best Supporting Actress.

You can see the entire list of Emmy winners here. Note that it includes another Penn Stater: Don Roy King ’69, director of Saturday Night Live, won an Emmy for Outstanding Directing. Not a bad night for Penn Staters, huh?

By the way, King will be speaking at Penn State next spring.

We did a profile of Ty Burrell in the magazine back in Jan-Feb 2010. That story got its start when I was trying to recruit Vicki Glembocki ’93, ’02g to write a story for us on some other topic, and she wrote back: “How about Ty Burrell??? Are you watching Modern Family? I can see the subhead: How does a guy become the most lovably annoying dad in America?”

Vicki usually knows what she’s talking about, so I took her up on the offer, and I’m glad I did.

You might enjoy reading Vicki’s tale of what it was like to meet Burrell, and that’s also where you can download a PDF of her story in The Penn Stater about him.

Tina Hay, editor

September 19, 2011 at 8:28 am Leave a comment

Ty Burrell Shows Some Love For His Alma Mater

Modern Family had its predictably hilarious season premiere on Wednesday night, and our man Ty Burrell ’97g was his usual loopy self. Line of the night (at least for Nittany Lion fans) came when Burrell’s character, Phil Dunphy, was telling his son about having attended a long-ago Rose Bowl game. He doesn’t mention the year, but when his son asks what happened, Phil replies, “We got our butts kicked by Penn State.”

Burrell was born and raised in Oregon, so we can only assume this is a sly reference to the 1995 Rose Bowl, in which the Lions knocked off the Oregon Ducks, 38-20.

You can watch the entire episode on the ABC website. The Rose Bowl reference comes about 3:45 into the show.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

September 23, 2010 at 8:59 am Leave a comment

Mark Deklin: Another Penn Stater to Watch on TV


That's our boy Mark Deklin on the right, playing the character of Trammell on "Lone Star."

Liz Fox ’80, a former member of our Alumni Council, called my attention to the fact that we’ve got another Penn Stater on TV: Mark Deklin ’90 is a character on the show Lone Star, which debuts on Fox tonight at 9 p.m. Deklin, a Pittsburgh native, is the subject of stories in both the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Tribune Review; you can read them here and here.

It took me a while to find Deklin on our alumni database, but it turns out that Deklin is his stage name. His real name is Mark Schwotzer and he has a bachelor’s in English from Penn State. You may also remember him as one of the hunks on Desperate Housewives. Here is Deklin’s bio on the Fox site (click on the “Actor Bio” bar if that’s not what you see right away).

Oh, and the new season of Modern Family starring Emmy-nominated Ty Burrell ’97g starts Wednesday.

Tina Hay, editor

September 20, 2010 at 8:55 am 1 comment

Three Emmy Awards for ‘Modern Family’

Ty-BurrellPenn Staters watched last night’s Emmy Awards with more interest than usual, since Ty Burrell ’97g was up for one of the awards.

Burrell, who plays the dorky dad Phil Dunphy on ABC-TV’s Modern Family, was nominated for Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. But so were two other members of the Modern Family cast, and it was one of Burrell’s co-stars, Eric Stonestreet, who ended up winning the Emmy last night.

Modern Family took two other Emmy Awards last night: It won for Comedy Series (ending a three-year lock on that award by 30 Rock) and Writing for a Comedy Series. You can see the complete list of nominees and winners here. And check out the Daily Collegian story from this past Friday, in which they talk to a couple of Burrell’s former Penn State profs.

The photo shown above is the opening spread of our own story about Burrell, from our January-February 2010 issue. More about that here.

Tina Hay, editor

August 30, 2010 at 3:41 pm 1 comment

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