It’s hard to pick a favorite member of the Modern Family ensemble, but Eric Stonestreet (aka Cam), is definitely up there. Tonight’s episode, “Fizbo” (ABC, 9 p.m ET), gives him the chance to resurrect his real-life clown character of the same name. That’s all we needed to know to know that we wanted to know more.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Clowns: Scary or Misunderstood?
ERIC STONESTREET: Misunderstood. But you’re talking to someone who’s always been fascinated with clowns, so I might be biased. Growing up [in Kansas], I wanted to be a clown and run away with the circus. I created a clown character that I would do for kids’ birthday parties and stuff like that. That’s how the inspiration for “Fizbo” started. Fizbo is my real clown name from when I was kid. I have business cards printed up with it on. [The show’s writers] just liked hearing the stories, so they thought it would be funny if Cameron brought back his clown character.
The most embarrassing song on your iPod?
I consider myself the least music snob in the world, and actually, I like to make fun of music snobs. I’m not ashamed to rock out to an ‘N Sync song, Backstreet Boys, Wreckx-N-Effect. If it’s on my iPod, it’s there for a reason. Sometimes it’s an impulse purchase for me off iTunes, but I’m a big music guy. I’m proud of all my [checks his iPod] 5,400 songs.
The song that makes you dance any time you hear it?
I love that Shaggy song “It Wasn’t Me.” There’s a song out now, Jay Sean’s “Down” — when I hear it in my car, I go crazy for it. I’m a big car dancer. If you ever see me in my car, I’m always dancing. It’s all for me. I dance alone.
And what is your signature car dancing move?
I call it bumpin’. All my friends, they know me to bump. It’s sort of an up-and-down shoulder move with one arm in the air. You gotta keep one arm on the steering wheel. LAPD, what’s up?
Your position on karaoke?
My position on karaoke is that it terrifies me. I think it has something to do with my desire to be good at things. While I like to sing in the privacy of my shower and maybe to brutalize my friends, I’m horrible at getting up in front of strangers singing. If I had to, I would maybe do “Creep” by Radiohead. [Sings] That’s a good one, right?
Something from your childhood you wish you still had?
My Stretch Armstrong doll, I loved that thing. All my G.I. Joes. My Stompers. Oh, I was so into Stompers.
What are Stompers?
Yeah, exactly. You’re a girl.
No, you did not just say that.
Yeah. Stompers were the best toy ever, these little mini monster trucks that ran on one AA battery. We used to build, like, cities for our Stompers.
What is your geekiest possession today?
Let me think here. I’m looking around my house. How do we define “geeky”? I’m not a technology guy. My best friend Paul is majorly into science fiction, and I make fun of him, and he gets mad at me because I don’t want to go see sci-fi movies… I would say the geekiest thing I have right now is a cowboy statue of a human with my dog’s head attached to it. I’ll take a picture of it and email you.*
* His dog, “Coleman Hawkins” aka “Bubba” aka “Coleman The Patrolman,” is a Jack Russell/Beagle mix that he rescued eight years ago as a puppy.
Photo credit: Stonestreet: Bob D’Amico/ABC; Statue: Eric Stonestreet