Shaunna Murphy
August 26, 2011 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Clown suits, a tiger, and Ed O’Neill as a top-hatted emcee? It’s just another day at the office for the cast of ABC’s Modern Family, according to 13-year-old Nolan Gould, whose character, Luke, is posing in the cannon for the promo shot above. (Yes, that’s a real tiger. No, it wasn’t photographed on the same day as the cast.) It’s a good thing they chose a circus setting for 4-year-old Aubrey Anderson-Emmons‘ (the new little Lily) first day at work, because ”Modern Family is like a giant circus,” Gould says. Not that Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen, who play Luke’s parents, haven’t made the toddler feel right at home. ”They’re like 40 years old,” Gould says. (They’re 44 and 42, respectively.) ”[But] when they see each other, they suddenly turn into a bunch of 4-year-olds.” Gould says fans have a lot of clowning around to look forward to when Family returns on Sept. 21. ”We have something very circuslike coming up in one of the episodes,” he says. ”Phil [Burrell] wants to learn how to tightrope-walk, and he and Luke decide to go for Phil’s dream.”

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