Eric Stonestreet is an easy target.
“We have had so much fun scaring you over the years,” said host Ellen DeGeneres. “That wasn’t even all of them.”
As fans of the talk show know, most of the best celebrity scares come from a hidden person popping out of a hollow table on set. DeGeneres, 61, explained that the now-iconic prop was originally created for Stonestreet, 48.
“This became the Eric Stonestreet scare table because we ran out of ways to scare you, so we created this table,” said DeGeneres. “And we’re going to now dedicate this table.”
“Thank you!” replied Stonestreet. “That is so sweet. I’m honored.”
When DeGeneres opened the table to show the actor a plaque with his name on it attached to the top lid, he became immediately suspicious that a scare might be coming his way.
“I just heard something,” Stonestreet said after the lid had been placed back on the table.
“It’s probably my mic,” DeGeneres replied casually.
The two continued talking for a few minutes until — just as Stonestreet suspected — a man dressed like his Modern Family costar Jesse Tyler Ferguson popped out of the table.
“Son of a bitch!” Stonestreet yelled, jumping out of his seat.
He then walked over to inspect the table to figure out how someone could have gotten inside while they were talking, only to find out that a tunnel had been built.
“You built a tunnel?!” he demanded. “A tunnel?! Oh my God, there is a tunnel! It’s like Shawshank Redemption!”
Doubled-over laughing, DeGeneres joked, “It’s the Eric Stonestreet Tunnel now.”
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But DeGeneres wasn’t done yet. Later in the show, the two stars played a game of “5 Second Rule.” As one of the show’s producers asked Stonestreet, “Name three things that scare you,” the actor quipped, “Oh, Ellen DeGeneres…”
Before he could finish his answer, another man jumped out of the podium and scared the star again.
“You mother!” the actor screamed, turning and walking straight out of the studio.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show airs weekdays (check local listings). Modern Family airs Wednesdays (9 p.m. ET) on ABC.