Sportress of Blogitude

Peyton Manning to portray ‘sports tutor’ on ‘Modern Family’ (pic)


Peyton Manning obviously is one of the most successful professional athlete pitchmen of all-time. And now the retired NFL quarterback, who has dazzled in appearances on “Saturday Night Live,” is taking the next step in his acting career by making a foray into scripted prime time television.

Manning recently was spotted on the set of the ABC hit comedy “Modern Family” where he’s landed a guest role in an upcoming episode. Manning will portray “Coach Gary,” a “sports tutor” who begins working with Joe, the young son of Gloria (Sofia Vergara) and Jay (Ed O’Neill).

Gloria evidently brings Coach Gary in to teach Joe how to throw and catch, leaving the gruff Jay feeling emasculated by the entire situation.

Manning’s previous appearances on television programs, including “The Simpsons,” came in cameos as himself, so this is the first time he’ll be portraying a character on a scripted show.

The big-time acting gig arose after a chance meeting between “Modern Family” co-creator Steve Levitan and Manning in Mexico. Levitan pitched the possibility of Manning appearing on the show and Manning, a fan of the show, agreed.Manning’s portrayal of Coach Gary is set for the twelfth episode of the long-running show’s eighth season. It is slated to air in January.Until then, Manning will continue to show up on television screens courtesy of his frequently aired DirecTV, Nationwide and Papa John’s commercials.