‘Modern Family’ Star Ed O’Neill Almost Joined The Mob, Revealed In Jesse Tyler Ferguson's Podcast.
‘Modern Family’ Star Ed O’Neill Almost Joined The Mob, Revealed In Jesse Tyler Ferguson's Podcast.

Ed O’Neill, who is famous for making people laugh, recently shared a surprising story about a choice he had to make before becoming a comedian. In an interview on Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s podcast, O’Neill revealed that he once thought about getting involved in organized crime. 

In 1969, when Ed O’Neill was struggling financially in his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio, his friend Jim took him for a drive.

“We’re driving and he said,, ‘How you doing? You know, you, you got cut, you got no money,’” O’Neill recalled. “I said, ‘No, I’m broke. You know, I don’t know what I’m going to do.’”

They ended up in a bar, and Jim asked the bartender about someone they both knew. Jim gave the bartender $20 and asked him to call a number if that person showed up again. To Ed O’Neill’s surprise, the bartender offered him a job.

Jim suggested that Ed O’Neill could work for him, doing things like collecting money and making deliveries. Jim promised to protect him and provide easy tasks with good pay. O’Neill had to decide between this offer and pursuing a career in acting, which he was interested in.

To help make the decision, O’Neill talked to his father about the job in organized crime. His father asked a crucial question: “Can you handle going to jail?” O’Neill said no, and his father made it clear that the criminal path was not an option. O’Neill then called Jim, thanked him, and said he was going to New York to try acting.

“He said,’ I saw you take a ride with Jimmy… I just want to ask you a question. Can you do time?’” O’Neill responded, “No.” “He said, ‘You couldn’t do time. You’d have a hard time being in jail, right?’ I said, ‘No, I don’t think I could do time. He said, ‘Okay.’”

So, by choosing acting over a life of crime, Ed O’Neill set the stage for the successful television career that followed.

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