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Eric Stonestreet is familiar with the routine, in which a costumed character suddenly lunges at a celebrity guest, because in addition to having a favorite prank, the host as a favorite victim. The "Modern Family" star has jumped, screamed and cursed his way through many visits to her show.
But those days are behind him.
The actor paid her a visit Wednesday, and as soon as he sensed the moment was ripe for a fright, he took action.
The segment began with Stonestreet reminding DeGeneres that she promised not to prank him again, and she assured him there would be "nothing today, nothing at all." But as their conversation went on, he positioned himself behind her and waited for one of her cronies to jump out all the same.
And then it happened!
What followed was a blur of fumbling wrestling moves that left Stonestreet triumphantly yelling "finally!" while demanding the that the costumed bandit tap out of the just-for-fun fight.
"Now who's laughing, punk?" he shouted.
The answer was DeGeneres, who loved the reversal of fortune that somehow still kept her out of the hot seat.