There was an unlikely Canadian reference on the sitcom Modern Family this week, when Newfoundland actor Gordon Pinsent was mentioned by one of the show's main characters.

Actor Gordon Pinsent

Gordon Pinsent, 85, is an actor, screenwriter, director and playwright who starred in films such as The Grand Seduction, The Rowdyman and The Shipping News. (Galit Rodan/Canadian Press)

In the scene, character Cameron Tucker (played by actor Eric Stonestreet), has some visiting house guests from Canada, whom he welcomes at the door.

When asked how they like their room, one of the characters said, "It's like a palace up there," while his wife quipped, "I keep expecting to run into Gordon Pinsent." 

Stonestreet's character clearly has no idea who Pinsent is, which prompted one of the Canadian characters to say, "I'm sorry, is he not a big movie star down here?"

The clip didn't go unnoticed by Canadian viewers, who took to social media to acknowledge the shout-out.