If there was a superlative for the most enthusiastic National Christmas Tree Lighting participant it would go to Rico Rodriguez, who plays Manny on "Modern Family." Rodriguez spent his Thursday morning buzzing around the outdoor stage on the ellipse and occasionally busting a move with the show's emcee, Neil Patrick Harris, during dress rehearsal.
"It will be the best thing ever, I think," Rodriguez gushed about meeting the first family. "I think I'll just wing it," he said of his plans for talking to the president. But, for the first daughters, he has questions. "I'd probably maybe ask them what is their favorite room in the White House because I think their stories would be a little more interesting than the actual president, because they get to explore while the president is working with the first lady," he explained.
The 14-year-old TV actor is just one of the famous faces in town for the annual televised event. He and Harris are joined by musicians the Fray, James Taylor, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Jason Mraz, "American Idol" winner Phillip Phillips and Colbie Caillat.
Caillat has done something similar before, performing at the 2011 Easter Egg roll, but still gets nervous. "There is pressure -- don't mess up, don't forget your lyrics," she laughed."
While Rodriguez is in town, he's going to take in a bit of the city too. "[We] are going to go visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier," Rodriguez said. "They don't know who he is, he's the mysterious man. ... I want to see that because I think that's really cool."