Jesse Tyler Ferguson Takes Time to 'Brag' on Husband Justin Mikita as He Wins at 2022 Tony Awards

"You have incredible taste, obviously," Jesse Tyler Ferguson joked to husband Justin Mikita from the stage Sunday as he accepted his first-ever Tony Award

75th Annual Tony Awards - Arrivals
Justin Mikita and Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty

Jesse Tyler Ferguson is celebrating a big win!

At the 2022 Tony Awards on Sunday, the Modern Family alum, 46, won best performance by an actor in a featured role in a play for the Take Me Out revival, now on Broadway, marking his first Tony.

"Twenty-five years ago, I worked at the Theatre Circle gift shop on 44th Street, which happens to be three doors down from the Hayes Theater, where Take Me Out is playing," Ferguson began his acceptance speech.

"And I would sit in there and I would be folding my Phantom of the Opera T-shirts and watching actors walk by the windows on the way to their half-hour call and I thought, 'Oh God, I hope that's me someday,' " he continued. "So to stand in front of this community I admire and love so much just means so much to me. I cannot believe I get to do this for a living."

As he thanked his parents for letting him move to N.Y.C. at age 17 and his colleagues in the play, Ferguson also shouted out husband Justin Mikita: "I have to brag for a brief moment. Justin was part of the producing team that brought Dana H. and Is This a Room to Broadway this season. I am so endlessly proud of you — and you have incredible taste, obviously."

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Two of Ferguson's Take Me Out costars, Michael Oberholtzer and Jesse Williams, were also nominated in the category, along with Alfie Allen for Hangmen, Chuck Cooper for Trouble in Mind and Ron Cephas Jones for Clyde's.

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Take Me Out is about Darren Lemming (Williams, 40), a baseball player for the Empires who comes out as gay and deals with the disapproving teammates and fans. Ferguson plays Mason Marzac, Lemming's accountant who is also gay.

According to a synopsis, "Darren is forced to contend with the challenges of being a gay person of color within the confines of a classic American institution. As the Empires struggle to rally toward a championship season, the players and their fans begin to question tradition, their loyalties and the price of victory."

"To be a part of this season that's also bringing Broadway back after a year and a half of nothing is really profound," Ferguson told PEOPLE at the Tony Awards meet the nominees press event in New York City last month.

He added, "I have never been nominated for a Tony Award, [though] some people keep thinking I have just because I've been around. I've never been honored like this, so it's just a huge deal to me."

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The actor also recently spoke to Deadline about his Tony nomination, saying he has "always dreamed about it."

"Theater has been something I've been doing for 25 years, and of course I've dreamed about it. But no, I don't think it's something that you can ever fully prepare for," said Ferguson. "In my mind, I thought, you know, they'd honored this role before 20 years ago with Denis O'Hare in the original production, and so, I really didn't feel like it was any sort of sure-fire thing. Then I was like, is this the new Anita in West Side Story where anyone who plays it gets a nomination?"

"I don't know, but I'm used to being surprised by these things. My first Emmy nomination for Modern Family I did not see coming at all," he continued. "So I think that is the healthiest way to go about these things, to not build up any sort of expectation and just allow yourself to be surprised if it happens. And that also protects you from being really disappointed if it doesn't."

Said Ferguson, "I certainly don't do this because of the awards, but there's a line that Mason has at the end of the play, when he says, 'Don't diminish it. It would be too ungrateful,' and I remind myself that all the time because it is a really big deal."

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