EMMY 2012: Lead Actor – Comedy

Let us continue with our predictions and hopes for this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards. Here are the gents vying for the title of Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.


Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory
Larry David as Himself in Curb Your Enthusiasm
Don Cheadle as Marty Kaan in House of Lies
Louis C.K. as Louie in Louie
Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy in 30 Rock
Jon Cryer as Alan Harper in Two and a Half Men

As I already mentioned, I am not a Big Bang fan, so I can’t really judge Parsons as Sheldon (loved his guest stint on iCarly; does that count?). Sad to say that I am familiar with Cryer on Men. Whether you’re Team Charlie or Team Ashton, it is such a thoroughly unpleasant show that I can’t see the wisdom in awarding anyone associated with it any kind of award. Add to that, we live in a strange universe where Steve Carell never took home the trophy for his work on The Office, and yet somehow Cryer has a Supporting Prize for playing Alan Harper. Guess who I really don’t want to win. Despite my lack of knowledge regarding Parsons’ performance, I would not be surprised if he is declared the winner for the third year in a row (and I can’t say he shouldn’t win).

The nomination for Don Cheadle strikes me as a worthy acknowledgment of a show still building buzz. No argument that Cheadle, a phenomenal actor who first came to my attention with his Emmy nominated portrayal of Sammy Davis Jr. in HBO’s The Rat Pack, should have an award for that performance and many others. I doubt he gets one here, but perhaps the nod will enhance House of Lies’ profile. As for Larry David, this was a very weak season for Curb. In past years, particularly Season Four’s Producers arc, I would have bet money and given anything to see David win for playing this version of himself. Now, I still might bet the money, but my heart is with another comedian doing the self-portrayal thing and doing it damn well.

Louis C.K. is the genius behind one of the funniest shows currently on the air. Louie mixes the comedian’s observational stand-up with slice of life vignettes that are alternately hilarious, dark, or just plain surreal. Whether defending masturbation on Fox News, recalling the filming of an ill-fated sitcom pilot, or just riding the subway, C.K. as Louie is our guide through a New York City that doesn’t quite exist but seems oh so familiar. His is a subtle performance. With the exception of those scenes where Louie is actually performing his act, much of the humor stems from Louie responding or reacting to what transpires around him. But when you consider that C.K. is writing and directing all of these episodes, he seems even more worthy of a win. I don’t think it’s going to happen, but this would be one awesome upset.

And then there was Alec. It looks like 30 Rock is going to go out with a bang. This most recent batch of episodes featured many of the true LOL moments of my TV season. Baldwin, as always, was great  (“traumatized” by the mugging, wrestling with his feelings for Diana, dealing with Avery’s return, etc.). I don’t know if he had a moment to rival Tracy’s therapy session from Season Two or the “the Four Jacks” from Season Five, but he’s someone I never count out (and I’m not going to say that he doesn’t deserve the award because his work speaks for itself).

I have a feeling it’s going to be Parsons again, but my fingers are crossed for C.K. Who are your picks?


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