The Best Comedy Actor race is all about Steve Carell. Can he finally prevail on his sixth and final attempt for “The Office“? He is the overwhelming favorite among our users and has unanimous support from our experts and editors.
Carell lost to Tony Shalhoub (“Monk,” 2006) and Ricky Gervais (“Extras,” 2007) as well as current rival nominees Alec Baldwin (“30 Rock,” 2008, 2009), and Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory,” 2010). Emmy judges are watching his farewell episode “Goodbye, Michael” in which Michael hopes to avoid a final day at work but Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer) figure out his plan. There is a lot of laughter, warmth, and tears in this extended entry.
Louis C.K. (“Louie“) is a potential spoiler. The stand-up comedian plays a version of himself and also picked up a bid for comedy series writing (“Poker/Divorce”) as well as variety special writing and editing for “Hilarious.” In the episode “Bully,” the show turns dramatic after a young bully threatens Louie at a restaurant. He later confronts the teen at his home and bonds with the boy’s father at the end. Were he to win, it would be remiscent of when the multi-hyphenate Ricky Gervais prevailed in 2007 for “Extras.”
Last year’s champ returns with another very funny episode “The Agreement Dissection.” In the first half of the show, Parson’s character Sheldon Cooper has a big disagreement with Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki) over their roommate agreement. The second half finds him out with the girls for a night of dancing. It is a very well-chosen episode that provides big physical laughs and some great dialogue.
Galecki received his first-ever Emmy nod and submitted “The Benefactor Factor” to the judging panel. Leonard finds out his university needs funding from a wealthy elderly donor (Jessica Walter), who wants to be serviced by him in exchange. He has some great moments in those exchanges with Walter and also with Parsons, who makes fun of the situation.
Two-time champ Baldwin had at least a couple of great possible submissions this season but inexplicably chose the finale “Respawn.” In his portion of the episode, his character Jack Donaghy is missing his wife Avery (Elizabeth Banks) so much that he starts envisioning NBC page Kenneth (Jack McBrayer) as her. The creepy ideas involved and sub-par writing probably preclude a three-peat for Baldwin.
After three nods for “Friends” (2002, 2003, 2004), Matt LeBlanc returns for another shot at Emmy gold. In “Episodes,” LeBlanc plays a fictionalized version of himself who is starring in a pilot for a possible new show produced by a British couple. In the first season finale “Episode Seven,” LeBlanc has an affair with Beverly (Tamsin Greig) and then a big fight scene with her husband Sean (Stephen Mangan).
Gold Derby founder Tom O’Neil and senior editors Chris Beachum and Rob Licuria discuss the race in this video slugfest.
ALSO WATCH THESE EMMY EXPERTS’ SLUGFESTS
BEST DRAMA SERIES
BEST DRAMA ACTOR
BEST DRAMA ACTRESS
BEST SUPP. DRAMA ACTOR
BEST SUPP. DRAMA ACTRESS
BEST GUEST DRAMA ACTOR
BEST GUEST DRAMA ACTRESS
BEST COMEDY SERIES
BEST COMEDY ACTOR
BEST COMEDY ACTRESS
BEST SUPP. COMEDY ACTOR
BEST SUPP. COMEDY ACTRESS
BEST GUEST COMEDY ACTOR
BEST GUEST COMEDY ACTRESS