Skip to content

Emmys 2012: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

July 15, 2012

Ahh, the Emmys. Every year, I hope that the NATAS gets it right. Every year they prove that there isn’t a “right.” I guess I should just let it be. We know the same people get nominated year after year (whether it’s deserved or not). We know that some of the best performances will be overlooked (because that’s just the way it is). And we know that people who write about television will always make lists. Here’s mine.

Here’s how we’ll play it this year: I am working from the Emmy ballots that were sent out to NATAS members. That means, if Rose Byrne is really considered a supporting actress by the fine folks on the Damages set, I won’t complain. I won’t get it, but I won’t complain. Too much. It is what it is. The voting has ended, and now we’re just waiting to see who makes it into the magic six. The nominees will be announced on July 19.

The good news is that we’ve arrived in the lead categories and that means a lot less people to consider, although it also makes it hard because sometimes it is hard to come up with six names that are worthy of contention. Especially in the comedy arena. While it is decidedly “in” right now, it’s more focused on ensembles like Happy Endings or female-driven like Girls. Here it is, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.

ActorJon Cryer

ShowTwo and a Half Men

Pros: Well, he was nominated for the Supporting Actor Emmy every year since 2006, with one win. That’s a good sign. This year, with Charlie Sheen gone, he makes the leap to Lead Actor. I don’t see anything standing in his way of making the cut there too.

Cons: Of course, Two and a Half Men is a really bad show, so maybe the NATAS will know better. But, I have low expectations.

Bottom Line: He’ll get a nomination, but it’s doubtful he’ll win.

ActorsJohnny GaleckiJim Parsons

ShowThe Big Bang Theory

Pros: Galecki picked up his first lead actor nomination last year and could very well make another run for it this year. Parsons has won this one the past two years in a row. He’s brilliant in the role, the show’s on an upswing. There’s really no reason not to nominate him.

Cons: Galecki was a surprise last year, so it’s completely up in the air. Two wins in a row for Parsons, might make for a loss this year, but that’s it. And right now, he’s the one to beat.

Bottom Line: Galecki: I’m going to say yes. Parsons: yes to a nomination and yes to a win.

Actor: Don Cheadle

ShowHouse of Lies

Pros: He’s Don Cheadle, Oscar-nominated character actor, taking on a leading role in a series on Showtime. That’s enough for me. But, I’m also a huge fan of Cheadle’s, so I say go ahead and give him the Emmy and call it a day.

Cons: The show’s unproven and hasn’t gotten as much critical support as, say, Homeland. With that, a Golden Globe nomination would have helped (like Matt LeBlanc’s Episodes nomination)… I still say he should make it into the race.

Bottom Line: Again, I say engrave his name on the award and sit back with a glass of scotch.

ActorLarry David

ShowCurb Your Enthusiasm

Pros: Everyone but me loves him. But then again everyone but me loved Seinfeld.

Cons: Who knows?

Bottom Line: He will probably get nominated. I will probably be confused.

ActorLouis C.K.


Pros: The funniest man on TV on one of the funniest shows on TV.

Cons: But is it too smart for its own good?

Bottom Line: I feel like he will get a nomination, but that’s because there are so few options. Not that he’s not funny, but that I have low expectations.

ActorJoel McHale


Pros: The episode about Jeff’s overblown ego stands as one of the best of a great season’s worth of shows.

Cons: McHale is no longer really the lead on Community, as it has evolved into a brilliant ensemble comedy.

Bottom Line: He probably has the best chance of getting a nomination, save for Danny Pudi for Supporting Actor, but this is Community and they really don’t do the Emmys.

Actor: Jeremy Sisto


Pros: A modest success of a show, Suburgatory might have decent enough support from the Emmy voters to generate a nomination for Sisto, who’s done solid work.

Cons: Suburgatory is a hilarious show, with some biting satire at times. But, the women heavily out-weigh the men in that department.

Bottom Line: It’s really doubtful, but I actually really do like this show.

ActorAlec Baldwin

Show30 Rock

Pros: Baldwin is a perpetual winner in this category and critics are saying that this season the show rebounded to its former glory. That implies that it wasn’t so good last season. I disagree. Alec Baldwin has been around since the Mesozoic Era and has a rabid fanbase.

Cons: Hahahahaha

Bottom Line: Try not to nominate him.

ActorAdam Scott

ShowParks and Recreation

Pros: It was a particularly strong year for both Parks and Scott. If there’s ever been a time, this is it.

Cons: Scott has to compete against a mis-categorized Rob Lowe in this category and that might cost him votes.

Bottom Line: I doubt he’ll get a nomination, but I certainly wouldn’t be mad if it happened.


Which six (6) actors would you nominate for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series?


Want more? Check out these:

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series


Not following me on Twitter yet? Get on the sofa: @josephrileyland

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: