Emmys 2011: Who Deserves the Award for Lead Actor in a Comedy Series? Take Our Poll!

Several new players are shaking up the Emmy race for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series: Louis C.K. (Louie), Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory), and Matt LeBlanc (Episodes) are all welcome additions to the Not “Tony Shalhoub in Monk” Club, but they’ll face tough competition from some veterans of the category. Alec Baldwin is up for the fifth straight year for 30 Rock (he won in 2008 and 2009), while Jim Parsons is up for the third consecutive year for The Big Bang Theory (having taken home the trophy in 2010). The likely sentimental favorite, though, would have to be Steve Carell, who has six nominations under his belt for The Office — and wrapped his run on the series in May — but is still seeking his first statuette.

But what would you do if you had the power to send one of these fine gentlemen to the podium when the Emmys are handed out Sept.18? Take our poll below to vote for your favorite — TVLine voting closes Sept. 10, so act now! — then hit the comments to justify your pick!

Every day for the next month, we’ll launch another “Who Should Win” Emmy poll, so come back to TVLine.com every day to weigh in on who’s most worthy of TV’s biggest honor, and to stay up to speed on all our races, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Mike says:

    I know it wasn’t the greatest season but Steve Carell’s final arc as Michael Scott was fabulous and the man deserves recognition for bringing the character to life over the years.

    • rebecca a. says:

      Steve Carrell definitely needs to win this year. This past season he was great. It would be fitting for him to finally win.

    • Geoff says:

      Agreed – I’m usually against sentimental awards, but this one is well deserved. I’m gonna be disappointed if Carell leaves without a single emmy for 7 seasons.

  2. Justin says:

    This is a bit of a joke. Johnny galecki? Really? 1, he’s average. 2, he’s not a lead actor. And matt leblanc does nothin on episodes. He’s literally playing himself. Jim parsons all the way.

    • TigerNightmare says:

      If you think that’s how Matt LeBlanc really is, I’d say he’s doing a very good job.

      • rowan says:

        Agreed. He’s playing a parody of himself and unlike what happens on shows like Entourage when actors do this, his parody is layered and interesting. He’s great on the show.

    • Johnny Galecki has the hardest job on The Big Bang Theory — being the straight man that allows for all of the other wackiness to have a reaction and/or context. Kaley Cuoco is often the ‘straight woman’, but she gets to play the sex-pot, too.

      • J. Norman says:

        Galecki is essentially playing the “Andy Griffithlike” straightman on the show (TBBT).
        He provides the glue – when it is needed – but his role is never truly “the best”.
        He is solid but should not really be a nominee.

    • Eli says:

      Highly disagree! Johnny Galecki is exceptionally different in real life from his character and yet it comes out all natural and believable. The other nominees, well even Jim Parsons, they are good actors but their characters are not much of a stretch from them in real life (and they really are one-note characters particularly Carell’s and Parsons’.) Johnny Galecki really embodies his layered character very well. He definitely is the most deserving of the emmy in my book.

  3. Katrine says:

    Even though I love Sheldon, Carell deserves this as a thank you for the last eight seasons. Ain’t no party like a Scranton party…

  4. Sam says:

    Anyone who has seen “Louie” knows that Louis CK should win. All 17 of us.

  5. kat says:

    Max from Happy Endings…

  6. Jen says:

    My vote will always be for Alec Baldwin, but I could live with Carell winning this year.

    • Kristen says:


    • Rowan says:

      I get the love for Carell – his character has been consistent in it’s high quality, but there isn’t a moment Alec isn’t on screen that I’m not laughing at his great comic delivery. I’m also okay of Carell wins. It would be for the seven years he was on the show more than the last season, but in my mind, Alec’s performance is just brilliant.

      • Mike says:

        Rowan, only one episode gets submitted for voting purposes. So while people might award him for the 7 years of service, it would be for one episode in particular that gets him the award. And you could put his final episode up against any of his previous work and he’d deserve it. The episode that he proposed was classic too. Lots to choose from. Alec is awesome, no doubt about it. And he has the multiple Emmys to prove it. I just think it has to go to Steve this year. It’s almost unfair that he was never recognized but consistently awesome.

  7. Lindsay says:

    Can I do a write-in for Joel McHale? (No?-It was worth a shot.)

    As much as I love Alec Baldwin, Steve Carell did a heck of a job with Michael Scott’s send-off.

  8. Potch says:

    Someone should not be given an Emmy just because it is his last year on a show. Love Steve Carrell, but Jim Parsons deserves this hands down.

    • Mike says:

      You’re right, Steve Carell should be given the award because he earned it this season. He earned it in other seasons but never won too. But, because it’s his last season it would definitely be fitting to give it to him. Parsons won last year and he’ll probably win again in the future. Alec Baldwin won many times. Steve has been as good as his fellow nominees in past seasons and the current season. He deserves the award.

  9. Jonathon says:

    I would love Carell to win it because I think he’s deserved it after all of these years, and even though The Office isn’t what it was, Carell still did amazing work this season, including his farewell episode. Otherwise, I’d give it to Louis C.K. in all honesty.

  10. Thaís says:

    Parsons all the way!

  11. Bfleet says:

    Louis CK hands down. And it shouldn’t even be close.

  12. nathália says:

    if steve doesn’t win this year, emmy is ruined forever for me.

  13. MariP says:


  14. Lucia says:

    JIm Parsons all the way!! Nobody listed here makes me laugh more.

  15. Liz says:

    None of the above! :( Zach Levi.

  16. Aj says:


  17. LA says:

    Louis CK.

    NOT Carell. Sorry.

  18. Debbie says:

    Can’t I nominate Charlie Sheen.

  19. Josh says:

    The Office has been steadily going downhill for years and this year was no different but whether given solid gold or complete crap to work with, Steve Carell does an incredible job. He doesn’t deserve to win because it was his last season–he deserves to win because he’s consistently the best out of all of these choices

    I could have been just fine with a nomination/win for Joel McHale though

  20. Marty says:

    I think sim Parson od the only one who really diserve it!!! Forever Parson

  21. Donnie says:

    Louis CK all the way. This is the most original, funny comedian on television right now. Season 2 is amazing, season 1 was amazing, his old show Lucky Louie was awesome. He keeps it different each episode and it never gets old. I will be ticked if someone like Carell wins!

  22. Ashley says:

    I’m torn between Matt LeBlanc and Steve Carell, but Carell comes out on top.

  23. nokho says:

    Although I truly enjoyed the comedic timing of Baldwin’s rendition of Jack Donaghe on the ever irreverent 30 Rock, the show slipped somewhat during the final season. My vote is for the sharp, witty and often self-depricating Louis C.K. All original content, consistently delivering bittersweet intonations of his life & expirences. I laughed so hard that I literally vomited, not pretty, but a testament to the “funny”…

  24. Yuki says:

    It’s a tie between Matt LeBlanc and Johnny Galecki for me.
    I think James Roday should have been nominated too, but sadly it didn’t happen…maybe next year? :D

  25. Buffy Freak says:

    Usually I’m not a fan of the career achievement award…but I’d love to see Steve Carrell finally win even though I think Baldwin is the best.

  26. Cana says:

    Steve Carell deserves to win. His Emmy is long overdue. I am fan of of Louie CK but I do not think he deserves an acting Emmy right now. It’s not his time. It’s Carell’s time. Yes the office may not be as good as it used to be, but Carell was so committed to this character and always gave brilliant performaces throughout the show. The last episode he was. He gave it his all. He deserves to win. Michael Scott is one of his best performances of his career. He deserves an Emmy for his great work.

    • Mike says:

      “Hey, will you guys let me know if this ever airs?…. This is going to feel so good, getting this thing off my chest” detach microphone….see lips moving “That’s what she said.” Perfect ending to Michael Scott! And Steve definitely deserves the emmy!

  27. Chmarin says:

    LOUIS freakin’ CK. End of discussion.

  28. Chmarin says:

    LOUIS freakin’ CK. End of discussion.

  29. ReMMeZ says:

    Jim – Hail Hail Hail Sheldon .. Bazinga!

  30. Lauren says:

    I feel like he’s a long shot but I would vote for Louis CK. Not only does he have the lead, he carries the entire show – there are no other recurring characters who appear in every episode. And he does it so effortlessly. He’s brilliant.

  31. J. Norman says:

    Carells situation this year is the type of thing that Hollywood loves to use to give a “past performance” recognition Emmy.
    He is good
    He has done it for years
    It is his last chance for this role.

    On the bright side for Carell, if he doesn’t win in this category this year, they community will find a way to get him a “guest” Emmy award in the next year of so.

  32. ph says:


  33. Shiloh says:

    I hope Steve Carrell gets it. I love Jim, but he’s won several times and this is Steve’s last season on TO.

  34. Teresa says:

    Steve Carell should win.

  35. Sophie says:


  36. Jenny says:

    I love Jim, but he’s got years to win more emmy’s. It is a crime that Steve Carell does not have an emmy!!! If he submitted his final episode, then he darn well deserves one!!! Who else can make such an obnoxious character so darn lovable?!!!!

  37. Zachariah Edmondson says:

    I will obviously have to vote for Louie, everyone else on this list has been WAY over exposed and its about time Louie gets the credit he deserves!

    • Sasha says:

      Not that I’m disagreeing with your choice of Louis but when has Johnny Galecki been over exposed?

      TBBT as a whole maybe and Jim Parsons certainly but you hardly ever see Johnny Galecki

  38. Dennis says:

    The actor who gave the the best leading performance in a comedy series didn’t even get nominated. I’m speaking of the incomparable William H. Macy of Shameless.

  39. Amy says:

    Not the greatest season of The Office, but Steve Carrell deserves the win for all the seasons he portrayed Michael Scott brilliantly. He deserves the win this season based on his last few episodes alone.

  40. max says:

    louie fukin CK
    or william h macy
    how did matt leblanc get nominated

  41. Mike says:

    I just don’t get the love for Jim Parsons – his character is such a stereotype, and I just don’t see any finesse or nuance. It’s like he’s playing the stock geek character we’ve all seen a million times. Louis CK is terrific, but I’m fine with Steve Carrell winning.

  42. Soso says:

    Steve Carell

  43. Svet says:

    Steve Carell. Because it’s brilliant, wonderful performance. By the way, Happy birthday, Steve!

  44. Lil Jo says:

    Please… ANYONE BUT BALDWIN… that show is HORRIBLE

  45. Tah says:

    I think Steve Carrell will get it and tbh he does deserve the award. He’s certainly a very talented comedian, but something in me holds back from giving an award to someone just because it’s their swan song in that particular role. However, I would be happy to see him win. If Carrell doesn’t win, I really hope Jim Parsons does. His portrayal of Sheldon is great. I haven’t seen a successfully-executed role like that since Monk and, well, we saw how that worked out with regards to this for Tony Shaloub. Although I love TBBT, though, I don’t want to see Galecki win. He’s talented, sure, but he plays the everyman on that show. Not exactly the toughest, most original role, imho.

  46. Mike says:

    Johnny Galecki seems doomed to toil without a statuette forever — because if nothing else Jim Parsons will always outshine him — but he’s really one of the best straight men on TV. That show doesn’t work if Leonard doesn’t seem like you despite his brains.

  47. Rodrigo says:

    If Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Season 8 premiered earlier this year, Galecki wouldn’t be nominated at all.

  48. Carmen says:

    Sheldon Cooper FTW¡¡¡¡ bAZINGAAAAAAA

  49. AJ says:

    Love Matt LeBlanc on “Episodes,” but if this one doesn’t go to Steve Carell, there is no justice in this world.

  50. David K says:

    Louis CK should get AN award for all he does on his show. Season 2 is genius.