Emmys 2011: Who Deserves the Award for Guest Actor in a Comedy?

Matt Damon, Idris Elba, and Justin Timberlake have garnered enough acting kudos among ’em that few people would bat an eyelash if the trio teamed up to headline a fairly major big-screen drama. Instead, though, these actors will take on Nathan Lane, Zach Galifianakis, and Will Arnett in the battle for the Emmy statuette for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series.

What would you do if you had the power to send one of these actors 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. Sam says:

    In the absence of Jim Rash (who elevates Community to even greater heights), I vote JT.

  2. Danelle says:

    JT hands down he knocks it out of the Park everytime he is on SNL

  3. kyle says:

    Idris Elba for the fact he was never nominated for The Wire

    • Maria says:

      That still pisses me off too, I’ll never get over their continuous snubbing of The Wire.
      I don’t think Idris Elba will win this category, but hopefully he’ll get some much deserve and very delayed love for Luther.

  4. JD says:

    Idris Elba, but not for Big C. Luther might be one of the best shows on TV anywhere.

    • Justin says:

      I completely agree. While I liked his performance on The Big C, Luther was hands down the best miniseries this season (I’m not sure whether it was a series or miniseries with six episodes, but I was blown away by what I saw).

  5. Depending on which 30 Rock episode of Damon’s is selected, he would be hard to best.

    JT did have a very good SNL, so that wouldn’t be an affront, either.

  6. Eli says:

    None of the above. Should have gone to Lithgow for How I Met Your Mother

    • Knope says:

      He wasn’t funny on HIMYM. His role demanded a more serious and dramatic note. Didn’t laugh once at any of his scenes.

      Damon as Carol was superb, playing the Yin to Tina Fey’s Yang. Never pegged him to have so much comedic timing in him. Will Arnett was also good on 30 Rock, yet underutilized and didn’t make too much of an impression. Justin Timberlake also deserves that nod.

      • Eli says:

        The award is not for the funniest actor on a comedy. It is for the best actor. I thought, though dramatic, John Lithgow gave a wonderfully moving performance. Timberlake and Galifinakis were mediocre at best. Matt Damon was wooden. Nathan Lane was decent, but not his best performance by a long shot. I never saw Big C so I cant judge whether he is deserving. . Will Arnet deserves the nomination and probably the most deserving of the six.

        • Jo says:

          Well, I believe it is judged on their comedic ability, not their dramatic ability, as that’s what happened last year.
          It is in the section for Guest Actor in a COMEDY, not Drama. They have their own category…

  7. Mark says:

    Matt Damon – funny and charming !! – he’s got my vote !!
    This just might be Justin Timberlake’s year – he and Gaga had excellent chemistry…

  8. alex says:

    Matt Damon obviously! He really can do any type of role.
    He and Liz Lemon were so great together!

    • Elizabeth says:

      I agree with you. What role can’t Matt Damon do?
      I think he has excelled in action, comedy, romance, drama…. He’s a rare talent imho. So many actors have to stick to 1 or 2 types of roles.

  9. alice says:

    Justin Timberlake

  10. bob says:

    matt damon was hilarious on 30 rock. i think it was an underrated performance, and the voters may dismiss it as the obvious sweeps stunt his casting actually was. however, damon really came out on top and rose above what could have been a “hey look, it’s a famous guy trying to be funny this week on 30 rock!”

  11. tim says:


    he plays Louie’s doctor ,,,,

  12. Annie says:

    Definatelly Matt Damon!

  13. Julia says:

    Matt Damon was amazing on 30 Rock. He would be my choice.

  14. Liz says:

    Justin Timberlake hands down. His guest stint was the best SNL of the season.
    Amazing comedic timing. JT puts SNL regulars to shame each time he is on.

  15. remmez says:

    None of these clowns.

  16. Sam says:

    Looking at the voting results to date, and as someone who spent years in the theater, it seems more like people are voting based on how ‘hot’ someone is, rather than who did the best acting job.

    • Jamie says:

      Or maybe, just maybe, you’re using someone’s looks against them to defend your own pick and claiming that people are too stupid to vote based on acting rather than appearance. I voted for Will Arnett on 30 Rock, but JT on SNL was my second choice. Not because he’s attractive but because he’s funny. Give people more credit, and don’t act all high and mighty because you’ve “spent year in the theater” – you’re not the only one, sir.

    • Joey says:

      Don’t insult our intelligence, Sam, you bitter theater freak.

    • KelKel says:

      Did you watch JT’s SNL episode? I laughed so hard I couldn’t stop. It had nothing to do with what he looked like. I’m in the theatre too and guess what there are really good looking people who can act. Take Matt Damon for example. He’s crazy hot and extremely talented. Should we not vote for him cause he’s good looking even if he breathes life into most of his roles in an way that few actors cute or not can even attempt to do. These two were my top picks because they gave stellar performances. We are not a bunch of teenage girls giggling in a corner at a cute boy. I was very happy with the leading actors in the poll cause they were my top two picks as well.

  17. Darth Dingdong says:

    John Noble!!

  18. Liz says:

    Justin Timberlake knocks it out of the park every time he’s on SNL. His last stint with Lady Gaga is still on my DVR (it’s the only thing from last season still on my DVR because I keep re-watching it!)

    Matt Damon would be a second choice for me – he showed a completely different side as Carol on 30 Rock!!

  19. PJM says:

    Still ticked Timothy Dalton didn’t get nominated for Chuck. He singlehandedly made season 4 better than season 3. At the very least, he should have gotten a nom over Nathan Lane. I think Nathan’s talented, but they’re wasting his abilities on Modern Family.

    Anyway, Iris Elba works for me. Justin Timberlake should have been nominated before for SNL, not this season.

  20. np says:

    Out of this list then Matt Damon– he totally surprised me, I really enjoyed the scenes with Carol.

    But personally, I think Jimmi Simpson should have been nominated for his character Mary Lightly on Psych.

  21. lawyerchick99 says:

    Sorry but most of you posters are WRONG!!!

    I liked Matt Damon as Carol, but seriously, Will Arnett is LONG overdue for recognition as Devin Banks. Last season’s episode was not my favorite (watch Into the Cravasse fron 2 seasons ago) but he deserves credit for creating a character as good as GOB.

    If not him then Nathan Lane as Pepper on Modern Family.

    I like JT and Zach and all but not this year.

  22. Amber says:

    Tough to vote here as I don’t feel particularly strongly about any of these characters. So I will vote for Will Arnett as I do feel particularly strongly about him as a comic actor. And he kind of does throw his all into his 30 Rock performances.

  23. kierahillmin says:

    Timberlake or Damon FYW!!!

  24. Stephen S. says:

    Matt Damon

  25. Stephen S. says:

    Damn, I take it back. I vote for Nathan Lane who was HILARIOUS in Modern Family!