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2 Emmy gurus: Steve Carell will win best comedy actor

August 14, 2007 | 11:26 am

Carell_2Good news for Steve Carell. Usually our forum moderators Robert "Rob L" Licuria (Awards Heaven) and Chris "Boomer" Beachum, cross swords over who'll win the Emmys, but now they both agree (yeowsa!) that "The Office" star will prevail in the battle as best comedy actor. That's impressive, since these guys really know their Emmys. Usually, that is. This year I'm going to have the nerve to disagree with them, but, first, let's scrutinize their analysis of this category, nominee by nominee. 

ROBERT 'ROB L' LICURIA PREDIX:

ALEC BALDWIN, "30 Rock" ("Hiatus")
I am not as excited about Alec Baldwin's performance in this episode as others. He is completely overshadowed in his scenes by Elaine Stritch as his "tough old broad" mother. Alec had many other episodes to choose from, and will likely sit this out as a result, regardless of the general buzz he has created over this character from the beginning of the season.
Performance Grade: 60/100
Other Intangibles: 80/100
Average Grade: 70/100

STEVE CARELL, "The Office" ("Business School")
Steve shows great range in this episode. Wonderfully idiotic in the first few scenes he is in, he really nails the penultimate and last scenes that deal with Pam's art show and painting of the office building. Great choice. Also going for Steve Carell is that he is this show to some extent, and he is very much admired by critics and worshiped by fans.
Performance Grade: 80/100
Other Intangibles: 90/100
Average Grade: 85/100

RICKY GERVAIS, "Extras" ("Sir Ian McKellen")
Yes, Ricky Gervais is not very likeable in this episode, or in "Extras" in general. But has Ricky Gervais really ever played a very likeable character? Is that what made him famous in the original UK version of "The Office"? Gervais is fantastic in this episode -- so cringe worthy in the later scenes on stage and also when acting off screen with legend Ian McKellen. And while this is probably not a winner episode submission, Ricky Gervais is hugely popular with the academy, having garnered nods for writing and directing, and also having received nods recently for the UK "Office" Christmas Special. He's liked. He's respected. He's on HBO and he is the spoiler of the category.
Performance Grade: 75/100
Other Intangibles: 70/100
Average Grade: 73/100

TONY SHALHOUB, "Monk" ("Mr. Monk Gets a New Shrink")
Tony Shalhoub wins because he's smart. He knows how to pick an episode that will get the voters' attention enough to give him three Emmys in four years. Impressive stuff. That being said, I was not in the least interested in this episode. Yes, he has some excellent comedic scenes (the five stages of grief are priceless) and the screen time factor is on his side. I just finished the episode feeling like it was all a bit "same old same old." But, don't be surprised when you see Tony walk up to accept his fourth Emmy. The voters just love him.
Performance Grade: 80/100
Other Intangibles: 70/100
Average Grade: 75/100

CHARLIE SHEEN, "Two and a Half Men" ("Who's Vod Kanockers")
Charlie Sheen does what he does best in this episode -- one liners, smarm and excellent comic timing. I think he chose wisely here, but I am not convinced it is enough to get him over the line this time, and there doesn't seem to be much buzz surrounding his performance that there is for others in this category.
Performance Grade: 60/100
Other Intangibles: 50/100
Average Grade: 55/100

Ranking
1 - Steve Carell (85)
2 - Tony Shalhoub (73)
3 - Ricky Gervais (73)
4 - Alec Baldwin (70)
5 - Charlie Sheen (55)

****************

CHRIS "BOOMER" BEACHUM PREDIX:

ALEC BALDWIN, "30 Rock" ("Hiatus")
It is certainly not Baldwin's best episode of the season, but voters will not necessarily hold that against him like several people on this site (most don't even watch TV, much less this show). He has some great moments, especially his scenes with Tina Fey and Elaine Stritch. My guess is that he chose this episode because it also allows him a little more range with one particular hospital scene.
PERFORMANCE GRADE: 90/100
OTHER INTANGIBLES: 80/100
AVERAGE GRADE: 85/100

STEVE CARELL, "The Office" ("Business School")
Carell has a very difficult chore each season with the type of episode to choose. Many episodes feature too much of the arrogant and self-centered side of his character (including last year's episode choice, which I knew was a loser for him). The reason this is an excellent choice is that the viewer gets some of that with the classroom scenes, but it is tempered with the reasons for his outbursts and especially the closing scene with Jenna Fischer at the art show (followed by the final shot hanging the art in the office).
PERFORMANCE GRADE: 95/100
OTHER INTANGIBLES: 95/100
AVERAGE GRADE: 95/100

RICKY GERVAIS, "Extras" ("Sir Ian McKellen")
I loved Gervais on the British version of "The Office" and have also enjoyed several episodes of "Extras." This is not one of them. It is his character at his most abrasive, crude and hard to watch. The only thing I can say with certainty about this hard-to-choose category is that Gervais will not win.
PERFORMANCE GRADE: 60/100
OTHER INTANGIBLES: 80/100
AVERAGE GRADE: 70/100

TONY SHALHOUB, "Monk" ("Mr. Monk Gets a New Shrink")
I have correctly predicted Shalhoub to win this category two out of three times (including last year when almost everybody else was predicting Steve Carell). This episode could certainly lead to another win (knowing the inclination of many members to be lazy with repeat winners), but I think it is the weakest episode he has submitted in the history of the show. Even the "money" scene with the five stages of grief was just too forced and "showy." Unlike the other four performances in this category, the episode itself will bore the voters silly.
PERFORMANCE GRADE: 80/100
OTHER INTANGIBLES: 80/100
AVERAGE GRADE: 80/100

CHARLIE SHEEN, "Two and a Half Men" ("Who's Vod Kanockers?")
This episode is pretty typical for Sheen in that it plays to his best strengths as an actor and for his character. I really enjoy his work each week with Cryer, and that is no exception this time. The biggest problem he will have with winning any year is that he is so natural in the role, it almost feels like he is playing himself.
PERFORMANCE GRADE: 85/100
OTHER INTANGIBLES: 65/100
AVERAGE GRADE: 75/100

PREVIOUS 10 WINNERS IN THIS CATEGORY:
Tony Shalhoub
Tony Shalhoub
Kelsey Grammer
Tony Shalhoub
Ray Romano
Eric McCormack
Michael J. Fox
John Lithgow
Kelsey Grammer
John Lithgow
Showing a tendency towards over-the-top characters (except Romano and Fox) and towards repeat winners

FINAL PREDICTIONS:
1. Steve Carell
2. Alec Baldwin
3. Tony Shalhoub
4. Charlie Sheen
5. Ricky Gervais


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