Best 2011 Comedic TV Actor

by George Watches Things

Honorable mentions

The readers: Alec Baldwin (30 Rock/SNL), Louis C.K. (Louie), Ricky Gervais (Life’s Too Short/The Ricky Gervais Show), David Henrie (HIMYM/Wizards of Waverly Place), John Krasinski (The Office), Zachary Levi (Chuck), James Roday (Psych), Jason Segel (HIMYM)

Me: Aziz Ansari (Parks and Recreation), Louis C.K. (Louie), Joel McHale (Community), Ed O’Neill (Modern Family), Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation), Damon Wayans Jr. (Happy Endings/New Girl)

The readers’ list:


Billy Gardell (Mike and Molly) and Hugh Laurie (House)


Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) and Jim Parsons (Big Bang Theory)


From left: Nolan Gould, Ed O'Neill, Rico Rodriguez, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ty Burrell, Eric Stonestreet

The Gentlemen on Modern Family

Was it wrong to combine the votes gathered for both Ed O’Neill and “all the guys on Modern Family“? No, of course not. They deserve it.

My list:


Jesse Tyler Ferguson, a double winner in this post

Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family)
  • Who he plays: Mitchell, a Lady Gaga fan raising his adopted daughter with his husband.
  • Favorite line: “I’m gonna check the lease, but I’m pretty sure we’re not allowed to have a meth lab.”
  • Why he is great: He is Modern Family’s Adam Scott. Not that he’s better at being Adam Scott than Adam Scott is. I will never say that.


Donald Glover (no relation to Danny) was a writer on 30 Rock before joining the cast of Community

Donald Glover (Community)
  • Who he plays: A-bed’s handsome, rapping best friend, Troy.
  • Favorite line: “Pop what?!?!”
  • Why he is great: I didn’t want to single out one member of the Community ensemble, but not giving them an award would be wrong, so I chose Glover. I think he’s the funniest person there. But I may be wrong. Also, he is Childish Gambino.


Wow! How is Jacky-D this low on the list?

Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)
  • Who he plays: the Kabletown exec with awesome hair (and Liz Lemon’s best friend).
  • Favorite line: “I only pass gas once a year, for an hour, atop a mountain in Switzerland.”
  • Why he is great: He plays his big-business-loving, conservative character hilariously lovingly. Is that a thing?


Ron Swanson's Pyramid of Greatness

Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation)
  • Who he plays: Ron F***ing Swanson.
  • Favorite line: This is impossible. Ron Swanson is not a collection of lines… he’s a living and breathing character.
  • Why he is great: Ron Swanson loves two things: meat and privacy. And I love to watch him love those things.


NFL Magazine recently named Peyton Manning the NFL MVP of this year. The stench that has become The Office since Carell left only adds to my firm belief that he was TV's MVP.

Steve Carell (The Office)
  • Who he played: Michael Scott, the regional manager of Dunder Mifflin Scranton, a division of Sabre.
  • Favorite line: “Holly’s my family now. She’s my family, and the babies that I make with her will be my children. The people that you work with are just, when you get down to it, your very best friends. They say on your deathbed, you never wish you spent more time at the office, but I will. Got to be a lot better than a deathbed. I actually don’t understand deathbeds. I mean, who would buy that?”
  • Why he is great: Two days ago, I said of Amy Poehler’s performance in Parks and Rec that “she’s not afraid to let Leslie have a heart. Also, this.” Well, Carell wasn’t afraid to give the ignorant but well-intentioned a heart. If you haven’t seen Goodbye, Michael, his final episode, please go do so. But first, this.