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Category: Johnny Galecki

Jim Parsons and Johnny Galecki: Emmys' new 'Odd Couple'

"Odd Couple" and "The Big Bang Theory"
Jim Parsons and Johnny Galecki are Emmy's new "Odd Couple," so to speak. In terms of Emmy history, the "Big Bang Theory" actors are only the third set of costars nominated for lead comedy actor, following Jack Klugman and Tony Randall ("The Odd Couple," 1971-1975) and Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry ("Friends," 2002).

Parsons and Galecki star together on the CBS comedy hit series "The Big Bang Theory," but only Parsons has been recognized by the TV academy in the past. He was nominated for lead comedy actor in 2009 and won in 2010. Galecki received his first bid this summer, and together they face off against two-time winner Alec Baldwin ("30 Rock"), six-time nominee Steve Carell ("The Office"), three-time nominee LeBlanc ("Episodes") and first-time acting nominee Louis C.K. ("Louie").

Why in the 63 years of the Emmy Awards has this been such a rare event? In looking back over the major contenders, you'll notice that most of them focus on one male star rather than two or more (unlike female-based shows such as "Desperate Housewives," "The Golden Girls" or "Kate and Allie"). With shows such as "All in the Family" (Carroll O'Connor), "Cheers" (Ted Danson), "Everybody Loves Raymond" (Ray Romano), "Frasier" (Kelsey Grammer), "MASH" (Alan Alda), "Monk" (Tony Shalhoub) and so many others throughout TV history, there were easily recognized singular male stars, and all the other men were supporting players.

Another CBS hit comedy, "Two and a Half Men," tried to place Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer as leads the first two seasons (2004, 2005), but neither man could get nominated. Then in 2006, producers kept Sheen as lead but moved Cryer to supporting, resulting in a four-year run of nods for Sheen, and six nods and counting for Cryer (plus a win in 2009). "Friends" allowed all six of its stars to submit in supporting the first few years and finally moved them all into lead in 2002 (resulting in the bids by LeBlanc and Perry). Currently, the "Modern Family" adult actors could certainly get nominated in either category, but they have all teamed up to go into the supporting slots (and all six were nominated this season).

Could this double "Big Bang" combo actually pay off in a win next month? It is basically a 50-50 proposition based on the previous results. Klugman won twice (1971, 1973) and Randall once for the final season (1975). Of the other three attempts, Klugman and Randall lost to O'Connor in 1972 and Alda in 1974; LeBlanc and Perry lost to Romano in 2002.


Can any comedy series dethrone 'Modern Family' at the Emmys?

Will 'American Horror Story' be cursed at the Emmys?

Is 'Friday Night Lights' the new 'Barney Miller' at the Emmys?

-- Tom O'Neil

Photo (left): "The Odd Couple." Credit: ABC

Photo (right): "The Big Bang Theory." Credit: CBS

Can anyone beat Steve Carell at the Emmys?

Steve carell the office emmy news

Most Emmy watchers put Steve Carell out front to win best comedy actor for "The Office." This is his sixth nomination for playing hapless boss Michael Scott on the hit NBC sitcom, in addition to four noms for producing, but he's never won. (The series won best comedy in 2006, but that was before Carell received a producing credit.) He left the show this year, and now he's hoping the Emmys will give him a farewell hug the way it did to Sarah Jessica Parker ("Sex and the City") and Michael J. Fox ("Spin City"), who both won for their last years in contention.

But Emmy voters are not always a sentimental bunch. John Goodman never won for "Roseanne" despite seven nominations, though he finally won his first prize for guest-starring on "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" in 2007. And more recently, Martin Sheen was sent away empty-handed after seven unsuccessful bids for "The West Wing."

This year Carell submitted a dynamic episode to Emmy judges: "Goodbye, Michael," in which he struggles to say farewell to his employees, leading to a teary moment with Jim Halpert (John Krasinski). Will that episode in addition to overdue sentiment be enough to propel him to victory?

Perhaps, but perhaps not. He faces strong competition from last year's winner, Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory"), who submitted "The Agreement Dissection," in which he battles Leonard (Johnny Galecki) over a violation of their roommate agreement and then goes dancing with the girls. But Parsons has another weapon in his arsenal: his costar Galecki, who was a surprise nominee in this category and submitted "The Benefactor Factor," in which Leonard is propositioned by a wealthy woman to exchange sex for research funding. But it also gives Parsons a second episode for voters to judge, which could help him pull off an upset against Carell.

Also threatening Carell is another surprise nominee: Louis C.K., whose critically acclaimed FX series, "Louie," is the only program in this category currently airing new episodes, meaning he'll be the freshest in voters' minds. Also, he benefits from the Cool Factor that helped propel another edgy comic to a win in this category in 2007: Ricky Gervais ("Extras"). C.K. submitted the episode "Bully," in which a frightening encounter with a young punk leads him to commiserate privately with the punk's father. It's a sympathetic performance, not loaded with laughter, but dramatic-skewing performances have won comedy performances before — as Edie Falco ("Nurse Jackie") demonstrated last year.

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Emmy contenders: The nominees speak their minds

Sue Sylvester 
With all the excitement over their Emmy nods, the nominees have a lot to think about these days. But more important than what they will wear or who they will thank at the Sept. 18 ceremony were far more pressing questions such as, “Is Jane Lynch going to tease me?” The Envelope had a chance to run this and other thoughts past some of the Emmy contenders; here's what they're thinking:

As Sue Sylvester on “Glee,” Jane Lynch can be downright mean. With her as host, are you nervous that she’ll poke jabs at you during her monologue? And what would she tease you about?

“Who could be the meaner person.”
— Margo Martindale, “Justified”

“She probably could talk about my [character’s] terrible wardrobe. Or the fact that I never smile.”
— Mireille Enos, “The Killing”

 “I love her, I think she’s going to be incredible. But we should all be a little worried.”
— Connie Britton, “Friday Night Lights”

“Bring it! It’s all in good fun.”
— Matt LeBlanc, “Episodes”

Betty white “Oh, she’s a great gal; she’s fun. I’m not afraid of her. I’m a big fan.”
— Betty White, “Hot in Cleveland”

"I’ve known her for a long time. She’s certainly a searing character. She’s always been very sweet to me in person, so I’m hoping she might give me a 'get out of jail' card [otherwise] I’ll just have to roll with the punches."
-- Johnny Galecki, "The Big Bang Theory"

“If she brings me up in her monologue, I’ve got reason to be nervous. But she’s very funny. I hope I can be recognized by her. That would be an honor.”
— Kyle Chandler, “Friday Night Lights”

“I’ve worked with Jane. She’s a great broad and hilarious. She can do anything she wants. She can sit on my lap. Or maybe I can sit on hers.”
— Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation”

“I’d be so happy to get a hard time from Jane Lynch. She could say anything and I’d laugh. I adore her!
I’m sooo excited. I’m such a huge fan!”
— Evan Rachel Wood, “Mildred Pierce”

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Emmys: 'Big Bang Theory's' Johnny Galecki 'couldn't be more ecstatic'

Johnny Galecki
Last year, Jim Parsons won the Emmy for his role on the comedy "The Big Bang Theory." This year, Parsons has some new competition — from costar Johnny Galecki, who received his first Emmy nomination  Thursday in the lead actor in a comedy category. 

How did you hear the news?

With the exception of my little sister, you’re the first one to congratulate me. I had no idea. Oh, my God. I thought the nominations were next week. I was with my girlfriend in downtown Los Angeles, I’m standing in her kitchen right now, actually. I was still asleep when they tracked me down through her phone.

Actually, I have been keeping track of the Emmys this year, because I couldn’t be more ecstatic for the show to be nominated. I’m very close with the 200-plus people in the show. I’m just absolutely very thrilled and humbled and honored.

How will you spend today?

Well first, I need to talk to my mother, take a nap, open a bottle of Champagne, but not necessarily in that order [laughs].

What is the best part of playing Leonard, and do you identify with him at all?

I enjoy the frustration that he wrestles with himself. The unwarranted ego, that to me is the funniest element of the character, that sense of ego without accreditation. That’s something we all have, and it makes the character a whole lot of fun to play. He’s a kick in the pants.

I can’t identify with the way he think. I’d say he’s much more intelligent than I am. I can only pretend to think like this guy. I can understand how he feels as [if he's] the underdog outcast. That is something I can relate to. I wasn’t the most popular kid growing up.

Who is your biggest competition?

I have no idea. It’s time for celebration, not competition. That kind of competitiveness never got me anywhere in 28 years. I’m just really, really happy for the show and everyone who was nominated. I know it’s very PR for me to say this, but that’s truly how I feel.

Who got overlooked?

It’s impossible to say. I honestly don’t really think that way. I am thrilled to meet Louis C.K. I think he does an amazing job, and I was excited to see his name in the list.

What are your other upcoming projects?

I did an arc on last season’s “Entourage.” And then there’s a movie called “In Time” by Andrew Nichols with Justin Timberlake.


Emmys: Best comedy nominees

Emmys: Comedy actor, actress nominees

Emmys: Comedy supporting actor, actress nominees

— Sophia Lee

Photo: Johnny Galecki, right, with "Big Bang Theory" costar Jim Parsons. Credit: Robert Voets / CBS.


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