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Ricky Gervais: Give Steve Carell the Emmy!

July 19, 2011 |  4:00 pm

Ricky Gervais: Give Steve Carell the Emmy!

Add Ricky Gervais to the long list of Emmy watchers who believe Steve Carell should finally, after five defeats, win the Emmy for best comedy actor. "Steve deserved an Emmy before this, so he certainly deserves one now," Gervais tells Awards Tracker.

Ironically, Carell lost the race in 2007 to Gervais for his work in "Extras." Gervais didn't attend the ceremony, so award presenters Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert gave the statuette to Carell as a gag. Lots of mad hugging ensued on stage as a result. One year later Gervais mounted the Emmy stage for revenge.

"Couldn't actually win one of his own so he stole someone else's!" Gervais groused as Carell sat in the front row.

"Have you got it on ya?" Gervais asked Carell. "I've heard you carry it around with you to get in restaurants and stuff. ... I made you what you are and I get nothing back!" Gervais marched up to Carell in the audience and demanded, "Give me the Emmy!"

After a brief tickle and tugging match, Carell produced the Emmy and handed it to Gervais. See video below.

Gervais created the original version of "The Office" that aired in the U.K. from 2001 to 2003. When NBC retooled it for Yankee TV viewers with Carell in the lead as the cringe-inducing boss of a dysfunctional workplace, the new "The Office" won the Emmy as best comedy series of 2006. It's nominated again after its high-profile seventh season that saw Carell exit with much media fanfare. Gervais believes it deserves to win again because the U.S. version has held up admirably throughout its run.

"It's still doing provocative and subversive work," Gervais says. "It's lost some of its darling status over the years because it was so good all the time that people took it for granted, but 'The Office' has been like an art factory consistently cranking out great episodes. It's one of those juggernauts -- like 'M*A*S*H' and 'Seinfeld.'"


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-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: Ricky Gervais wrests back his Emmy from Steve Carell. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times