Ty Burrell may be a father of the 2010-2011 television season based on goldderby.com’s table of odds. The Modern Family star was nominated for an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series alongside his co-stars Ed O’Neill, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and last year’s winner Eric Stonestreet.
But so far, it looks like Burrell may be an early favourite to win the award having won 38 percent of users’ votes and 55 percent of editors’ votes. However he has close competition from Glee favourite and Golden Globe winner Chris Colfer. Nominated along side the Modern Family men and Glee star is Two and a Half Men‘s Jon Cryer.
According to goldderby.com, one of the most important factors in deciding the winner might be how much voters value a comedic performance. Colfer submitted an episode entitled “Grilled Cheesus” in which is character Kurt Hummel deals with his father’s heart attack (and subsequent coma), leaving him to ponder not only his atheism but his belief in the existence of God. While the episode had several light points, it was mostly heavy on the drama, with Colfer singing a tear-inducing rendition of “I Want To Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles.
However, Modern Family is a sitcom that delivers on laughs and touching family moments, so not only are all four nominees forced to rely on their comedic skills, they need to show some emotional range too. No doubt this will be seen in the episodes they submitted.
Stonestreet’s submission last year saw him play (to hilarious effect) ‘Fizbo the Clown’ at his daughter Lily’s birthday party. This year, his episode “Mother’s Day” has him upset that his character Cameron is thought of as the mother in his relationship with his partner Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson). However he does not get a lot of screen-time in it.
Meanwhile in Ferguson’s episode, “Halloween” he shows his talent for physical comedy as he is the only employee to show up to work in costume – as Spider-Man no less – spending the rest of the episode trying to discreetly change out of it. His attempts are ultimately in vain as inevitably Mitchell embarrasses himself in front of his co-workers.
Ferguson is also prominently featured in Married… With Children star Ed O’Neill’s submission “The Kiss” as it has O’Neill’s character Jay trying to make it up to his son (Ferguson’s Mitchell) for not showing him much affection when he was growing up. While full of physical slapstick, the episode ends on a touching note with Jay finally kissing Mitchell. Stonestreet’s submission also features an emotional moment for O’Neill as he tears up at the memory of his now dead mother.
However like Ferguson, Burrell has some great moment’s, not only in “The Kiss” where his storyline has him ecstatic that Jay (his father-in-law on the show) asks for him help – a first in his constant attempts for Jay’s affection – but in “Halloween,” where he fears for the security of his marriage. His own submission “Good Cop, Bad Dog” highlights not only his comedic chops but his acting ability as he switches places with his wife Claire (Julie Bowen) and becomes the strict parent (‘Bad Cop’), ordering their daughters to clean their bathroom while going as far as duct-taping their laptops shut and withholding food. Eventually he goes back to his old ‘Good Cop’ self – though not without jumping on his daughters’ car to prevent them from ‘escaping’.
But the episode features strong performances from all the men. Ferguson’s Mitchell is faced with the difficult choice of caring for a sick Cameron (Stonestreet) or going to a Lady Gaga concert, while O’Neill’s Jay says no to a struggling entrepreneur his wife (Sofia Vergara’s Gloria) brings home only to adopt the man’s dog instead.
In most cases, when actors from the same show or film are nominated for the same award, vote-splitting hurts their chances. However, with the Emmys, this actually improves their chances of winning as voters will not only be watching their submission, but their work in their co-star’s submitted episodes as well. This essentially gives each of the Modern Family men four episodes and viewers may forget which actor they’re supposed to be watching.
Will Burrell fulfil forecasts and take home the Emmy or will Stonestreet become a repeat winner? To find out, tune in to the Emmys on September 18th.
Check out Ty Burrell on the David Letterman Show earlier this year:
About the Author: Nivea Serrao is a journalism major at NYU and since coming to the United States to attend college from Dubai, she has caught the comedy bug. Nivea has studied with the Upright Citizen's Brigade and loves sketch comedy. "Save Nivea, Save the world" - Hiro Nakamura "I couldn't have done it without Nivea" - Jack Bauer