Jaime Pressly

'Earl' star welcomes new comic diggs

Operating in the shadow of Thursday night powerhouses “Grey’s Anatomy” and “CSI,” Pressly nonetheless reigns as the Emmy winner for comedy supporting actress (after nabbing her second nom in two seasons) thanks to her perf as Southern spitfire Joy on NBC’s “My Name Is Earl.”

From the moment she auditioned, Pressly took the initiative to play Joy as fast-talking and aggressive, while managing to sneak in the right amount of vulnerability. “We don’t want her to be the unlikable bitch,” says Pressly quoting “Earl” showrunner Greg Garcia.

The “Earl” triumph capped a decade-long battle against typecasting for the former Maxim hot-lister.

“I don’t want to do just one thing, (though) I’m definitely partial to comedy,” she says. “Because who doesn’t like to laugh?”

Point of view

“I credit that to the Pressly family,” Pressly says of her comic timing. “Every single one of them can tell a joke better than anyone. Granddaddy Pressly is the one who started it. … I grew up knowing how to hit a punchline.”

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