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Steve Carell: Trio of hits boost ‘Office’ boss’ status

Comedy Impact Report 2010: Bigscreen Bigshots

It’s difficult to imagine a thesp logging more screen time in 2010 than Steve Carell. With a trio of studio films and a network comedy, the comedian rivaled President Obama and “The Situation” for most ubiquitous man of the year.

The Massachusetts native, who parlayed his correspondent gig on “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” into A-list funnyman status, filled seats at the multiplex with starring turns in “Date Night” ($153 million worldwide), “Dinner for Schmucks” ($86 million worldwide) and the animated megahit “Despicable Me” ($534 million worldwide). Carell also continued to elicit laughs as tactless Dunder Mifflin boss Michael Scott in NBC’s “The Office.”

For the Second City alum, the highlight was working for the first time with Tina Fey in “Date Night.”

“We understood each other comedically and complemented each other well,” explains Carell, who recently paid tribute to the “30 Rock” star when she was tapped with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. “We trusted each other, which also helps. We could always easily sense where the other one was going.”

Though Carell has become one of Hollywood’s most in-demand comics, he still bows down in the presence of Steve Martin.

“I shake in my boots,” says Carell, who is wrapping his final season on “The Office.” “I’m so intimidated and in awe of his body of work and just him as a person. He turned standup comedy on its ear, and I’m just a huge fan.”

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