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Road to the Emmys: Comedy Actor

LARRY DAVID

Series:: “Curb Your Enthusiasm”

Seasons on show: 4

Emmy pedigree: Won twice and nommed 11 times for “Seinfeld.”

Episode submitted: “The Special Section”

2002-03 shining moment:Eating his sister-in-law’s confectionery Nativity scene with the excuse, “I thought they were animal cookies!”

Pro: Every predicament David gets himself into makes us howl with laughter.

Con: Is it the writing or acting that makes us laugh? Maybe this is why Jerry Seinfeld never won an acting Emmy.

Quotable: “I have a tendency toward catastrophic thinking. Sometimes, I’ll be in a situation and think, ‘If I’d said this, or done that, that would have been very funny.’ And I have the luxury of living out that fantasy on the show, where you couldn’t have done that in real life.”

MATT LeBLANC

Series:: “Friends”

Seasons on show: 9

Emmy pedigree: One nomination

Episode submitted: “The One in Barbados, Parts 1 & 2”

2002-03 shining moment:Conspiring with Chandler to fix the botched eyebrow waxing that made him look like Joe Pesci in “JFK.”

Pro: Hey, who doesn’t love Joey? During the past few seasons, LeBlanc has gone from goofy second banana to leading guy.

Con: Voters may wait to see if he can prove himself on his own show. Besides, he already got the girl. Isn’t that enough?

Quotable: “I’m more confident, which I think is one of your biggest assets as an actor especially in comedy. In comedy, you have to be unafraid to hang from the tree branch naked in the high wind and you have to be absolutely unafraid to look ridiculous and silly.”

BERNIE MAC

Series:: “The Bernie Mac Show”

Seasons on show: 2

Emmy pedigree: One nomination

Episode submitted: “The Incredible Bulk”

2002-03 shining moment:Going toe-to-toe against Matt Damon on the golf course.

Pro: His humor is a crossover hit and the show is a proven winner, taking home last year’s statuette for comedy Series: writing.

Con: Fox skeins and stars have yet to cash in for the big prizes.

Quotable: “Initially, I had no desire to do TV. I didn’t want to become another statistic. I didn’t want to become another ‘urban show.’ I didn’t want punch-line laughs, or cute little kids. I was sick of that format.”

ERIC McCORMACK

Series:: “Will & Grace”

Seasons on show: 5

Emmy pedigree: Won in 2001.

Episode submitted: “The Kid Stays out of the Picture”

2002-03 shining moment:McCormack’s “Footloose” dance with guest star Kevin Bacon during the aptly titled “Bacon and Eggs” episode.

Pro: It’s one of the highest-rated shows on TV and McCormack continues to break down stereotypes.

Con: Have all the cameos this year outshone the original players?

Quotable: “I had wanted to play ‘characters.’ I wanted beards and pirate’s eye patches. But you grow up and realize if they want a pirate, there’s probably someone better than me out there to play a pirate. I’ve always been the gay man in a straight man’s body.”

RAY ROMANO

Series:: “Everybody Loves Raymond”

Seasons on show: 7

Emmy pedigree: Won last year.

Episode submitted: “Counseling”

2002-03 shining moment:Tracking down a radio announcer who refused to have Raymond on his show.

Pro: Still plays the lazy husband better than anyone.

Con: Might his recent pay raise turn off voters?

Quotable: “The first year we were on Friday nights, which I knew wasn’t a good time, and we were getting buried. … But I knew we had good chemistry with the cast. I just didn’t know if they would give us the chance to see it. … But having said all that I still feel like it’s just a sham.”

TONY SHALHOUB

Series:: “Monk”

Seasons on show: 2

Emmy pedigree: First-timer

Episode submitted: “Mr. Monk and the Airplane”

2002-03 shining moment:Making his assistant take his place on a Ferris wheel because of his fear of heights.

Pro: Monk’s wonderful neurosis has attracted solid audiences. If the big guys split the votes, this underdog could sneak in for a win.

Con: First-timers have a hard time winning.

Quotable: “He is 50% occupied with something else that is getting in his way, whether it’s something that he forgot to turn off back at his house, or something in the room that is disturbing or fascinating him. So, there’s always a dual track going. As an actor, I can never just be doing one thing.”

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