Steve Carell Never Won An Emmy For The Office And That’s A Crime

By Jeffrey Rapaport | Updated

If I began a “two truths a lie” with “Steve Carrell never won an Emmy for playing Michael Scott,” would you think that was a lie? Probably. And yet the iconic manager of Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch never clinched the award he so glaringly, achingly deserved. This, of course, is an unforgivable offense. 

The Inappropriate Boss That Won Our Hearts

Indeed, in the pantheon of television comedy, what shows have left as indelible a mark as NBC’s The Office? A show that owes so much of its success to Carell’s unforgettable portrayal of Scott—the bumbling, often inappropriate, yet surprisingly tender-hearted manager of everybody’s favorite paper company. Undoubtedly, Steve Carell’s career-defining role showcased his incredible range and peerless comedic timing.

But despite being nominated six times for an Emmy, Carell never took home the award. Unacceptable.

A Masterclass Of Comedy


Because from 2005 to 2011, Carell’s portrayal comprised the beating heart, the inseparable soul, of The Office. Piloting that ship—a series continuing to inspire memes, endear audiences, and make us laugh—Carell masterfully balanced the character’s ludicrous antics and jaw-droppingly inappropriate comments with moments of genuine pathos and tenderness. 

Laughed At And With Michael

It was this winsome, uncommon blend that transformed Michael Scott into a character possessing genuine Shakespearean folly and depth—a complexity resonating deeply with audiences and critics alike. Thanks to Steve Carrel, we simultaneously laughed at Michael and with Michael; we empathized with him deeply while shaking our heads with loving disgust at his antics (terrorizing Toby, for instance; poor Toby…). 

Unmistakably, Carell’s ability to transform a cringe-worthy boss into a beloved figure demonstrated a nuanced understanding of human vulnerability and comedic brilliance. To put it less pretentiously: he should have won an Emmy!

Ricky Gervais Won BAFTA’s

After all, Ricky Gervais, another genius, who gave us the original The Office across the pond, won three Best Comedy Performance BAFTA awards—one for each season of the show and the Christmas special, to boot. While our stateside equivalent of that award, the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, eluded Steve Carrel year after year.

The Best (Worst) Episodes Center Around Carell’s Performance

However, and maddeningly, Carrel nonetheless earned nomination after nomination–always close but always inevitably far from the recognition he deserved. Throughout the United States version of The Office’s lengthy run (much longer than the UK version), it garnered critical acclaim and a dedicated fanbase, in large part due to Carell’s performance. There is no exaggeration to say the series was a cultural phenomenon. 

Merely consider how the show’s most beloved episodes, gems like “Safety Training,” “Dinner Party,” and “Goodbye, Michael,” often are cited among the series’ best. Each GOAT episode showcases Steve Carell’s vast range—from slapstick comedy to heart-wrenching drama.

A Case Of Bad Timing

Yes, if you’re like me, even considering the injustice committed against Carell makes you burst into tears, punch the wall, etc. But once you’re done drying your eyes and nursing your punching hand, consider a compelling question: why did Carell never earn an Emmy for this iconic role? 

Some speculate the competition facing Michael during those epic years of televised comedy was simply too fierce. For instance, talented actors like Alec Baldwin and Jim Parsons also vied with Steve Carrell for the shiny golden statue. 

Others suggest the Emmys sometimes simply lags in recognizing groundbreaking performances in real-time. Regardless, these explanations provide little consolation. We all know—in our bones—Carell’s performance deserved the highest accolades.