Our picks for the best lead performers in a comedy brought us laughs from soccer fields, record stores, small tows and even 18th-century Russia. It’s certainly a varied bunch and a perfect picture of the varied type of comedy programs you could watch in 2020.
Here are our picks for the Top 5 Leading Performances in a Comedy Series.
5.) Nicholas Hoult for The Great
Nicholas Hoult has developed a knack for playing period piece comedic roles. Hell, I think he’s just crafted a knack for wearing those fancy wigs. His role as Sir Peter the Great is just as outlandish and highly in-authoritative as his 2018 performance in The Favourite. The connective tissue being Tony McNamara, the co-writer of that film and then the creator of The Great.
A cruel man, King Peter is a man willing to call for the end of one’s life and send many to their deaths just over breakfast. However, the performance Hoult brings makes Peter oddly lovable. His chemistry with co-star Elle Fanning is what makes the show come together. Huzzah!
– Dylan Blight
4.) Catherine O’Hara for Schitt’s Creek: Season 6
Over six seasons Catherine O’Hara has built Moira Rose to be an amazing comedic character. With her unique pronunciations and vocabulary and her vast array of wigs and clothes, Moira is unlike anyone else on TV and can make you laugh with a simple Bébé.
The final season was a rollercoaster for Moira Rose, beginning the season shattered after the shelving of her film “The Crows Have Eyes III: The Crowening”, the film then gets picked up by a streaming service which sees Moira doing some publicity and getting a film premiere in Schitt’s Creek that goes hilariously poorly.
She is then approached to be part of the reboot of Sunrise Bay but get turned down when she makes a number of demands as she realises her worth, only for them to give in a few episodes later. Everything finally came together for Moira as she and Johnny ride off to LA but whether she was at one of her lows or one of her highs, Catherine O’Hara was always fantastic to watch.
– Ashley Hobley
3.) Zoë Kravitz for High Fidelity
I imagine there was a lot of baggage for Zoë when she took on this role. Of course it is a gender-swapped version of the book by Nick Horby, as well as of the 2000 film starring John Cusak and Zoë’s mother Lisa Bonet. Kravitz is unlike any performance of hers we’ve seen so far.
Rob is still reeling from her most recent heartbreak and is still very pessimistic. She has a definite charm about her despite her selfishness and negativity. She’s an asshole but a likable asshole. You can see elements of Cusak’s version of Rob but by the end of the series, Kravitz has made the role her own.
2.) Elle Fanning for The Great
Catherine is a breakout role for Elle Fanning. Not to undermine her performances in years prior, but in The Great it feels like she’s clicked in a role like never before. Although not her first-period piece — she is also fantastic in The Beguiled — she delivers the often darkly comedic timing required for The Great impeccably. And again — huzzah!
– Dylan Blight
1.) Jason Sudeikis for Ted Lasso
Sometimes people come into your life right when you need them to. In 2020, that person was Ted Lasso. Jason Sudekisis’ creation was a ray of sunshine that made it through the dark clouds that this year has provided.
The impressive thing about Ted Lasso is that he is never too positive that he starts to out stay his welcome, he is never too naive to make you think he is stupid. His level of optimism and wholesomeness is at the perfect frequency to win over even the most cold hearted of people.
Jason Sudekisis looks like he’s having the time of his life, giving motivational speeches, dancing the Carlton and occasionally pulling off magic tricks but he also nails the serious and emotional moments in the show. Heart-to-hearts with Rebecca, his karaoke bar panic attack, letting his wife leave him, his speech while playing darts, Jason Sudekisis knocked all these moments out of the park. I can’t wait to see what Ted does next season.
– Ashley Hobley