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July 26, 2006
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Steve Carell wins TV Critic's Award
By BILL BRIOUX - Toronto Sun


PASADENA, Calif. - Many years ago, yours truly dabbled in a little stand-up comedy. I'll never forget a review that ran in the Ottawa Citizen: "Bullock & Brioux are to comedy what a grapefruit is to parallel parking."

Another zinger invoked the dullest Alberta premier ever: "Peter Lougheed funnier than comedy pair."

The point is, those bad reviews stay with you for life. So it was with some empathy that I sat and listened to The Office's Steve Carell accept his Television Critic's Award Sunday night for Best Individual Achievement in Comedy.

Carell thanked critics and then read from an old review so withering most in the room assumed it was made up. It hearkened back to his performance as a deaf mute chef in the long-forgotten sitcom Over The Top, which Carell said ran from "October, 1997, to October, 1997."

"I wish I could say Carell was bad," wrote teevee.org Web critic Peter Ko, "but that would imply that I have some frame of reference to judge him against." Ko went on: "I have stood in a freezer full of dead people at the morgue. I have seen a man's scalp pulled back over his nose. I've even seen 35 minutes of Ellen DeGeneres' Mr. Wrong. But I can now honestly say that until Steve Carell's turn in the premiere of Over the Top, I have never known true horror."

And people thought I was too tough on Ben Mulroney.


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