Where the prime-time Emmy nominations are concerned, we here at TV Guide Online adhere to one simple rule: If you ain't gonna fix the problem, you don't get to moan about it. So, since we're rarely 100 percent satisfied with the slate of stars and series that wind up in the running, we've decided to take matters into our own hands for the third year in a row. We TV vigilantes are compiling wish lists of the shows and actors we feel are truly deserving of recognition (and, in many cases, all too likely to be overlooked when the real ballots are mailed out today by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences). First up, TV Guide critic Matt Roush, Michael Ausiello and our panel of opinionated pundits tackle four of the comedy categories and single out the good-humor men and women whose funny business is our pleasure.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Zach Braff, Scrubs: By tickling our funny bone with his eager-puppy antics, this TV M.D. proves the best medicine may, in fact, be laughter.
Bryan Cranston, Malcolm in the Middle: Any mortal man who can hold his own opposite Jane Kaczmarek deserves a trophy. And a helmet.
Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm: In Hollywood, the co-creator of Seinfeld is almost as popular as Jerry, and that's really sayin', ahem, something.
Bernie Mac, The Bernie Mac Show: The tube's toughest-talking father figure makes family fare snap, crackle and, above all, pop.
David Schwimmer, Friends: It's time that this nerd had his revenge. After all, how many actors can you name who have rocked as a paleontologist?
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Lauren Graham, Gilmore Girls: Golden, indeed, is this Girl who tugs at our heartstrings and makes Snapple come out of our noses. Often at once.
Patricia Heaton, Everybody Loves Raymond: Behind every great TV husband is an even greater TV wife. Here's the one behind Ray Romano.
Jane Kaczmarek, Malcolm in the Middle: Face it the woman is a force of nature. Does the Weather Channel ever give out awards?
Lisa Kudrow, Friends: Central Perk's perkiest patron does to throw-away lines what contortionists do to themselves. We bow down before her.
Sara Rue, Less Than Perfect: Energetic and endearing, America's new sweetheart makes her every gesture a quirk of art.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Brad Garrett, Everybody Loves Raymond: As Robert recently prepared to tie the knot, it was we who said, "I do... think this fella's hysterical."
Donald Faison, Scrubs: So sharp is this affianced future doctor's timing that he doesn't need a scalpel to play an OR cut-up. Pass the oxygen.
Topher Grace, That '70s Show: During the hitcom's creative renaissance, its gawky hero remained an irresistible everyschlub. Notice him already!
John C. McGinley, Scrubs: With fatherhood looming before Doc Cox, his portrayer hit the situation-comedy mother lode.
Scott Patterson, Gilmore Girls: Brave is the actor who'd play the straight man to Gilmore's womanly wiseacres. Gifted is the one who stands out while doing so.