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Top 10 Steve Carell Performances

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by David MacIntyre. He’s so good in these roles that he caused crowds of people to make loud noises. Join as we count down our picks for the top 10 Steve Carell performances. For this list, we’re taking a look at those performances that show off this actor at his finest and/or most memorable. Special thanks to our users JosephT, Brennan Young, sarahjessicaparkerth, Jaybloodscorpion, Alexis Hansen, Sam Fraser, Philip Folta, Nickomania10598, flanman98, Alex Johnson and jf1999 for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Script written by David MacIntyre.

Top 10 Steve Carell Performances

He’s so good in these roles that he caused crowds of people to make loud noises. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 Steve Carell performances.

For this list, we’re taking a look at those performances that show off this actor at his finest and/or most memorable.

#10: Phil Foster
“Date Night” (2010)

Proving that he and Tina Fey make a hilarious on-screen couple together outside of their individual hilariousness, in this comedy crime flick, Steve Carell plays a man who goes out on a date night with his wife to get away from their every day “married with children life.” However, they end up getting just a little bit more than they bargained for. By providing plenty of laughs to counter the plot’s dangerous twists and turns, Carell offers a balance between extreme intensity and plain old fun.

#9: Felonious Gru
“Despicable Me” (2010)

After another super-villain steals an Egyptian pyramid in this computer-animated comedy, Gru takes it upon himself to try to one-up his rival by stealing the moon. Proving that Carell can pull off voice acting roles just as well as live action ones, “Despicable Me” shows him voicing a Russian-accented super villain in a movie that is funny and entertaining for both kids and adults. Meanwhile, Gru’s minions and adopted orphan girls help reveal that his character is more of a teddy bear than an evil genius.

#8: Dan Burns
“Dan in Real Life” (2007)

Here, Steve gets more serious than we’re used to seeing him, as he plays a widowed father who has a popular newspaper column and a refusal to believe that you can fall in love with someone easily. Thanks to “Dan in Real Life” being a rom-com with elements of drama, the end result is a sweet and heart-warming movie that shows him at his most lovable and earnest, with just enough laughs thrown in here and there as well.

#7: Trent Ramsey
“The Way Way Back” (2013)

In this coming-of-age movie, we see Carell play the boyfriend of the lead character Duncan’s mother. As Trent, he spends a lot of the movie berating and verbally abusing the 14-year-old. Although the movie is largely seen from Duncan’s perspective more than anyone else’s, Steve’s performance as a meaner character just goes to show how seamlessly the actor can flip between different types of roles, which he does here with ease.

#6: Brick Tamland
“Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” (2004)

Ten years after this came out, people still love saying how much they love lamp, and complaining about loud noises. It’s easy to think that Brick’s one-liners and overall dim-witted yet endearing behavior are incredibly nonsensical and just for comic relief. But Carell pulled off this role just as well as anyone on the Channel 4 news team did and helped make “Anchorman” a successful movie, using it as a true jump-off point for his own acting career.

#5: Cal Weaver
“Crazy, Stupid, Love” (2011)

Romantic comedies aren’t necessarily what Carell’s known for, but here, he’s equal parts hilarious and convincing as a sweetheart. In “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” after his character is cheated on by his wife, he meets a pickup artist in the form of Ryan Gosling. This leads to many adventures and misadventures in search of love. Steve holds his own here through his ability to switch between being a funnyman, being a depressed alcoholic and then being genuinely uplifting, further proving his versatility as an actor.

#4: Frank Ginsburg
“Little Miss Sunshine” (2006)

If there’s any movie on this list that truly proves Steve is capable of being a solid actor in drama as well as in comedy, it’s got to be this one. Here, he plays the gay uncle who just recently tried killing himself in a dysfunctional family in what’s one of his first tries at a dramatic role – and nails it. While “Little Miss Sunshine” is dark at times, he helps make it a heartwarming indie film that went on to make over $100 million at the box office around the world.

#3: John Eleuthère du Pont
“Foxcatcher” (2014)

It’s both strange and refreshing to see Steve play someone who couldn’t be more different than the actor himself, both physically or emotionally. It ends up working to his advantage though, as he gives a surprisingly realistic performance of the paranoid-schizophrenic Olympic wrestling coach who ended up being convicted of murder in real life. Steve’s role in this biographical drama is a completely different beast from his previous ones and the result was a serious amount of Oscar buzz for the actor.

#2: Andy Stitzer
“The 40-Year-Old Virgin” (2005)

Co-written by Carell himself, this movie showed Steve playing a good-hearted middle-aged man who suddenly finds himself on a quest to finally pop his cherry – with plenty of unwanted twists and turns along the way. One of Judd Apatow’s most well known feature films, it arguably helped break Steve Carell on a mainstream scale right after “Anchorman” and just before the role that’s number one on this list. Oh, and it also helped make “Kelly Clarkson” a swear word, sorta.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- Maxwell Smart
“Get Smart” (2008)
- Evan Baxter
“Bruce Almighty” (2003)
- Gary of The Ambiguously Gay Duo
“Saturday Night Live” (1975-)
- Barry Speck
“Dinner for Schmucks” (2010)
- Hammy
“Over the Hedge” (2006)

#1: Michael Scott
“The Office” (2005-13)

His biggest TV role may always be the defining moment of Steve’s career. Playing the American counterpart to Ricky Gervais’ role in the original UK version of the series, Steve’s performance as Regional Manager of Dunder Mifflin helped “The Office” enjoy a long lifespan and high level of popularity that was backed by critical acclaim for most of its run. Even if Michael Scott’s behavior showed that a managerial position wasn’t exactly for him, whether because he was too emotional, too full of ridiculous ideas, or just plain incompetent, Carell proved that the role was exactly right for him.

Do you agree with our list? Which Steve Carell performance is your all-time favorite? With new and entertaining top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to

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