The supporting men in the hit comedy show Modern Family have certainly swept the Emmy nominations over the last few years, and rightly so. The new age comedy made leaps and bounds in demonstrating that you don’t need the Leave It To Beaver type household in order to be part of a loving family. Normal is boring anyways. But let’s not forget the other talented comedic actors who’ve been around since before Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet, Ty Burrell, and Ed O’Neill’s characters were a mere glimmer in Christopher Lloyd’s eye. Alan Harper has been Two and a Half Men’s nerdy, single dad since 2003 and while Charlie Sheen is usually awarded most of the credit for the long-running show’s success, I believe that it’s time the Emmys paid tribute yet again to comedic underdog: Jon Cryer.
Charlie is easy to focus on because of his charm, good looks, and sarcastic wit, but the show would be one full man short without his pathetic, divorced brother. In a time where failed marriages are at an all-time high, the single dads of the world need someone like Alan to look to and think, “Man…at least I’m not that guy.” Alan has all of the responsibilities of being a married man without any of the sex. He allows his ex-wife to completely boss him around and dominate his life, but it’s a crucial aspect to the story. As the plot and storyline progressed, Cryer brilliantly portrayed a struggling father, trying to take hold of his new, single life. There were mistakes, fights, even a second failed marriage, but through it all he remains kind at heart and is always first and foremost, a father.
While no guys – married or single – would ever want to use him for a role model, that’s not the point of Cryer’s character. He’s the guy that everything wrong happens to…he never gets the girl, he’s mooching off his rich brother, and is constantly a disappointment to his judgmental mother. But the world needs underdogs like him because if he’s somehow able to survive all the mayhem that comes his way, then the rest of us definitely have a chance as well. I think it’s also crucial to remember that the presence of Alan and Jake make Charlie a much more caring person than he was when the show originally debuted. It’s through Alan’s acts of true fatherly love that open the lonely bachelor up to the idea of being considerate for those other than himself. Without Alan, Charlie would have just wasted away without truly understand the concept of being a family.
All of Alan’s issues and problems look annoying and bland on paper, but Cryer manages to bring them to life and makes even the most insane and eye-rolling circumstances hilarious. You never quite know how things are going to turn out for the poor guy since nothing ever seems to go his way, but you keep rooting for him because even through all the lunacy he’s endearing; we want to see him win once in a while. It’s for all of these reasons (along with the fact that he was able to put up with Sheen’s antics for the past eight years) that Cryer deserves to take home that supporting actor Emmy for a comedy series once again. This guy hasn’t gotten any Emmy love since 2009 — let’s show the underdog some appreciation!