Credit: Ray Mickshaw/FOX ©2012 Fox Broadcasting Co.; Peter "Hopper" Stone/ABC; Dana Edelson/NBC Photo: Emmys 2012 Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

The Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Emmy Award is all about the jokesters, but this is no laughing matter, people.

Ever since Modern Family burst onto the TV scene in fall 2009, this category has been dominated by its male leads: Eric Stonestreet won in 2010; Ty Burrell took home the statue last year; and Ty, Eric, Jesse Tyler-Ferguson, and Ed O’Neill are all nominated again this year.

Despite the ABC sitcom’s two-in-three odds of winning, it’s not a lock. Rounding out the 2012 slate of Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series nominees are Saturday Night Live’s Bill Hader and New Girl’s Max Greenfield — and as much as we love Modern Family’s stable of LOL-worthy dads, we’re betting 2012 is the Year of the Schmidt.

Credit: Greg Gayne/FOX ©2012 Fox Broadcasting Co. Photo: Schmidt Dresses Up as Sexy Santa in New Girl's Christmas Episode

We just hope the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences agrees.

When Max Greenfield removed his shirt and uttered Schmidt’s first wildly inappropriate line on New Girl’s pilot episode, we were equal parts charmed and appalled by the lovable d-bag and his narcissistic tendencies.

By the end of the season, when he was White Fang-ing Cece (sounds dirty, but it’s not), we were totally smitten.

Let’s break down why the Emmy should go to Max:

His delivery: Schmidt says things pretty much no respectable human being would ever say, but Max makes the guy relatable and sympathetic by injecting his over-the-top lines with an undercurrent of self-consciousness. Schmidt is a softie at heart.

Because Schmidt quotes make everything better, here are some particularly amazing and jar-worthy ones:

Did you see that cleavage? I just wanted to get my arm stuck down there. Like, 127 Hours-style.” [“Cece Crashes”]

“Have you seen my sharkskin laptop sleeve?” [“The Story of the 50”]

I like to improvise with my body. I’m like a sexual snowflake. Each night with me is like a unique experience.” [“Bully”]

“The truth is I don’t go out on Valentine’s Day. There’s no thrill. All these bars filled with emotionally vulnerable women — I’m like a Dominican teenager playing Little League. It’s just not fair for everybody else.” [Valentine’s Day]

We could go on and on, but we’ll stop there.

His shirtlessness: With the exception of Vinny on Jersey Shore, Max may be the palest dude on TV. Still, he’s not afraid to blind viewers with his stunning whiteness. For that alone he deserves the Emmy.

His costumes: From the too-short kimono to the fat suit to the “sexy Santa” getup, Max has had to wear several ridiculous outfits as Schmidtty. Like the near-constant shirtlessness, that merits some serious respect.

His viral videos: Max got into character for this online dating tape from 2008 and this gushing tribute to the wonders of spinning. So Schmidt is a Hills fanboy and a total spinning bro, which may be the most perfectly random combination ever.

As awesome as the Modern Family guys are (love you, Ty Burrell!), Schmidt is simply awesomer.

That’s why we think Max is gonna win; what’s YOUR prediction for the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series category?

For more Emmys 2012 coverage, click here.

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