10) Heather Morris, Glee
I know I'm supposed to put Jane Lynch or maybe Lea Michele here, but Heather Morris has long been the best thing about Glee for me. And while the show shoots head first into smug intolerability, Morris and her quietly hilarious one liners have become the only reason to watch.
9) Kaitlin Olsen, Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia
A lot of attention is given to the male cast of this show, but I think Olsen is quietly doing a lot of good work, often thanklessly. Her attempts to become an inspiring drama teacher this year proved particularly amusing.
8) Cobie Smulders, How I Met Your Mother
I think Smulders has long proved the secret weapon of this show, often given little to do other then tell Canada jokes, but for a character originally conceived as the hot girl of the show, she's given a long-lasting and constantly funny performance.
7) Aubrey Plaza, Parks And Recreation
Plaza gives a wonderfully deadpan performance, her face seemingly cut in a permanent disapproving scowl, but she's hilarious. Not quite as much as Ron Swanson, but it'll certainly fly.
6) Busy Phillips, Cougar Town
Freaks and Geeks alum Phillips has wondered the TV wilderness for a while, but its great to see her land on a show that allows her to be this winning. Cougar Town has a great ensemble, but I think Phillips stands out just the tinciest bit, perhaps because here character is the broadest. But when that works, it works.
5) Gillian Jacobs, Community
Jacobs and character Britta take a lot of fan hate, and while its true perhaps that the show leaned too heavily on her as group conscience in the early days, in later episodes she found a great little niche as a super self-satisfied hipster whose jokes nobody finds funny. A deceptively strong performance.
4) Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Granted, most of Vergara's dialogue begins with, 'well back in Columbia we..' but it's an enjoyable, scene stealing performance. Vergara is an easy actress to dismiss on account of the way she looks and all, but she's much funnier then the archetype would have you believe.
3) Portia De Rossi, Better Off Ted
Yet another notch on the tally of great shows that came and went with nobody caring, Better Off Ted was much better then its hideously lame pun of a title would suggest. Combining clever corporate satire, with an appreciatively warm centre, it was clever comedy done right, an none more so then the performance of Arrested Development's Portia De Rossi as Veronica, exuding a kind of controlled insanity that amused no end.
2) Alison Brie, Community
Erm, because she's really, really funny? Arguably the stand out in an extremely talented cast, Brie can do anything the show asks of her and more, from producing the best scream played for comedy known to man to physical comedy that almost rivals Chevy Chase, and that's Chevy Chase.
1) Lizzy Caplan, Party Down
As much as I love Community, no show in 2010 did character comedy quite like Party Down, and Caplan's sarcastic comedienne/caterer was a huge part of that. A performance that has so much more depth and sadness then one would expect in a sitcom about people in pink ties.