We really, really like Charlie Day ’round these parts. In fact, a few of us here at EW — particularly my colleague Mandi Bierly — have been vocal about our hopes that the It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia MVP will finally get the recognition he deserves, be it with an Emmy nomination or by becoming a full-fledged movie star.

Things certainly seem to be on that path as the 35-year-old actor just earned a Critics Choice Television Award nod for Best Actor in a Comedy Series for his work as the delightfully demented Kitten Mittons salesman/Paddy’s Pub co-owner Charlie Kelly on Sunny. (He’ll be going up against perennial awards season heavyweights like Alec Baldwin, Steve Carell, and Jim Parsons in the category.) Lob on the fact that Day nailed his witty onstage banter at Sunday night’s MTV Movie Awards and that he’s starring in the upcoming comedy Horrible Bosses — in which he gets sexually harassed by Jennifer Aniston and buddies up with Jason Sudeikis and Jason Bateman to kill their aforementioned bad bosses — and this just might be his sunniest summer ever.

Still, sadly, we’ve been here before. Day was the scene-stealer in last year’s funny, yet ultimately forgotten Going the Distance, but Drew Barrymore and Justin Long’s on-again, off-again courtship seemed to be the focus of the flick’s buzz. And while Sunny‘s rabid fan base seems to grow more and more each year, it’s still a nutso underdog cable show with little love from the awards circuit.

But, is this really the worst thing for Day or his fans? There’s been a similar argument/complaint about the criminally underrated Steve Zahn for years. The guy steals every movie he’s in, comedy or otherwise (That Thing You Do!, Rescue Dawn, Riding in Cars with Boys, Joy Ride) and even does so on the small screen for a beloved cable show (Treme).

While Zahn may have a shocking lack of awards or box office smashes to his name, he’s still one of the most respected actors out there, with a fan base that continues to rally for him. Plus, there’s always a feeling of exclusivity in loving a star who the masses haven’t claimed as their own. There’s plenty of Zach Galifianakis devotees out there who miss the day when he wasn’t the guy from The Hangover, and was simply their off-the-beaten-path stand-up genius, so maybe Charlie Day’s almost-there status is the best thing that could happen to him.

Still, we can’t help but root for the guy.

What do you think, PopWatchers? Is Charlie Day destined to be an almost-star like Zahn or will he breakout like Galifianakis?

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