In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, the 49-year-old alluded to cultural pessimism.
"It's not like I want to put sunshine and lollipops into the world," he says. "But I do believe there's been a turn toward an uber-cynical point of view, and it's borderline mean."
Carell used "The Daily Show," on which he appeared from 1999 to 2005, as an example.
"It's one thing poking fun at people who deserve it, but there was that flip side of shooting fish in a barrel. It's just cruel," he said of working on the series.
The actor's comments incited the story's writer, Stephen Galloway, to ask about the recent controversy surrounding Daniel Tosh, who made a rape joke during a stand-up routine at the Laugh Factory in July.
"Taste in comedy, like fashion, changes all the time," said Carell on the matter.
Though the actor earned six Emmy nominations for his hilarious turn as Michael Scott on "The Office," he doesn't consider himself funny.
"I don't think of myself as a comedian," he says. "I'm not a joke-teller. I didn't do stand-up. I never even thought I was that funny."
Fans of Carell's laugh-inducing roles in "Anchorman," "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" and "Crazy, Stupid, Love" are likely to disagree.
The actor is currently promoting his latest on-screen effort, "Hope Springs." The film stars Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones as a married couple who have lost their spark. They decide to enroll in intensive couples therapy led by a popular marriage counselor (Carell). The film hits theaters on Aug. 10.