Saturday, September 5, 2009

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Nominees are pictured and listed in alphabetical order. Submitted episode titles are in parentheses.

Jon Cryer as Alan Harper, Two and a Half Men (Sir Lancelot’s Litterbox)
This is Cryer’s fourth straight nomination, and he managed to survive the dismissal of his show in the Best Comedy Series category. His episode submission showcases his high-pitched antics and gives him a great platform to relentlessly mock Charlie, which is always a selling point for the comic actor. Cryer would be a frontrunner this year, but he may have messed up his chances with a potentially off-color comment he made during an Emmy roundtable where he expressed his view that gay actors shouldn’t come out because their onscreen heterosexual romances won’t seem real. Many have pointed out that fellow nominee Neil Patrick Harris wouldn’t be too happy about that; I doubt many voters will be either.

Kevin Dillon as Johnny Chase, Entourage (Tree Trippers)
There’s always one nominee who just doesn’t have a prayer. Dillon made it in two years ago and somehow has returned each year since then. This time, food-poisoned costar Jeremy Piven got snubbed by voters, and as a result, Dillon’s the only “Entourage” representative. His episode is pretty stupid, wandering around high on mushrooms with the gang, though clearly Emmy voters liked it enough to nominate its director. Dillon doesn’t stand much of a chance against the other nominees in this category, and with the exception of the more-mature Piven, “Entourage” has never actually proven that popular with Emmy voters. Dillon’s going to sit this one out.

Neil Patrick Harris as Barnie Stinson, How I Met Your Mother (Benefits)
Harris is hotter than ever this year after last summer’s “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” webisode series and his role as host of the Emmy ceremony itself. This is his third nomination, and with Jeremy Piven out of the running, Harris may finally have a shot at winning his first Emmy. He certainly has the buzz factor that none of the other nominees in this category have. His episode submission isn’t great since it doesn’t showcase much of his comedic talents, but I don’t think that will be too big of a hurdle, especially with his show earning its first-ever Best Comedy Series nomination this year.

Jack McBrayer as Kenneth Parcell, 30 Rock (The Bubble)
As NBC’s wacko comedy becomes even more popular, McBrayer finally gets the recognition he deserved for the first two seasons of the show. Unfortunately, it comes a bit too late and there’s no way he could possibly win this year. For one thing, he has to compete with costar Tracy Morgan, who dominates most of his plotline in his McBrayer’s submitted episode! McBrayer has one fun scene, but it won’t be enough to impress voters. He’s a great actor who hopefully will return next year to this category, but he won’t be bringing home a trophy this year.

Tracy Morgan as Tracy Jordan, 30 Rock (The Funcooker)
Crazy as both he and his character are, Tracy Jordan may be exactly what this category needs. He’s completely outrageous and rather hilarious to boot. His submitted episode finds him realizing he can swear as much as he wants on TV if he just buys the ad time in between programs. It’s a really fun episode, and could very well cement Morgan’s chances, on top of the overwhelming popularity of the show. I simply can’t picture Morgan actually winning an Emmy – it just doesn’t seem right.

Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute, The Office (Heavy Competition)
Wilson’s back for the third year in a row as the sole cube dweller, further emphasizing the fact that voters prefer loud and abrasive comedy (Wilson) to subtle, calmer work (John Krasinski). Wilson’s episode is a great use of his talents, and he gets to demonstrate his sales tactics on top of his general over-the-top comic nature. Wilson’s performance in his episode, where he goes head-to-head with his former boss, is more well-rounded than his past submissions, and this may just be the year Wilson takes home his first Emmy.

Who should win (based on entire season): Rainn Wilson
Who should win (based on individual episodes): Rainn Wilson
Who will win: This strikes me as the year of Neil Patrick Harris, but it could easily go to Wilson, Morgan, or Cryer.

Next up: Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

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