Sunday, September 6, 2015

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Guest Actor in a Comedy Series

Nominees are listed in alphabetical order. Submitted episode titles are in parentheses. Beware of minor spoilers for listed episodes.

Mel Brooks as Himself, The Comedians (Celebrity Guest)
Brooks is a comedy legend, and his guest spot on this now-cancelled FX series is perfect. Playing himself, he decides that he won’t come on to Billy and Josh’s variety series to help spike the ratings, and in the process, makes a few hilarious comments, particularly about Josh Gad changing his name to Josh Grad. It’s a very funny performance that may be just what Emmy voters want.

Louis C.K. as Various Characters, Saturday Night Live (Host: Louis C.K.)
C.K. is back again for the third time in a row for hosting SNL, and also nominated once again for starring in his FX series. C.K. pretty much just gets to do whatever he wants on the show, delivering a lengthy opening monologue before launching into humorous parts in all the skits. I don’t know why he’d win this year over any other, but it’s possible.

Paul Giammati as Juror #10, Inside Amy Schumer (12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer)
Giamatti has earned a few Emmy nominations over the past decade, most recently for his brief guest spot on “Downton Abbey” last year. He’s one of a handful of performers who play jury members on Schumer’s parody that has the men voting on whether she is hot enough for TV. He’s not the standout, with other actors proving much funnier and more participatory, so I would be surprised if he won.

Bill Hader as Various Characters, Saturday Night Live (Host: Bill Hader)
Hader was nominated twice, in 2012 and 2013, in the supporting race when he was a regular cast member. Now, he’s moved on to starring in films, and his castmates are more than thrilled to have him back in this hosting gig. I cracked up a number of times watching his episode, and the best part is that he too laughs quite a bit, entertained at the hilarity of his material. I think he might win!

Jon Hamm as Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Kimmy Makes Waffles!)
Hamm has been nominated before in this race for “30 Rock” and is also nominated in the drama actor race this year for the final season of “Mad Men.” Hamm’s performance as a cult leader on Netflix’s comedy is truly terrific, and his episode finds him serving as his own attorney and making absurd arguments. I’m not sure how well his show will land with voters, but it would be cool to see Hamm win for this very funny performance (though not at the expense of a victory for the role that made him famous).

Bradley Whitford as Marcy, Transparent (Best New Girl)
Whitford won an Emmy over a decade ago for his work on “The West Wing.” Now he’s back for playing the one kindred spirit Maura had while he was still living as a closeted man years earlier. It’s a relatively dramatic performance and not one that’s likely to stand out to voters, but a solid turn nonetheless. I would have nominated Whitford for his more substantial role on “Happyish.”

Who should win (based on entire season): N/A
Who should win (based on individual episodes): Brooks, Hader, or Hamm
Who will win: I think it will be Brooks over Hader.

Next up: Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series

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