Saturday, September 8, 2018

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series

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

Tina Fey as Various Characters, Saturday Night Live (Host: Tina Fey)
Fey has been nominated for at least one Emmy every year since 2007. This is her seventh nomination in this category alone, which she won in 2009 on her own and with co-host Amy Poehler in 2016. There’s no denying quite how popular Fey is and how at home she feels on the show, but this is hardly her funniest or most memorable appearance, in part because Sarah Palin is a thing of the past and the political juggernauts of today are being played by others. She’s always a threat to win, but I don’t see it happening this year.

Tiffany Haddish as Various Characters, Saturday Night Live (Host: Tiffany Haddish)
Haddish is up for her first Emmy award this year, making history as the first female African-American stand-up comedian to host SNL. Haddish has a very particular brand of comedy which allows her to be loud and do whatever she feels like, and it seems that she’s beloved enough in Hollywood to get plenty of roles based on it. She would definitely be a fun person to see on stage at the Emmys, and I think she has a decent shot to win.

Jane Lynch as Sophie Lennon, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Put That On Your Plate!)
This is the eleventh overall nomination for Lynch, who was been recognized with at least one bid almost consistently since 2010, winning once for “Glee,” twice for hosting “Hollywood Game Night,” for which she also contends this year, and last year for the short form series “Dropping the Soap.” Lynch is surprisingly subdued as a comedienne who is much more serious than her act makes others believe. If her show is popular enough, which it’s likely to be given its fourteen-nomination haul, she may just get the votes she needs.

Maya Rudolph as Judge Gen, The Good Place (The Burrito)
Rudolph was previously nominated in this category for hosting SNL in 2012. I’m so thrilled that she’s here, since her appearance on one of TV’s best comedies was completely hilarious. Inexplicably, it’s one of just two categories in which the show was nominated, but Rudolph completely encapsulates the show’s brilliance as a judge who’s equally interested in the eternal fate of a few dead people and eating her burrito. I’d vote for her, and I hope voters do too, though the measly nominations total for her show signals to me that it’s unlikely.

Molly Shannon as Val Bassett, Will and Grace (There’s Something About Larry)
Shannon was nominated in this category five years ago and also contended in a now-defunct category in 2000 for individual variety performance on SNL. She now represents one of just five nominations that her returning show earned. She gets to go all out and have a lot of fun in her submitted episode, where she’s way too into trying to be Karen’s friend and wants to go head-to-head with Jack for her attention. The lackluster reception to the show probably negates her chances, and I don’t see her being the first to win this award for her show after five previous nominations by other women.

Wanda Sykes as Daphne Lido, Black-ish (Juneteenth)
Sykes was nominated for this role last year, and won an Emmy as part of the writing team for “The Chris Rock Show” back in 1999. Her submission of the season premiere doesn’t make a lot of sense to me since she barely appears in it and only really cracks one joke. If the show was hotter and she had even one more scene, she might have a shot, but I can’t imagine anyone will vote for her based on this.

Who should win (based on entire season): N/A
Who should win (based on individual episodes): Rudolph
Who will win: I’m honestly not sure. I think it will probably be Lynch, but it could be Haddish or maybe someone else?

Next up: Winners in the guest acting categories will be handed out this weekend at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards. Predictions for all other categories coming later this week!

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