Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

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

Louie Anderson as Christine Baskets, Baskets (Thanksgiving)
This is Anderson’s third consecutive nomination. He won two years ago for this role. Last year, he was joined by costar Zach Galifianakis, but now he’s on his own. His submitted episode gives Christine a fabulous showcase as she prepares for a lonely Thanksgiving only to be joined by many unexpected guests, who she hosts fantastically. It’s a great episode, one that could easily sway voters if they’re not sure who to select.

Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump, Saturday Night Live (Host: Donald Glover)
Last year’s winner in this category is back with his fourteenth career acting nomination, He won twice for “30 Rock” back in 2008 and 2009. Baldwin is immensely popular at the moment for his portrayal of Donald Trump on the variety sketch series, and he definitely hits it out of the park in his conversation with the real-life Stormy Daniels in the cold open of his submitted episode. That’s pretty much all he does though, so I’m not sure if he’ll be able to pull off a repeat win. It’s definitely possible – don’t rule him out.

Tituss Burgess as Titus Andromedon, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Kimmy and the Beest)
This is the fourth consecutive nomination for Burgess, who now represents his show’s only nomination besides Best Comedy Series. I remember writing when I saw this episode that this would make a lot of sense as Burgess’ submission since it gives him so much to do, but those who don’t watch regularly might have trouble understanding his very peculiar character. If he didn’t win for his caviar, pinot noir song, I don’t see how he could win now, but maybe he will, or maybe he’ll finally triumph when the remaining episodes of this show air next season.

Bryan Tyree Henry as Alfred Miles, Atlanta (Woods)
Henry earned a guest acting bid for “This Is Us” last year while missing out in this category. With his show’s nomination count more than doubled in year two, Henry is up for his portrayal of rapper Paper Boi, who in his submitted episode gets robbed and then wanders around through the woods experiencing more misery for the entirety of the half-hour. It’s definitely not a comedic performance, but if his show sweeps, which it could, he might just go along with the ride.

Tony Shalhoub as Abe Weissman, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Thank You and Good Night)
Shalhoub won three out of his eight consecutive bids for starring as an obsessive-compulsive detective on “Monk,” and he’s fresh off a Tony win for “The Band’s Visit.” Here, he plays a similarly buttoned-up individual, desperate to preserve the peaceful ways of his tranquil 1950s life. In the season finale, he can’t stand that developments in other people’s lives might affect his own. He’s entertaining and very funny, and I think that he’s experiencing a surge of popularity for his Broadway turn that, coupled with enthusiasm for this show, will likely propel him to a win.

Kenan Thompson as Various Characters, Saturday Night Live (Host: John Mulaney)
Everyone I’ve mentioned Thompson’s nomination to has responded with a certain respect for the fifteen seasons he’s put into this show as its longest-running cast member. He contended for music and lyrics for SNL last year and won that same award this year. He has a fun spotlight as a singing lobster in the standout sketch from his submitted episode, but honestly the reason he would win is the same reason he got nominated: a recognition of his commitment to the show. His material isn’t as funny as Baldwin’s, and I don’t think he’ll be able to take down any of the other nominees in this category.

Henry Winkler as Gene Cousineau, Barry (Chapter Four: Commit…to You?)
Winkler has five previous acting nominations, the first of which came in 1976, for “Happy Days,” and the most recent two, guest bids in drama and comedy in the same year, were in 2000. Now, he’s back for a regular TV role as the absurd acting coach Gene Cousineau. In his submitted episode, Cousineau gets to dissect Barry and (nearly) seduce the main detective working on the case. He’s a great actor who’s been working for decades, and giving him a win would be a perfect way to reward the much-liked HBO show.

Who should win (based on entire season): Shalhoub or Winkler
Who should win (based on individual episodes): Shalhoub, Winkler, or Anderson
Who will win: I’m going with Shalhoub over Winkler, though it could easily be him or almost any of the others.

Next up: Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

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