Friday, September 10, 2021

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.

Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump, Saturday Night Live (Host: Dave Chappelle)
This is Baldwin’s third time contending for playing Trump on NBC’s long-running variety series. He won in 2017 and was nominated again in 2018, both times in the supporting race. He also won twice previously for “30 Rock.” Yes, theoretically the episode where Trump officially lost the election should be gold for Baldwin, but he’s done this so often before that I think voters might want to send him home just as much as they do the real Trump. Having the episode’s host nominated too doesn’t help.

Dave Chappelle as Various Characters, Saturday Night Live (Host: Dave Chappelle)
Last time Chappelle was nominated for hosting this show – four years ago – he had yet to win an Emmy. Since then, he’s picked up four trophies, for that hosting job and for writing and producing variety specials. He’s also in contention for writing, directing, and producing one this year, “8:46.” He’s so at home and comfortable on stage, fully going into his own material and a serious take on the implications of another election and systemic racism in America. I think he’s likely to repeat.

Morgan Freeman as Himself, The Kominsky Method (Chapter 20. The round toes, of the high shoes)
The eighty-four-year-old actor has been nominated twice before, as a narrator in 2018 and an informational series producer in 2016. Now he’s cited for his acting, playing himself, first as an actor on a highly expected procedural and then as an old friend and potential rival for acting teacher Sandy Kominsky. It’s an entertaining if forgettable turn, and Freeman’s best odds probably come from being on a different show than the other four nominees.

Daniel Kaluuya as Various Characters, Saturday Night Live (Host: Daniel Kaluuya)
This is Kaluuya’s first Emmy nomination. He had a great year, winning an Oscar for “Judas and the Black Messiah,” and it’s very impressive to see the comedic range he displays in all of the skits in his hosted episode. He’s likeable and would be a fun choice, but he’s not all that showy, which might give some of his fellow nominees an edge.

Dan Levy as Various Characters, Saturday Night Live (Host: Dan Levy)
Levy won a staggering four Emmys last year as writer, director, producer, and star of the celebrated “Schitt’s Creek. Now, he’s back for a different comedic effort, one that finds him feeling right at home as a variety performer. It’s possible that residual love for his character and general personality could net him another trophy this time around.

Who should win (based on entire season): N/A
Who should win (based on individual episodes): Kaluuya or Levy
Who will win: I’m going with Chappelle.

Next up: Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series

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