Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

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

Anthony Anderson as Dre Johnson, Black-ish (What About Gary

This is the seventh consecutive nomination for Anderson, who has his show nominated again in the top race after a two-year absence. While he does have longevity going for him, he’ll likely have to wait for the next and final eighth season to truly compete. That said, his episode is a fun one that allows him the chance to cycle through his white cousin’s sudden interest in racial justice, a topic that should feel relevant for many viewers.

Michael Douglas as Sandy Kominsky, The Kominsky Method (Chapter 20. The round toes, of the high shoes)
This is Douglas’ third consecutive nomination for this role. Previously, he won an Emmy in 2013 for “Behind the Candelabra” and was previously nominated once for guesting on “Will and Grace” and three times for starring in “The Streets of San Francisco” in the 1970s. His show is now done after three seasons, and I’m glad that he submitted this solid showcase rather than the series finale. I don’t think he can beat Jason Sudeikis, but a career win for Douglas wouldn’t be all that shocking (or undeserved, in my opinion).

William H. Macy as Frank Gallagher, Shameless (Father Frank, Full of Grace)
Macy returns to this category after a two-year absence for his sixth bid for the show. He has seven additional previous nominations, and trophies for acting and writing in 2002’s “Door to Door.” I’m a big fan of Macy’s and his show, but it is hard to believe that, in its eleven years, he’s one of the only performers to be recognized. The series finale gives him a great chance to be both his over-the-top self and a bit nostalgic, but I don’t think the show has enough support for him to manage a win.

Jason Sudeikis as Ted Lasso, Ted Lasso (Pilot)
Sudeikis is a four-time Emmy nominee this year, contending here, for producing his show, and for writing two different episodes, including the pilot. Submitting the first episode of the show makes sense given how instantly beloved he is, and I don’t see anything going against Sudeikis for this win. He’s already picked up prizes from the Golden Globes, SAG, and the Critics Choice Association. An Emmy is definitely next.

Kenan Thompson as Kenan Williams, Kenan (Flirting)
Thompson is a double nominee this year, having earned his third consecutive bid for “Saturday Night Live.” He also has two previous nominations, one of which resulted in a win, for music and lyrics on that show. This bid, for his NBC sitcom, feels like him riding his reputation in a weak year, since neither his show nor his performance are particularly funny. His episode submission is more awkward than anything else, and I don’t see him competing strongly in this field.

Who should win (based on entire season): Sudeikis
Who should win (based on individual episodes): Sudeikis or Douglas
Who will win: This one is locked: it’s Sudeikis.

Next up: Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

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