Saturday, December 3, 2022

How To Win Your Emmy Pool: Outstanding Comedy Guest Actor & Actress

By Amanda Spears 

I’m taking you television fans through how to methodically make your Emmy predictions and win your pool. Previously we looked at Outstanding ComedyDramaLimited Series/TV Movie Writing and Directing, Casting & Drama Guest Actor and Actress. Next up is Outstanding Comedy Guest Actor and Actress.

Five years ago, the Emmys moved to a plurality vote replacing the more level playing field of 80-100 person panels. Since we spend more time watching television than a film, it’s easier to let our personal preferences affect our predictions as we try to manifest a win for our favorites.

The acting categories are where stats can only take you so far – instinct and buzz also matter. If there are two categories on the comedy side where anything can happen, it’s the Outstanding Comedy Guest Actor and Actress races. Hollywood A-listers and a posthumous nominee make these difficult to predict. Let’s take a look at how to predict the winners for Outstanding Comedy Guest Actor and Actress based on recent trends.

OUTSTANDING COMEDY GUEST ACTOR NOMINEES
Adam Driver, “Saturday Night Live”
Luke Kirby, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Eddie Murphy, “Saturday Night Live”
Dev Patel, “Modern Love”
Brad Pitt, “Saturday Night Live”
Fred Willard, “Modern Family”

​OUTSTANDING COMEDY GUEST ACTRESS NOMINEES
Angela Bassett, “A Black Lady Sketch Show”
Bette Midler, “The Politician”
Maya Rudolph, “The Good Place”
Maya Rudolph, “Saturday Night Live”
Wanda Sykes, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, “Saturday Night Live”

Since 2018, on the Comedy side, your series has to be nominated if you’re going to win anything – with the exception of “Saturday Night Live”. This narrows the field down to…

Outstanding Comedy Guest Actor
Adam Driver, “Saturday Night Live”
Luke Kirby, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Eddie Murphy, “Saturday Night Live”
Brad Pitt, “Saturday Night Live”
Fred Willard, “Modern Family”

Outstanding Comedy Guest Actress
Angela Bassett, “A Black Lady Sketch Show”
Maya Rudolph, “The Good Place”
Maya Rudolph, “Saturday Night Live”
Wanda Sykes, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, “Saturday Night Live”

“The Politician” and “Modern Love” did not receive a series nomination eliminating only two. Willard, the posthumous nominee, and a member of Christopher Guest acting troupe along with the likes of nominees Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara, cannot be eliminated as a possibility. 

Kirby may be the reigning winner, but only Mel Brooks (“Mad About You” 1997-1999) won this category three times consecutively. The odds are not in his favor. Trimming the field a little more eliminates SNL nominees Waller-Bridge and Driver. Neither has the buzz from their respective episodes to be top of voters’ minds. Bassett is the actors-actor in her category, but “Black Lady” will need time to be a bigger threat and not in a presidential election year where “SNL” has always excelled. This leaves the state of the races as…

​Outstanding Comedy Guest Actor
Eddie Murphy, “Saturday Night Live”
Brad Pitt, “Saturday Night Live”
Fred Willard, “Modern Family”

Outstanding Comedy Guest Actress
Maya Rudolph, “The Good Place”
Maya Rudolph, “Saturday Night Live”
Wanda Sykes, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

Murphy has been the front runner since he was announced as the host of the holiday episode. But does the television academy like Murphy? We know the film academy does not. Things seemed to be going Murphy’s way until Pitt entered the conversation playing Doctor Anthony Fauci, at his request. Pitt is on a hot streak after winning the Oscar Outstanding Supporting Actor earlier in the year. Will either be the clear choice? Or will they split the vote? If they do, who is likely to benefit?

Willard passed away earlier this year. His submission, “Legacy,” is a fantasy for anyone who’s ever lost a parent. Willard and his son, Phil (Ty Burrell), have one last great day together. For a topsy-turvy season of “Modern Family,” this was their best episode. Willard has been nominated four times previously, and should he lose, he would tie Nathan Lane for most nominations without a win. Even in a plurality vote, the academy hasn’t been very nostalgic. Carrie Fisher also received a posthumous Comedy Guest Actress nomination for “Catastrophe” (2015) and lost.

A few weeks ago, Rudolph seemed destined to cancel herself out of this race. Rudolph was thrown a lifeline when the candidate she portrays on “SNL,” Kamala Harris, was selected as the Democratic Vice Presidential nominee. But Rudolph is on her third consecutive nomination for “The Good Place” and will get votes for her all-powerful Judge. Standing in her way is Sykes. Like Kirby in Outstanding Comedy Guest Actor, she plays a real-life comedy legend, Moms Mabley. Sykes, like Rudolph, has been nominated in this category previously for “Black-ish” (2017-2018), but this time around is a real threat to win.

OUTSTANDING COMEDY GUEST ACTOR PREDICTIONS
1. Eddie Murphy, “Saturday Night Live”
2. Fred Willard, “Modern Family”
3. Brad Pitt, “Saturday Night Live”
4. Luke Kirby, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
5. Adam Driver, “Saturday Night Live”
6. Dev Patel, “Modern Love”

OUTSTANDING COMEDY GUEST ACTRESS PREDICTIONS
1. Wanda Sykes, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
2. Maya Rudolph, “Saturday Night Live”
3. Maya Rudolph, “The Good Place”
4. Angela Bassett, “A Black Lady Sketch Show”
5. Bette Midler, “The Politician”
6. Phoebe Waller-Bridge, “Saturday Night Live”

​Do you agree or disagree with my logic? What are you predicting to win the Emmys for Outstanding Guest Actor & Actress in a Comedy Series? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below or on our Twitter account. Stay tuned for more articles on the Emmys as I finalize my predictions.

You can follow Amanda and hear more of her thoughts on the Emmys and TV on Twitter at @msamandaspears

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