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Emmys 2012: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

July 5, 2012

Ahh, the Emmys. Every year, I hope that the NATAS gets it right. Every year they prove that there isn’t a “right.” I guess I should just let it be. We know the same people get nominated year after year (whether deserved or not). We know that some of the best performances will be overlooked (because that’s just the way it is). And we know that people who write about television will always make lists. Here’s mine.

Here’s how we’ll play it this year: I am working from the Emmy ballots that were sent out to NATAS members. That means, if Kaley Cuoco wants to reposition herself as a supporting actress instead of lead actress, I won’t complain. It is what it is. The voting has ended, as of last week, and now we’re just waiting to see who makes it into the magic six. The nominees will be announced on July 19.

Up next, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. With comedy surging right now – as well as lumping in the dramas posing as comedies – there are lots of options. Now, I have to narrow them down. The gallery below does just that.

ActorsMax GreenfieldJake Johnson

ShowNew Girl

Pros: A new show that was supposed to be all about Zooey Deschanel, but became an ensemble comedy instead? One of the most buzzed-about new shows of the season? Yeah, of course they should be in contention.

Cons: Modern Family will take up four slots. That doesn’t create a lot of wiggle room for everyone else.

Bottom Line: Greenfield should get nominated. He could actually win if he does.

 
 Actors: Jack McBrayerTracy Morgan

Show30 Rock

Pros: 30 Rock had a creative resurgence this year and either/or could benefit from it.

ConsModern Family will take up four slots. That doesn’t create a lot of wiggle room for everyone else. Maybe. Maybe not.

Bottom Line: I’m not holding my breath. I’d prefer Wayans or Hickey to sneak in.

ActorJames Van Der Beek

ShowDon’t Trust the B—-In Apartment 23

Pros: Playing yourself is funny. It made me re-like Matt LeBlanc on Episodes. It’s made me re-like Van Der Beek on Apt. 23. It sounds easy, but my money says it’s much harder to do than you’d think. I tuned in because of the name, but stuck around because it’s a pretty good show and VDB is doing his thing.

Cons: Of course, Modern Family will take up four slots. That doesn’t create a lot of wiggle room for everyone else. And he’s got to overcome that Dawson image before he can get a nomination.

Bottom Line: He’s not getting a nomination, but having people place him on short lists like this is certainly good for his reputation.

Actor: James Benjamin Hickey

ShowThe Big C

Pros: He and Gabourey Sidibe do the heavy lifting on the comedy portion of this dramedy. He’s funny and quite a talented performer.

ConsModern Family will take up four slots. That doesn’t create a lot of wiggle room for everyone else. Besides, The Big C is a Laura Linney vehicle.

Bottom Line: Won’t happen, but would certainly be cool if it did.

 

ActorsDamon Wayans, Jr.Zachary Knighton, Adam Pally

ShowHappy Endings

Pros: They turned a good show into an excellent show. You’ll notice I nominated the girls as well. There’s a reason for that. This cast has found its rhythm and is cranking out funny.

ConsModern Family will take up four slots. That doesn’t create a lot of wiggle room for everyone else. That being said, Wayans is one to watch. He comes from comedy royalty, was so good on New Girl’s pilot that his successor still hasn’t managed to impress and is damn good on this show.

Bottom Line: I have my fingers crossed that Wayans breaks in this year.

ActorsDonald GloverDanny Pudi

ShowCommunity

Pros: These two represent the best comedy pairing since Fey and Poehler. If for nothing else, the Christmas rap should generate a special Grammy nomination. Something. Hell.

Cons: Community doesn’t get nominated for Emmys, no matter how worthy the performances are.

Bottom Line: I doubt it will happen. That being said, I live for these guys. They crack me up.

ActorsTy BurrellEric Stonestreet, Ed O’Neill, Jesse Tyler Ferguson

ShowModern Family

Pros: Take a look. These guys represent ballots 1, 2, 3 & 4. That’s as sure a thing as someone asking me for change when I walk down any given street in my neighborhood.

Cons: Absolutely not. Come on, now.

Bottom Line: No need in talking about this.

Actor: Atticus Shaffer

ShowThe Middle

Pros: This little human is hilarious. Simply put.

ConsModern Family will take up four slots. That doesn’t create a lot of wiggle room for everyone else. And it won’t be for this guy.

Bottom Line: Not a chance. I was throwing him a bone.

 

Actor: Chris Colfer

ShowGlee

Pros: The former Golden Globe winner has been nominated twice before for this role and it’s certainly the most showy of the Glee performances. It’s also a dramatic role. He’ll probably make the ballot one more time.

Cons: Not a lot. After those four nods for Modern Family, he’s pretty much clinched the fifth one.

Bottom Line: I wouldn’t vote for him, but he’s in.

Actor: Nick Offerman

ShowParks and Recreation

Pros: A fan favorite that’s been consistently overlooked on what many consider to be the best comedy on TV, Offerman not only deserves a seat at the big table, but has earned it. He would be a shoo-in if it weren’t for the fact that…

Cons: … Modern Family will take up four slots. That doesn’t create a lot of wiggle room for everyone else. He’s fighting for one of only two spaces.

Bottom Line:Fingers are crossed. He’s on my ballot. Lets see how far that gets him.

 

Actor: Tony Hale

ShowVeep

Pros: As the sycophantic aide Gary, Hale hilariously is ready to “take a bullet” for the Vice President, despite being outside the inner circle. Every scene with his chaotic chaos front and center is a winner.

ConsModern Family will take up four slots. That doesn’t create a lot of wiggle room for everyone else. And, Veep is unproven entity that is all about Julia Louis-Dreyfus. He’s only in if there is a swell of support for the show.

Bottom Line: It’s doubtful.

Actor: Donis Leonard, Jr.

ShowHouse of Lies

Pros: Taking a new spin on the current accessory of choice for cable comedy, the gay son, Leonard’s Roscoe is not only clearly sexually confused (he does like both boys and girls, after all), but also wears girls’ clothing. Beyond the gimmick, though, is a little boy who’s heart-broken over having two assholes as parents, and they couldn’t even stay together. He honestly shines in every scene he’s in.

ConsModern Family will take up four slots. That doesn’t create a lot of wiggle room for everyone else. And it certainly won’t be for a kid on a show that might as well be called “Don Cheadle’s Showtime Show.”

Bottom Line: Nope. But I say keep an eye on this kid.

Which six (6) actors would you nominate for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series?

Check out these:

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

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Not following me on Twitter yet? Get on the sofa: @josephrileyland

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