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Awards Season

A Look at the Emmy Episodes for Comedy Actors

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A Look at the Emmy Episodes for Comedy Actors
Photo Source: ABC

Yesterday, we took a look at the episodes submitted by actors nominated for an Emmy Award in the drama categories. Here's a look at the comedy performances.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Alec Baldwin – “30 Rock” ("Live from Studio 6H")
Don Cheadle – “House of Lies” ("Gods of Dangerous Financial Instruments")
Louis C.K. – “Louie” ("Duckling")
Jon Cryer – “Two and a Half Men” ("Frodo's Headshots")
Larry David – “Curb Your Enthusiasm” ("Palestinian Chicken")
Jim Parsons – “The Big Bang Theory” ("The Werewolf Transformation")

I had thought Alec Baldwin was the frontrunner in this category, but he chose to submit a live episode of “30 Rock”…and those episodes don’t really reflect the show at its best. Maybe he thinks he’ll win points for the live factor, but not likely. Instead, this might be Larry David’s chance to finally score—Tom O’Neil, who runs the prediction site Gold Derby certainly thinks so. In this piece on Huffington Post, he points out that not only did David submit a great episode, it’s perhaps the most likable his curmudgeonly character has ever been.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Zooey Deschanel – “New Girl” ("Bad in Bed")
Lena Dunham – “Girls” ("She Did")
Edie Falco – “Nurse Jackie” ("Disneyland Sucks")
Tina Fey – “30 Rock” ("The Tuxedo Begins")
Julia Louis-Dreyfus – “Veep” ("Tears")
Melissa McCarthy – “Mike and Molly” ("The Dress")
Amy Poehler – “Parks and Recreation” ("Win, Lose or Draw")

Still the hardest category to call. With seven nominees, all of whom have dedicated followings, it could go in any direction. The strongest overall episode probably belongs to Amy Poehler for her “Parks and Recreation” selection, “Win, Lose or Draw.” Not only did Poheler do her usual priceless comedy in the season finale, but the final scenes elicited some real tears when her character learned the results of her election. It’s not coincidence this episode was also nominated for a writing Emmy.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Ty Burrell – “Modern Family” ("Lifetime Supply")
Jesse Tyler Ferguson – “Modern Family” ("Leap Day")
Max Greenfield – “New Girl” ("Control")
Bill Hader – “Saturday Night Live” ("Host: Katy Perry")
Ed O'Neill – “Modern Family” ("Baby on Board")
Eric Stonestreet – “Modern Family” ("Treehouse")

The season finale of “Modern Family,” entitled “Baby on Board,” is definitely an Emmy episode—for Sofia Vergara. Why Ed O’Neill chose it as his episode and Vergara didn’t is a mystery. Still, O’Neill is strong in the episode (which ends with Vergara’s Gloria realizing she’s pregnant), and I still believe it’s his year. Personally, I would have gone with “Planes, Trains and Cars,” which is much more centered on O’Neill’s character, Jay, and features his best line all season, “Who’s up for a hobo adventure?”

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Mayim Bialik – “The Big Bang Theory” ("The Shiny Trinket Maneuver")
Julie Bowen – “Modern Family” ("Go Bullfrogs!")
Kathryn Joosten – “Desperate Housewives” ("Finishing the Hat")
Merritt Wever – “Nurse Jackie” ("One-Armed Jacks")
Kristen Wiig – “Saturday Night Live” ("Host: Mick Jagger")
Sofia Vergara – “Modern Family” ("Tableau Vivant")

Though I believe Sofia Vergara is the front-runner, she didn’t choose “Baby on Board” as her submission episode, opting for the “Tableau Vivant,” where Gloria’s jealousy comes through when Jay seems to prefer a diner waitress over her. With so many “Modern Family” cast members nominated, it almost doesn’t matter—judges will end up watching several episodes.

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