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2014 Emmy Analysis: Guest Actor and Actress in a Comedy Series (The Big Bang Theory, Veep, Shameless, Orange is the New Black!)

One of our Emmy Experts, Nicol, is back with analysis and predictions, this time for Guest Actor and Actress in a Comedy Series in which Guest Actor looks to be between the previous winners of the last two years in Bob Newhart and Jimmy Fallon. Guest Actress could be a battle between two Orange ladies, Laverne Cox and Uzo Aduba. But watch for perennial nominee Joan Cusack, competing in the comedy category for the first time after three straight nominations in Drama.

GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

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Gary Cole’s nomination is his reward. ‘Nuff said. I think his is the type of role that benefits more from the previous type of assessing this category (2006 and earlier) where they don’t submit tapes and more of the cumulative season long performance.

Louis C.K. has the weaker SNL episode between him and Fallon so I don’t see him winning as well. I mean if they’re gonna go with an SNL hosting stint then might as well go with the better episode and longer appearance which isn’t him.

Nathan Lane is in in his most used season as a guest star in Modern Family but I’m surprised that he decided to submit only the part 2 of the season finale as he’s allowed to submit the first part as well. Sure it was Elizabeth Banks who was the scene stealer in that one, but it’s not as if they’re competing in the same category. I think it’s a loss on his part to do submit only the second part and diminishes his chances for the win.

Buscemi is the dark horse in this category, as we don’t know how the panel will react to Portlandia, but he’s funny enough in his episode that maybe there’s a chance (albeit a small one) he can Kathy Bates a win in comedic guest acting to make up for all of his previous losses.

In the end, this is between 2012 and 2013 champs Jimmy Fallon and Bob Newhart for a second win. Jimmy follows the same template of his winning hosting ep and if anything, the only con he’ll have if we assess his tape is that not-submitted Justin Timberlake is in it as much as him, if not even more, since JT is the musical guest here. If that’s not a problem to the panel, then I can see giving him another Emmy for such. But then there’s Bob Newhart. Sure Newhart doesn’t have the “overdue” narrative on his side after finally winning his first Emmy last year for the same performance, but who says Emmy doesn’t need to catch up on him? While Fallon has the longer screentime, Bob has empathy, impact and physical comedy combined in his episode which dealt with his character’s death . It also doesn’t hurt that his is the last tape they’ll see before voting where he mixes comedy and drama in his submission. I can go back and forth between the two of them since they both make sense, but I’m giving the hair like advantage for a Bob repeat.

01. Bob Newhart, The Big Bang Theory – “The Proton Transmogrification”
02. Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live – “Host: Jimmy Fallon”
03. Steve Buscemi, Portlandia – “Celery”
04. Nathan Lane, Modern Family – “The Wedding, Part 2”
05. Louis C.K., Saturday Night Live – “Host: Louis C.K,”
06. Gary Cole, Veep – “Crate”

GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES

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Tina Fey is a filler here, and her nomination can be credited to some name checking. Aside from the Girls parody at the start of her episode, the focus of the whole season opener was to highlight the newbies of the cast and she pretty much played second fiddle (intentionally, maybe) to them given them the spotlight most of the time.

McCarthy continues to get nods for her SNL hosting and while her material continues to deteriorate over the years (I was once sure that falling down the stairs bit and the salad dressing tasting one two years ago would seal the deal), she still has the broadest comedy among six tapes here. If an SNL actress were to win, it will be her.

Joan Cusack benefits from the genre shift as her tape is comedic. She resorts to an alternate to help Frank’s liver transplant, but then the whole situation goes awry. Her last arc in the episode though is getting married to Frank while he’s in the hospital, clad in her wedding gown, and I can see that resonating well to voters since it was a riotous and hilarious approach.

Natasha Lyonne is the weakest among three Orange women. Sure she has her own flashback, but she was relegated to the dramatic scenes, and I don’t know how that will play out here.

Then there’s “Lesbian Request Denied.” Laverne Cox is clearly the star of this episode, and while I think it’s an open secret of some sort, not everyone is aware that it was her twin brother playing out the male scenes. I think people will think it’s both her and will help her with the OMG range factor. Like Lyonne, hers is more of the dramatic arc in her episode, but I think Cox has the complete arc in hers which puts her to an advantage.

Sure, Aduba is probably “unwise” to submit the same episode, but she provided the comic relief in between Cox’s storyline, and she’s one of the show’s breakout stars. One also must remember that Aduba ended the episode with her peeing in front of Chapman, and that’s the last bit they’ll see before the credits roll. I keep going back on forth between Aduba and Cox, but the deciding factor is that guest tapes aren’t edited this year so they have to go through 6 hours of episode here (well, 5 since a pair submitted the same episode), and in “Lesbian,” Cox just shined more than Aduba. She also has the narrative going for her, and that’s why I’m predicting her for the win.

01. Laverne Cox, Orange is the New Black – “Lesbian Request Denied”
02. Uzo Aduba, Orange is the New Black – “Lesbian Request Denied”
03. Melissa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live – “Host: Melissa McCarthy”
04. Joan Cusack, Shameless – “Liver, I Hardly Know Her”
05. Natasha Lyonne, Orange is the New Black – “The WAC Pack”
06. Tina Fey, Saturday Night Live – “Host: Tina Fey”