The four hardest categories to predict in every Emmy cycle are the Comedy and Drama Guest Actor and Actress nominees. It’s difficult to anticipate if the Academy will name-check or really look through the submissions for those who stood out.
Last year The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel swept with Luke Kirby and Jane Lynch taking home the trophies. The good news—Lynch appears in too many episodes for season three and will have to compete in the Supporting Actress race. And on the men’s side Sterling K. Brown who would’ve been a possible frontrunner for Comedy Guest Actor also appeared in too many episodes and will also have to compete in Supporting. The rules stipulate that in order to qualify for guest a performer must appear in one episode less than half of the season. Also making a mistake was Dead to Me, in not submitting Katey Sagal. The buzz of Sagal appearing in her Married with Children daughters (Christina Applegate) show would’ve propelled her into the hunt for the trophy. And looking to “name-check” their way into some nominations is Amazon’s newest anthology series Modern Love.
My Predictions for Best Comedy Guest Actress:
- Wanda Sykes, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
- Maya Rudolph, The Good Place
- Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Saturday Night Live
- Judith Light, The Politician
- Jane Krakowski, Curb Your Enthusiasm
- Lisa Kudrow, The Good Place
Waller-Bridge was last years it-girl at the Emmys and should once again be a contender. Sykes, like Kirby last year ,will hope portraying a comedy legend (Moms Mabley) will not only translate into a nomination but a win after two previous nominations in this category for Black-ish. A modern comedian playing a comedy legend could equal Emmy. Krakowski is an Emmy favorite, but no one has ever won an acting Emmy for Curb. Rudolph is formidable to finally take home the prize after two previous nominations for The Good Place. And joining her could be Kudrow although she’s had trouble in the past earning Guest nominations after being snubbed for both Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Scandal.
Most Likely to Surprise: Bette Midler (The Politician), Valerie Mahaffey (Dead to Me), Alison Janney (The Kominsky Method) or Scarlett Johansson (Saturday Night Live).
Possible but not Probable: Tina Fey (Modern Love), Jane Lynch (Space Force), Bernadette Peters (Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist) or Vanessa Bayer (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
My Predictions Best Comedy Guest Actor
- Eddie Murphy, Saturday Night Live
- Luke Kirby, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
- Jon Hamm, Curb Your Enthusiasm
- John Mulaney, Saturday Night Live
- Victor Garber, Schitt’s Creek
- Zachary Levi, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Levi only appears in two episodes of Maisel but finally gets to tell Midge how he really felt about being ditched. Hamm faces the same problem as Krakowski no one has won an Emmy for their performance on Curb. Garber made a lasting impression as Moira’s (Catherine O’Hara) costar on “Sunrise Bay” aka the male Moira. Kirby hopes to repeat as Best Comedy Guest Actor but, Murphy has been the frontrunner since his return to SNL was announced.
Most Likely to Surprise: Fred Willard (Modern Family), Brad Pitt (Saturday Night Live), Jason Alexander (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) Mike O’Malley (The Good Place) or Larry David (Saturday Night Live).
Sh*t the Emmy’s love Schitt’s Creek: Dustin Milligan, John Hemphill, Rizwan Manji or Saul Rubinek.
With the exclusion of Rubinek the rest of the actors above are series regulars that qualify for the guest category. The most likely is Milligan who plays Ted everyone’s favorite vet and has a standout episode. Should Schitt’s Creek have more nominees in this category than Maisel or SNL than it’s a good bet the series will be a formidable to win Best Comedy Series.