Emmy Circuit: In Supporting Actor Comedy the Men Get to Show Off


Welcome to the 2019 Emmy Circuit series, where we analyze and predict all your favorite TV series and their chances with the Television Academy (at least at this time of publishing).  The series examines the shows and performances about their awards potential, most notably the Emmy Awards.  Emmy nomination voting opens June 10 and closes on June 24.  The official Emmy nominations will be announced on Tuesday, July 16 while the ceremony airs on FOX Sunday, Sept. 22.  All Emmy pieces run with the following schedule: Mondays (Dramas), Tuesdays (Network Spotlight), Wednesdays (Comedies), Thursdays (Network Spotlight), Fridays (Limited Series, Variety Series, Below-the Lines).


Today’s Emmy Circuit Series will be an in-depth look at the potential nominees for Outstanding Supporting Actor Comedy. With so many standout performances, this is an extremely competitive category.

Last year, Henry Winkler won the award for HBO’s “Barry.” In season two, the actor continues to give an amazing performance as the acting coach to a contract killer. Given his stellar work, Winkler should secure a nomination for the show’s second year.

In Amazon Prime’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,Tony Shalhoub, a veteran television actor, and three-time Emmy winner, delivers some of his best work as the exasperated father of the title character. In a show led by women, Shalhoub shows he can be a supporting player and still stand out.

NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” is living vicariously through the country’s president and had another well-received season. Alec Baldwin, his wig, Beck Bennett and Kenan Thompson are definite standouts. Baldwin and Thompson received nominations last year, and Baldwin won for his debut as Trump in 2017. There is a very solid chance fans will see at least one spot going to an “SNL” cast member.

Louis Anderson of FX’s “Baskets” has been nominated for Supporting Actor Comedy for all three seasons of the show, and he won the award his first year. Anderson has managed to be the breakout in a show that stars Zach Galifianakis. He plays the mom of Galifianakis’ Chip and Dale Baskets, which makes the role even more memorable.

It should be mentioned FX’s “Atlanta” has delayed its third season. Therefore, Brian Tyree Henry, a nominee last year, will be sitting this year out. The vacancy leaves a spot open for one lucky actor who was not nominated in 2018.


Tituss Burgess on Netflix’s “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”

This is the last season for the Netflix comedy “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” On the show, Tituss Burgess plays Kimmy’s flamboyant roommate. Burgess has managed to score four consecutive Emmy nominations for Supporting Actor Comedy. This will be the academy’s final chance to award the talented actor.

This is also “Veep’s” last year for eligibility, but this is more than just about the ending of the critically acclaimed series, it’s about a triumphant return as well. Louis-Dreyfus’s public battle with cancer and the show’s year-long hiatus will most assuredly be on the minds of voters as they choose nominees in all categories. The men of “Veep” will certainly be cashing in on the “sentimental” strategy.


The Men from HBO’s “Veep”

The Emmys love “Veep,” and as result, the series has been showered with praise and awards since its first season in 2012. Standout Tony Hale has managed to score a Supporting Actor Comedy nomination every season except the first. Hale won the award in 2013 and 2015. With his track record, Hale should have no problem scoring a nomination for the show’s final season. But the question is, can “Veep” take more than one spot in this category?

Matt Walsh, who plays the Vice President’s Director of Communications, managed to score nominations for seasons five and six. Reid Scott, Timothy Simons, Kevin Dunn, and Sam Richardson would all be looking for their first nominations. With so much talent, and no time left, how many spots can they take?


Alan Arkin and his co-star Michael Douglas in Netflix’s “The Kominsky Method”

Oscar winner Alan Arkin has been through the awards season circuit many times. He was previously nominated for two acting Emmys, once in 1966 for “ABC Stage 67” and again in 1997 for a guest role on CBS’s “Chicago Hope.” Arkin definitely holds rank and seniority here, but his show “The Kominsky Method” is in its freshman season. For his work on the Netflix original series, Arkin has received nominations from the Screen Actors Guild and the Golden Globes. With so much love for the actor, Arkin is all but guaranteed one of the coveted spots in Supporting Actor Comedy.

This year, Showtime premiered the historical comedy series “Black Monday.” The show is about the trading firm that was responsible for crashing the stock market in 1987. Andrew Rannells would be the one to watch in this category, although the show’s mediocre reviews may hurt his chances.


Marc Maron in Netflix’s “GLOW”

In last week’s Supporting Actress Comedy rundown, “GLOW’s” Betty Gilpin was mentioned as a next-in-line contender. For the Supporting Actor Comedy category, “GLOW” is still the show to watch. In this female-driven series, Marc Maron delivers a layered performance as the curmudgeon director of the female wrestling show. Unlike Gilpin, Maron will probably miss a seat at the table this year, but with series like “Veep” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” closing up shop, there will be more than enough room next year.


The Cast of ABC’s “Modern Family”

ABC’s “Modern Family” once ruled the Emmys. In its early seasons, the men of “Modern Family” were taking three or four of the nomination spots in the Supporting Actor Comedy. Eric Stonestreet (three-time nominee, two-time winner), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (five-time nominee), Ty Burrell (eight-time nominee, two-time winner), and TV veteran Ed O’Neill (three-time nominee) are, collectively, a force to be reckoned with. But with none of the actors scoring nominations last year, their time may have passed.

Sean Hayes, Jack on NBC’s “Will and Grace,” was nominated in this category seven out of eight seasons during the show’s original run and won for the show’s second season. Missing out last year when the series was riding the “We’re Back!” wave, was a big hit. Hayes is hoping to be invited back this year, as he had a terrific season that saw Jack finally make a commitment to another person (No, not Will!).

Other well-known figures should never be far from our minds when considering Supporting Actor Comedy. Emmy winner Andre Braugher (Fox’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”), Sam Waterson and Martin Sheen (Netflix’s “Grace and Frankie”), and Laurence Fishburne (NBC’s “Black-ish”) are all bonafide stars who may be able to cash in!


  1. Alan Arkin (“The Kominsky Method”)
  2. Tony Hale (“Veep”)
  3. Henry Winkler (“Barry”)
  4. Tony Shalhoub (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”)
  5. Tituss Burgess (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”)
  6. Kenan Thompson (“Saturday Night Live”)

Who are your picks for Supporting Actor Comedy? Let us know in the Comments Below!