Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series has often been a category that has allowed for dominance across a couple of years. Alex Borstein, Kate McKinnon, Allison Janney and Julie Bowen have all won across two consecutive years in recent ceremonies, with only Merritt Weaver, Jane Lynch and Annie Murphy proving to be one-off winners since the turn of the 2010’s (Had Schitt’s Creek had one more season, Murphy would have undoubtedly joined the list of repeat winners). With so many new shows and contenders this year, there’s one likely observation to be made – whoever emerges victorious is likely to repeat in the years to come.
This category has three top clear contenders, but choosing between them is a near impossible task, and a choice that I don’t envy the Emmy voters in having to make. Let’s take a look at the current state of the race.
AIDY BRYANT, various characters / Saturday Night Live / NBC / Episode: “Host: Regé-Jean Page”
Bryant is double nominated this year having found herself competing in Lead Comedy Actress for Shrill, meaning that the television Academy are clearly a fan of the talented comedian and actress. She’s found herself in this category before and just like last time, is nominated alongside co-star Kate McKinnon. While Bryant has done stellar work, she’s the least likely winner here because of the strength of her competitors and their shows.
KATE MCKINNON, various characters / Saturday Night Live / NBC / Episode: “Host: Bill Burr”
While McKinnon is not as strong in this category as previous years, it’s always worth noting that the Academy have had tendency to return to previous winners before in other categories, especially in such a tight race. McKinnon won this category back-to-back in 2016 and 2017 at the height of her acclaim for portraying Hillary Clinton among others, and there’s no doubt some section of voters still adore her performances every Saturday. She’s far ahead of her SNL co-stars in this battle, however while it wouldn’t be a shocker, a win is unlikely given the strength of the three major contenders.
CECILY STRONG, various characters / Saturday Night Live / NBC / Episode: “Host: Anya Taylor-Joy”
Strong returns to this category for a second consecutive year and has submitted the episode that she appears in with Anya Taylor-Joy. Much like her SNL co-stars, the strength of shows such as Ted Lasso and Hacks makes her an improbable contender, however it’s clear she’s on the Academy’s radar with these consecutive nominations, and a win might not be out of the question down the road.
HANNAH EINBINDER, Ava Daniels / Hacks / HBO Max / Episode: “I Think She Will”
The first of our three major contenders, Einbinder is terrific in Hacks, sharing scenes with the legendary Jean Smart and very much proving she’s up to the task. She’s a highlight of the series and has submitted the season finale which is sure to win over voters who may not have watched straight away. Her show is certainly next in line behind Ted Lasso, and with Jean Smart a strong contender in Comedy Actress, a win for Einbinder too could be a great way for the Television Academy to declare their admiration for the show, and ensure it doesn’t get overshadowed on the night by its fierce competitor.
ROSIE PEREZ, Megan Briscoe / The Flight Attendant / HBO Max / Episode: “Arrivals and Departures”
The second of our three strong frontrunners, Perez is a highlight in The Flight Attendant and much like Einbinder, she doesn’t have a co-star to contend with. Perez has been nominated three times prior – for choreography – and has the prestige of an Oscar nomination to her name too, for the 1993 drama Fearless. With such fine margins between the frontrunners, Perez could very easily be the name that stands out on the ballot the most for her undeniable talent and versatility, as well as a way for voters to turn their love for The Flight Attendant into Emmy gold.
JUNO TEMPLE, Keeley Jones / Ted Lasso / Apple TV+ / Episode: “For the Children”
The first of the two Ted Lasso women, Juno Temple gives a fun performance as Keeley and absolutely has her fans within the Academy. However, her nomination feels more of an indication of the love and passion Emmy voters have for the show itself, and despite a good submission, if a lady from Ted Lasso is walking away with a trophy it will be…
HANNAH WADDINGHAM, Rebecca Welton / Ted Lasso / Apple TV+ / Episode: “All Apologies”
Waddingham plays an integral part of the show as Rebecca, and her character has a great arc throughout the first season that allows her to show off her impressive range. The buzz around Ted Lasso is undeniable and a sweep akin to Schitt’s Creek last year feels more of an inevitability as the days progress. She has the strength in performance and would undoubtedly be a worthy winner. Her only downside is that Perez and Einbinder are equally as terrific, and voters may be conscious of ticking off too many Ted Lasso victories on their ballot, that they could choose this category to spread the wealth just a little. It’s an exciting race, one that Waddingham has the edge in, but one that she’s not won just yet.
Prediction: Hannah Waddingham – Ted Lasso
Preference: Hannah Einbinder – Hacks
Sleeper: Rose Perez – The Flight Attendant
1) Hannah Waddingham – Ted Lasso
2) Hannah Einbinder – Hacks
3) Rosie Perez – The Flight Attendant
4) Kate McKinnon – Saturday Night Live
5) Cecily Strong – Saturday Night Live
6) Aidy Bryant – Saturday Night Live
7) Juno Temple – Ted Lasso