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Emmy Analysis: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

The category of Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, for many this year, feels like it’s a pretty simple one. And, to be quite honest, it kind of is. But I’ve been in the predicting game for quite some time and I’ve learned that no matter how secure it feels, there’s always room for an upset. And with 5 icons facing off against each other, it is worth considering each of our nominees in the category.

Anthony Anderson as Andre “Dre” Johnson for black-ish (ABC)

In his 7th consecutive nomination for his performance in the sitcom black-ish, you’d think that Anthony Anderson is in a prime position to win, especially considering that even when the show isn’t embraced in the Outstanding Comedy Series category, he’s still there. The show, however, has never actually won an above the line Emmy before. And this year, the show wasn’t embraced above the line outside of Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for Tracee Ellis Ross and Anderson. Considering the Comedy side of the Emmys this year showing more passion for the new shows, and black-ish airing its eighth and final season next year, we’re probably gonna have to wait one more year to see Anderson receive his Emmy.

Michael Douglas as Sandy Kominsky for The Kominsky Method (Netflix)

Another returning favourite, Michael Douglas receives his third consecutive Emmy nomination for the third and final season of The Kominsky Method. And Douglas is undoubtedly a legend in the industry, winning several awards, including two Academy Awards, an Emmy, six Golden Globes, including a Globe for his performance in The Kominsky Method in 2019. Unfortunately, Douglas falls into a very similar issue that I discussed with Anderson. The show itself wasn’t embraced outside of Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for Paul Reiser and Douglas. It being the last season could definitely help out Douglas here, but with the show fading from popularity, I’d be pretty surprised if he pulled an upset here. 

William H. Macy as Frank Gallagher for Shameless (Showtime)

Another returning favourite, William H. Macy receives his 7th nomination for his performance in Shameless. This nomination is for the 11th and final season and Macy has never won an Emmy for this show, despite having won 3 Screen Actors Guild awards for the show. This being the season finale, you’d think that this would be the year that Macy would receive his Emmy. However, Macy is the shows only nomination this year, and while it didn’t receive the negative reception that the 10th season got, this season was still relatively mixed.

Kenan Thompson as Kenan Williams on Kenan (NBC)

Who doesn’t love Kenan Thompson? He’s the longest lasting cast member on Saturday Night Live, having been on the show since 2003, but has never won an Emmy in the supporting category. When his show Kenan aired, it felt like there was a lot of goodwill going towards Thompson which could lead to him finally winning an acting Emmy…in the supporting category for SNL. The show Kenan doesn’t feel like it has enough eyes for Thompson to actually pull off the upset here.

Jason Sudeikis as Ted Lasso for Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)

I don’t know what I can say about Jason Sudeikis’ charming and wonderful performance in this breakout hit that hasn’t been said a million times already. Sudeikis bulldozed through winter awards, winning the SAG, Golden Globe and Critics Choice. Not even Eugene Levy’s performance in Schitt’s Creek could stop Sudeikis. On top of that, the second season is currently airing on Apple TV+ to rave reviews. What Sudeikis’ character represents at a time of extreme negativity and hopelessness is also a huge factor in what made this show such a breakout, which earned the show a whopping 13 nominations above the line.

This category really does feel inevitable. Sudeikis is undoubtedly number 1, and the biggest, most glaring advantage that Sudeikis has can be summed up by this one question: Who’s number 2? Deep down, if someone is going to beat Sudeikis, who would it be? Everybody’s going to give you a different answer, but let’s be honest here, it really doesn’t matter. You better believe that Sudeikis is going to run away with this award. 

Prediction: Jason Sudeikis (Ted Lasso)

Upset: Michael Douglas (The Kominsky Method)

Preference: Jason Sudeikis (Ted Lasso)

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Written by Adriano Caporusso

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