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Before Emmy Gold: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

We’re taking a look at this year’s Emmy nominees and digging into their past work and credits that may have influenced their Emmy-nominated work this year.

The important thing here is looking at who is gunning for the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Emmy, and looking at what they’ve done beforehand and whether or not that influenced their nominated work this year. Starting with:

Anthony Carrigan

Nominated for: NoHo Hank in Barry

Past Emmy Nominations: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for Barry in 2019

Previous Awards: None, Barry is his only awards vehicle

Hidden Gem: Bill & Ted Face the Music

Okay, so from what I can gather, Barry is a passion project from Bill Hader and Alec Berg about a mob hitman who joins an improv group to get to his target but ends up enjoying acting and questioning his life choices. A perfectly charming premise for a comedy series, even as I grow increasingly wearied of stories about the mafia and mob hitmen in this day and age. Seriously, who thinks about the mafia these days? There are a few petty crime families still hackin’ around in the northeast and Chicago, but when was the last time you thought about mobsters or mafia dons? When were they ever national news outside of how they’re portrayed in the movies and TV shows? Joe Massino’s conviction almost… *checks notes*… twenty years ago? It’s just starting to seem a bit dated, is all.

So Carrigan plays an apparently lovably dumb and naïve Chechen mobster NoHo Hank, and this is his second attempt at winning for this role after getting his first nomination for it three years ago. Also, did you know he played the murderbot in Bill & Ted Face the Music? And that there even is a third Bill & Ted movie that’s shockingly better than it has any right to be?

Brett Goldstein

Nominated for: Roy Kent in Ted Lasso

Past Emmy Wins: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for Ted Lasso in 2021

Previous Awards: British Independent Film Best Supporting Actor Award for Adult Life Skills in 2016

Hidden Gem: Howl

Last year’s winner! Good call predicting him, Bradley Weir. If he wins again, he’ll be the first contender to win this award consecutively since Jeremy Piven’s dominant streak for Entourage from 2006 to 2008. I… personally wouldn’t be thrilled with that outcome, and it’s one of the reasons why I don’t generally enjoy the Emmys. It seems like Emmy voters get attached to one show and then just vote for it over and over and over again until it ends, at the expense of other contenders even when they’re doing some of the best work of their careers.

I normally adore Julia Louis-Dreyfus, but it was annoying to me that she didn’t take herself out of contention in the 2010’s when it became clear that voters were just going to keep giving her Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series repeatedly without even watching her competition. And she could have done this – Candice Bergen requested to be taken out of consideration for Murphy Brown in the mid-90’s.

Nothing against Goldstein himself, but I hope those who do vote for him don’t just do it because they voted for him last time. Also, they should watch Howl sometime; neat little werewolf movie.

Toheeb Jimoh

Nominated for: Sam Obisanya in Ted Lasso

Past Emmy Nominations: None

Previous Awards: None, Ted Lasso is his only awards vehicle

Hidden Gem: The French Dispatch

This is Jimoh’s first nomination, and it’s apparently for portraying a young rookie right back originally written to be of Ghanaian descent, but later changed to Nigerian descent because they liked Jimoh so much at his audition. It’s a heartening example of how an actor who starts off grinding away in bit parts on movie and TV sets (including Wes Anderson’s underappreciated The French Dispatch) can get an opportunity to shine in a major role without the benefit of nepotism.

Nick Mohammed

Nominated for: Nathan Shelley in Ted Lasso

Past Emmy Nominations: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for Ted Lasso in 2021

Previous Awards: Nominated for the Royal Television Society Comedy Performance – Male for Intelligence in 2022. Aside from that, it’s all Ted Lasso.

Hidden Gem: Christopher Robin

The third contender from Ted Lasso is Mohammed, who plays the team’s… kit manager? I think? This is his second crack at the award, having lost to his fellow Ted Lasso cast member Brett Goldstein last year. Before his big breakout here, he was a staple on a comedy series I’ve never seen and was the voice of Piglet in the affecting live-action drama that oddly seemed to come and go from the cultural memory shockingly fast Christopher Robin.

Tony Shalhoub

Nominated for: Abe Weissman in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Past Emmy Wins: Primetime Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Emmy for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel in 2019, Primetime Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Emmy for Monk in 2006 and 2005 and 2003

Previous Awards: Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy SeriesAwards for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel in 2020 and 2019, Daytime Outstanding Musical Performance in a Daytime Program Emmy with the rest of the cast of Today in 2019, Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series Award for Monk in 2005 and 2004, National Society of Film Critics Best Supporting Actor Award for Big Night in 1997

Hidden Gem: Big Night

Tony Shalhoub! Who doesn’t love this guy? Emmy voters certainly do. So does the Screen Actors Guild. But sadly, Oscar voters didn’t seem to pay much attention to him when he was a humble character actor in movies throughout the 90’s, which probably explains why he was passed over for a Best Supporting Actor nomination for the lovely Big Night despite being inarguably worthy of one.

From what I can gather, this is a show about a sheltered 1960’s housewife who decides to pursue a career in standup comedy, and Shalhoub plays the titular character’s father who decides to leave his job as a tenured professor at a private Ivy League research university to be a theater critic for The Village Voice. Boy oh boy, the 1960’s were a magical time, weren’t they? Remember when you could make a good living as a theater critic for an alternative newsweekly, so much so that it would be more attractive a career than a tenured professor? Hey, remember alt weeklies?

Tyler James Williams

Nominated for: Gregory Eddie in Abbott Elementary

Past Emmy Nominations: None, which is really weird because I always assumed he was nominated for Everybody Hates Chris at some point…

Previous Awards: Black Reel Outstanding Supporting Actor in Comedy Series Award for Abbott Elementary in 2022 and the Black Reel Outstanding Breakthrough Male Performance Award for Dear White People in 2015

Hidden Gem: Dear White People

One of only two nominees from a regular network show. The times, as they say, are a changin’. This show takes place in a public school in a predominantly black community, and Tyler James Williams of Everybody Hates Chris is nominated here for playing a substitute teacher in love with the main character. Amazingly, this is his first nomination ever. I could have sworn he was nominated at least once for Everybody Hates Chris, but I was wrong. On the bright side, he escaped the child actor curse and joins Teyonah Parris and Tessa Thompson as another of the Dear White People alumni to see the sails of their careers pick up after that sleeper hit came out.

Henry Winkler

Nominated for: Gene Cousineau in Barry

Past Emmy Wins: Primetime Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Emmy for Barry in 2018

Previous Awards: Broadcast Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Award for Barry in 2019, Daytime Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program Emmy for Clifford’s Puppy Days in 2005, Daytime Outstanding Children’s Special Emmy for CBS Schoolbreak Special in 1985, a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1981, and Golden Globe Best Actor in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical Award for Happy Days in 1978 and 1977.

Hidden Gem: The Bob’s Burgers episode “Nice-Capades”

Eeeeeeeeeey, it’s Fonzie from Happy Days! Also a multi-award-winning actor who’s been working in television for nearly five decades. He actually won this award in 2018 for playing this same character, an acting coach he says he bases off his own mentor Garry Marshall. I have no idea how the newest season of this show compares to the second season of Ted Lasso, but if audiences like Barry this time around more than the last big Emmy champ, this may break in Winker’s favor.

Not that he really needs this, as he’s already an icon of television, and in my own heart, had the honor of appearing in one of my favorite episodes of Bob’s Burgers.

Bowen Yang

Nominated for: playing various characters on Saturday Night Live

Past Emmy Nominations: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for Saturday Night Live in 2021 and Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series for Saturday Night Live in 2019

Previous Awards: Dorian Award for Wilde Wit 2021 (tied with Michaela Coel)

Hidden Gem: Fire Island

I was not a huge fan of Fire Island. It’s fine; there are certainly worse ways you can spend an hour and forty-five minutes. But as far as Jane Austen adaptations go, the film itself doesn’t really do much that’s all that interesting or memorable. The big exception to my criticism is Yang, who runs away with the movie effortlessly with his impeccable comedic timing and screen presence as Howie. If I “had to” give out Oscars right now, for everything I’ve seen so far, I’d campaign for him to win Best Supporting Actor without hesitation. I am not a fan, at all, on any level these days, of Saturday Night Live. In fact, what little I have seen lately has only confirmed what I wrote about it two years ago as even more true, and its lethally unfunny riffing on the Heard v Depp trial was one of the most disgusting moments in that show’s existence.

So will Yang be one of the last true breakout stars from this abortion of a sketch comedy series? I dunno, maybe? I wasn’t really all that big on his whole iceberg monologue on “Weekend Update” that Film Twitter was doing cartwheels over earlier this year, but then again… he was great in Fire Island.

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Written by Robert Hamer

Formerly an associate writer for recently-retired Award Circuit, Robert Hamer is a military veteran who now spends his time obsessing over movies and pop politics.

He is returning to film and awards season commentary to return to a sense of normalcy in these plague-ridden times of rising fascism and late-stage capitalist dystopia. Join him, won't you, in these unorthodox attempts at cinematic therapy?

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