2016 Emmy Awards – Comedy Nominations

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The nominations for the 68th Annual Emmy Awards have just been announced. As any dedicated television watcher knows, we’re currently in the era of Peak TV. Besides making us wish that we had more hours in the day to catch up on all the worthy programs, Peak TV also makes it far more difficult to predict the nominations for the Emmy Awards, let alone to predict the winners. We’ve got a few months before we find out who wins, but for now, we’ve collected a list of all the comedy nominees, along with our initial thoughts.

The Emmys will be given out on Sunday, September 18 on ABC in a ceremony hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.

The nominees are:

Outstanding Comedy Series

  • black-ish
  • Master of None
  • Modern Family
  • Silicon Valley
  • Transparent
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  • Veep

Initial Reaction: We’re super excited to see both Master of None and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on the list. We think at this point, Modern Family is just going to be nominated no matter what. Sad but not surprised that You’re the Worst failed to make the cut. It could have replaced Modern Family and the list would pretty much be perfect.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

  • Anthony Anderson, blackish
  • Aziz Ansari, Master of None
  • Will Forte, Last Man on Earth
  • William H. Macy, Shameless 
  • Thomas Middleditch, Silicon Valley
  • Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

Initial Reaction: Anthony Anderson was so excited to be nominated (for a second time in a row) that it was hard not to be excited for him. Aziz Ansari’s acting wasn’t exactly what made Master of None great, but we like that he’s been recognized here. We have to think that Will Forte’s commitment to the show (put on full display when he walked around for a month with a half-shaved head/face) helped him secure the nomination. And we’re delighted to see Thomas Middleditch being recognized for another fantastic season of Silicon Valley. (We recognize that Jeffrey Tambor once again probably has this thing locked up.)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

  • Ellie Kemper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
  • Laurie Metcalf, Getting On
  • Tracee Ellis Ross, black-ish
  • Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer
  • Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie

Initial Reaction: Love Ellie Kemper and love Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Amy Schumer is coming off of a big year, but her sketch show definitely wasn’t the best showcase for her work this time around. It doesn’t seem like there’s anyone on the list who’s going to de-throne Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy

  • Niecy Nash, Getting On
  • Allison Janney, Mom
  • Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live 
  • Judith Light, Transparent 
  • Gaby Hoffman, Transparent 
  • Anna Chlumsky, Veep

Initial Reaction: This category didn’t elicit much more than a *shrug* from us – the only shows that we watch are SNL and Veep, and we’d be happy with either Kate McKinnon or Anna Chlumsky taking home the trophy. We recognize that it’s more likely going to be Allison Janney or one of the Transparent actresses, though.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy

  • Louie Anderson, Baskets 
  • Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
  • Keegan-Michael Key, Key & Peele 
  • Ty Burrell, Modern Family
  • Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  • Tony Hale, Veep
  • Matt Walsh, Veep

Initial Reaction: Super excited to see Louie Anderson on this list, as his portrayal of Mama Baskets was utter perfection from top to bottom. So happy for Keegan-Michael Key getting recognized for the last season of Key & Peele. Always love Andre Braugher. In fact, this list of nominees could almost be described as “utter perfection” too, with the exception of Ty Burrell. Nothing against him personally or as an actor (he’s as good as ever) but the quality of Modern Family has just declined so much in recent years that we’re finding it harder to justify the continued nominations. Still, this is one category where you can’t really complain too much.

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy

  • Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, Saturday Night Live 
  • Melissa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live
  • Amy Schumer, Saturday Night Live 
  • Christine Baranski, The Big Bang Theory
  • Laurie Metcalf, The Big Bang Theory
  • Melora Hardin, Transparent

Initial Reaction: Love the joint nomination for Tina and Amy, and we have to think they’re the favorites here. It’s fun that Laurie Metcalf got two nominations this year, but we can’t picture her winning either of them.

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy

  • Tracy Morgan, Saturday Night Live 
  • Larry David, Saturday Night Live 
  • Bob Newhart, The Big Bang Theory
  • Bradley Whitford, Transparent 
  • Martin Mull, Veep
  • Peter MacNicol, Veep

Initial Reaction: Tracy Morgan has to be the sentimental favorite here, right? His return to SNL following the horrific car accident that left him severly injured was one of the highlights of the year, and he’s already dedicated his nomination to his friend Jimmy Mac, who perished in the crash. This is another category where there’s not really a loser though. How fun would it be if Larry David won an Emmy for hosting Saturday Night Live? There’s your new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm right there.

Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series 

  • Aziz Ansari, “Parents,” Master of None 
  • Mike Judge, “Founder Friendly,” Silicon Valley
  • Alec Berg, “Daily Active Users,” Silicon Valley
  • Jill Soloway, “Man on the Land,” Transparent 
  • Chris Addison, “Morning After,” Veep
  • Dave Mandel, “Kissing Your Sister,” Veep
  • Dale Stern, “Mother,” Veep

Initial Reaction: Another really solid list. It’s hard when there’s multiple episodes nominated from the same series, which is why we think Master of None and Transparent have the edge here, despite some really solid entries from Silicon Valley and Veep. If we had to make a prediction right now, we’d go with Aziz taking it home, thanks to the brilliant episode in which he directed his own parents and portrayed the experiences of the children of immigrants in a way not normally seen on television.

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series

  • Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan, “Episode 1,” Catastrophe
  • Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang, “Parents,” Master of None 
  • Dan O’Keefe, “Founder Friendly,” Silicon Valley
  • Alec Berg, “The Uptick,” Silicon Valley
  • David Mandel, “Morning After,” Veep
  • Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck, “Mother,” Veep

Initial Reaction: We think Master of None has another shot here too, but really this is another category where any of these episodes are deserving.

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series 

  • Documentary Now! 
  • Drunk History
  • Inside Amy Schumer
  • Key & Peele
  • Portlandia
  • Saturday Night Live 

Initial Reaction: Love seeing Key & Peele getting recognition for their final season. We’ve watched all of these shows and we really don’t know what we would pick to be our winner. They’ve each got their own vibes and their own place in our comedy-loving hearts. We kind of want to see Drunk History win just for the recreations of the after-parties that would inevitably follow.

Outstanding Variety Talk Series 

  • Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live 
  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
  • The Late Late Show with James Corden
  • Real Time with Bill Maher
  • The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Initial ReactionMostly, we’re surprised that neither The Late Show with Stephen Colbert or The Daily Show appear on this list. While both have definitely had their share of growing pains over the past season, we still didn’t expect for them both to miss the cut. And certainly not in favor of Jerry Seinfeld’s web series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. We’re also disappointed that Full Frontal with Samantha Bee didn’t make the list. All in all, we have to assume that John Oliver will take this one.

Writing for a Variety Series 

  • Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
  • Inside Amy Schumer
  • Key & Peele
  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver 
  • Portlandia
  • Saturday Night Live 

Initial Reaction: We’re really happy to see that Full Frontal got a writing nomination at least, and would be very happy if they won. However, Key & Peele and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver seem to be the likely frontrunners. The other three nominees all had uneven years in our minds, and the occasional moments of brilliance aren’t quite enough for us to want to give them an Emmy (not that it’s up to us, but you know).

Writing for a Variety Special

  • Amy Schumer, Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo
  • John Mulaney, John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid
  • Patton Oswalt, Patton Oswalt: Talking for Clapping
  • Tig Notaro, Tig Notaro: Boyish Girl Interrupted
  • Robert Smigel (et al.), Triumph’s Election Special 2016

Initial Reaction: Man, this one is tough! Patton Oswalt seems to think he’s going to lose to Tig Notaro, and that sounds just as likely as anything else. We watched and loved all of these specials and would truly be happy with anyone winning.

And finally, in case you missed it, Bill Murray’s Netflix special, A Very Murray Christmas was nominated for Outstanding Television Movie. It has absolutely no chance of winning, but what a delightful gift from the television academy.


One thought on “2016 Emmy Awards – Comedy Nominations

  1. Pingback: Jon Stewart Will Help with Stephen Colbert’s RNC Coverage | fourthmic

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