Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

This race hasn’t changed much from last year’s, when Transparent’s Jeffrey Tambor took his second consecutive Emmy for his groundbreaking transgender lead. There are two new boys on the block to add some flavor to the mix of a category that tends to offer repeat invitations year after year—until it doesn’t. Just ask Jim Parsons, who won the last of his four Emmys as Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory but hasn’t even been nominated since, even though the series remains the number one comedy on TV. Voters can be fickle.

Anthony Anderson
Black-ish
ABC

Anderson has managed an invite into this category for each of his show’s three seasons and would seem ripe for a win. Or, is he one of those legions of perennial Emmy nominees who sit in the audience year after year but never hear their name called? Certainly the show, with a second Comedy Series nomination, does have momentum and could help his cause to make this third time the charm.

Netflix

Aziz Ansari
Master of None
Netflix

Ansari is a jack of all trades with this clever and very personal Netflix show, and he even took an Emmy last year for writing it. This is his second time around in this category and if anyone could upset two-time winner Jeffrey Tambor it is probably this guy.

Zach Galifianakis
Baskets
FX

Colleen Hayes/FX

After missing out on a nomination last year, when his co-star Louie Anderson took home the Supporting Actor prize, Galifianakis’ fate changed when he scored a surprise nod himself. Perhaps after that Louie Anderson victory more voters checked out the show and noticed its star?

Donald Glover
Atlanta
FX

Quantrell Colbert/FX

If ever there was a hot ticket contender across the board in this year’s contest it has to be Donald Glover, who is the creative force behind this quirkily clever and real new FX comedy, as well as its star. It seems inevitable, especially after scoring Golden Globe, WGA, PGA and Critics Choice awards, that Glover is going to be called to the stage at some point for one of the hat-trick of categories (writing, directing, acting) in which he is named this year. Will it be this one?

William H. Macy
Shameless
Showtime

Chuck Hodes/SHOWTIME

A veteran of past Emmy nominations and wins, Macy is enjoying his fourth consecutive nod in this category for the show which has already brought him two SAG wins in just three years. The show’s switch from drama to comedy categories in the Emmys clearly helped Macy’s cause more than any other aspect of the venerable Showtime series.

Amazon

Jeffrey Tambor
Transparent
Amazon

The Amazon series missed out on the Comedy Series category this year, perhaps because some voters thinks it more properly belongs in drama. That hasn’t hurt Tambor, who is back for the third year in a row for his landmark role. Since Emmys like threepeats, is this also going to be his year?

PETE’S PICK: Donald Glover, Atlanta


Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

There is extremely little change in this category’s contenders from last year, with repeat visits by reigning winner Louie Anderson of Baskets, Tony Hale and Matt Walsh of Veep, Tituss Burgess of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Ty Burrell of Modern Family.

Hale and Burrell are also past winners in this category, and the other nominee here, Alec Baldwin, although new to this contest, is also a two-time Emmy winner in the Lead Actor Comedy Series category for 30 Rock. He may be helped most by events on the night of November 8th, when his Donald Trump SNL performance was guaranteed a full season run. Baldwin is also nominated this year as Reality TV host for The Match Game, but is a near-lock as Trump.

WINNER: Alec Baldwin, Saturday Night Live

Will Heath/NBC