It’s an awards-season cliché to say that it’s an honor just to be nominated, but going to the Emmy ceremony year after year and never taking home a statuette can be excruciating. Just ask Bill Maher, Emmy’s current “biggest loser.” Despite 32 nominations (including three for this year alone) for Politically Incorrect, Real Time and various standup specials, Maher seems cursed when it comes to the golden girl. At least he retains a sense of humor about it: “I am OK with it. In fact, winning now would only fuck things up. I would lose all my street cred,” he told Deadline a few seasons ago, adding that he’s proud he has been nominated every single year since his shows started in 1995. “It comes down to people voting their taste, and I’m not the taste preference of a majority. Maybe that’s a good thing.”
Nevertheless, Maher is in good company, considering the caliber of talent that has also gone Emmy-less over their careers. Susan Lucci was the poster child for Emmy losers, striking out 19 times at the Daytime Emmy Awards before finally taking her one and only win for All My Children in 1999. It must give hope to others like Angela Lansbury, the reigning queen of the Tonys, who has managed to lose the Primetime Emmy 18 times. That includes 12 consecutive nominations for every single season of Murder, She Wrote. She even lost the Emmy for hosting her beloved Tonys.