Best Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
Will Win - Bill Hader "Saturday Night Live"
Could Win - Bradley Whitford "Transparent", Jon Hamm "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt", or Paul Giamatti "Inside Amy Schumer"
Should Win - Bill Hader "Saturday Night Live" or Bradley Whitford "Transparent"
Commentary - This one is tough. Louis C.K. is out for his horrible SNL episode, Mel Brooks got in because he is Mel Brooks, but these voters clearly did not like The Comedians, and Paul Giamatti, while a threat because he is a beloved veteran, will probably have to settle for a fourth place finish. This is a tough three-way race, where each of them has good reasons to pick them. I thought that Jon Hamm was going to win a consolation prize here, and so do most pundits. If voters continue to ignore him for Mad Men, this is way that at least he finally wins an Emmy. But he submitted poorly, and while a larger voting group this year makes the episodes less important, if enough of them actually sit down and watch this episode, he doesn't win. Bradley Whitford was my choice for a long time. He is a beloved Emmy-winning actor, and his episode on Transparent was utterly brilliant, and surprisingly had humor, which the show definitely lacks. But then I remember that while a few chuckles are great, that Emmy voters, at least in the recent past, like their Guest winners, particularly the males, to be funny. SNL has also done really well here in recent years. Bill Hader was nominated on the supporting side, but as we know, those supporting submissions do not lend themselves to wins. This time, he gets to be the star, he dominates the episode, plays his old favorites, and makes a laugh start to finish. It will not be an easy win, but I think he is going to pull it off.
Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
Will Win - Christine Baranksi "The Big Bang Theory"
Could Win - Tina Fey "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt", Joan Cusack "Shameless", Gaby Hoffman "Girls", Pamela Adlon "Louie"
Should Win - Gaby Hoffman "Girls"
Commentary - Everybody under the sun has been predicting Tina Fey to win for this role, as she is also a producer, and the total of the role is fantastic. And yet, like Hamm, she submitted the wrong episode. If the popular vote, and the expanded voting rules, I think she wins. But if they are actually paying attention to the episodes, she is not in the running truly. So I think she can win, and most people are still banking on her, a smart choice. Pamela Adlon is fantastic and has been for years on Louie, and she has a great episode, and we underestimated Melissa Leo a couple of years ago, for a similar role. Joan Cusack has been nominated year after year, but this is not her best episode as a showcase for that character. And then there is Gaby Hoffman, my wild card here. Girls grew up a bit this season in terms of its characters and its plot, and in the process lost a lot of its humor. It was actually a decent season, and I am one of its supporters. But that is probably why it just finally really fell off the Emmy map this year. That being said, Gaby Hoffman, a surprise double nominee, is clearly a favorite this year, and she is freaking awesome in her episode. She is giving birth, she is screaming, and she is funny. After a season that was well-written, interesting, and yet not that funny, she made us roll with laughter right at the end. But I think that, despite the dramatic decline of The Big Bang Theory this year, that Christine Baranski is going to win a long overdue Emmy (yes she is an Emmy winner, but its been decades, and its time for a second one). She gets to spar with Emmy favorite Laurie Metcalf (who was snubbed here), she is in the whole episode, she has been nominated for this character before, and she is a knockout on The Good Wife as well. Which means she not only has a great episode, but has a lot of outside factors going for her. This is yet another close race, and I may panic and switch as we get closer, but I think she pulls it off.