For the first time in Emmy history, four men from the same show are competing for Best Comedy Supporting Actor. “Modern Family” co-stars Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ed O’Neill and Eric Stonestreet contend as do 2009 champ Jon Cryer (“Two and a Half Men”) and Globe winner Chris Colfer (“Glee”).
Last year, Stonestreet won this race over, among others, both Burrell and Ferguson. That was the third time that a trio of featured funny men from the same show competed. The cast of “Cheers” did this twice — in 1985: Nicholas Colasanto, John Ratzenberger, George Wendt; and in 1988: Kelsey Grammer, Woody Harrelson, Wendt — though none of them won.
Of this year’s quartet from “Modern Family,” who has the advantage? The episodes submitted are “Good Cop, Bad Dog” (Burrell), “Halloween” (Ferguson), “The Kiss” (O’Neill), and “Mother’s Day” (Stonestreet). Burrell has scenes as Phil Dunphy where he is forced to play the mean parent, hosts a Halloween party, stumbles around repairing a computer printer, and cooks dinner for the women. Ferguson as Mitchell Pritchett makes a mistake going to work as Spider-Man, nurses his sick boyfriend, has intimacy problems in public, and starts treating his partner as the mother of the family. O’Neill as Jay Pritchett is tricked into screaming away demons in the kitchen, listens to a pitch about dog training, dresses up as a gargoyle, and tears up when remembering his own mother. Stonestreet as Cameron Tucker complains about being seen as the mother in his partnership, is sick in bed, complains about Halloween, and complains about his partner’s lack of intimacy.
Colfe opted to showcase his dramatic ability in the episode “Grilled Cheesus.” His character Kurt Hummel’s father (Mike O’Malley) has a heart attack, causing Kurt to question the existence of God. He has several touching scenes, including visits to the hospital, attending a church service, and singing a ballad version of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” at the end.
Cryer’s submission is “The Immortal Mr. Billy Joel,” where he pretends to be his brother Charlie (Charlie Sheen) when attempting to pick up dates and going out on the town. The episode isn’t nearly as effective with the storyline or physical humor as the one that brought him an Emmy two years ago.
While six of our 11 editors predict Burrell to win, three are going with first-time contender O’Neill and two with Colfer. Among our users, Burrell has a slight lead over Colfer.
Gold Derby founder Tom O’Neil dishes this competitive race with senior editors Chris Beachum and Rob Licuria below. .
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