As the voice of fan favorites Moe, Apu, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy and Professor Frink on “The Simpsons,” Hank Azaria has already been handsomely rewarded by Emmy voters with three statues (1998, 2001, 2003). By earning his sixth nomination for his work on that animated classic this year, he brought his overall total to ten bids.
“I didn’t realize it was my 10th,” admitted Azaria in a video chat with Gold Derby. “I didn’t realize it was my decade. It’s always an honor. You think the stuff you should be nominated for, you don’t. The ones you don’t think you will, you do. I guess it all evens out. The craft Emmys are kind of the kids’ table at Thanksgiving. You’re not really invited to the big dance. It’s still really, really exciting, and the statue still counts.”
Azaria contends for Voice-Over Performance against Maurice LaMarche (“Futurama”), Dan Povenmire (“Disney’s Phineas and Ferb”), Rob Riggle (“Disney’s Prep and Landing”), Brenda Strong (“Desperate Housewives”), and Kristen Wiig (“The Looney Tunes Show”).
His episode submission is “Moe Goes From Rags to Riches,” in which the bartender’s cleaning rag recounts the story of how he came to Springfield. Explaining this choice, Azaria admitted, “It was good for me because I had a lot to do in it, and Moe was very emotional in it. I thought it was a very strange episode, to be quite honest with you. I mean it was risky and out there. If you had asked me beforehand would I be nominated for that episode, I would have said no.”
Of his four other Emmy bids, Azaria won TV Movie/Miniseries Supporting Actor in 2000 for “Tuesdays with Morrie” with Jack Lemmon. His other Emmy nods were for Drama Actor (“Huff,” 2005) and twice for Comedy Guest Actor (“Mad About You,” 1998; “Friends,” 2003).