Allison Janney has the best odds to win Best Comedy Supporting Actress for her new role in CBS’s “Mom,” and it’s no wonder. Her chief advantage may be right there in the title of her show. The Emmys love crazy moms.
Jean Smart was a surprise winner in 2008 for playing the mom of an amnesiac in “Samantha Who?”
In 2007, Jaime Pressly prevailed as a trailer-park parent in “My Name is Earl.”
Of course, we can’t forget Doris Roberts, a four-time champ (2001-2003, 2005) as Ray Romano’s meddling mom in “Everybody Loves Raymond.”
The TV academy’s love of mothers goes beyond the Comedy Supporting Actress race. Consider leading ladies who have won Best Comedy Actress in recent years, including Toni Collette (“United States of Tara,” 2009), Patricia Heaton (“Everybody Loves Raymond,” 2000-2001), and Roseanne Barr (“Roseanne,” 1993).
Felicity Huffman‘s 2005 win for “Desperate Housewives” took many by surprise. It likely helped that she was nominated alongside her co-stars, an advantage we discussed here, but in her own episode submission, the “Housewives” pilot, she spent much of her time wrangling her rambunctious kids.
So did Candice Bergen in “Murphy Brown.” She stirred controversy in 1992 when her character decided to become a single parent, inciting the ire of family-values conservatives like Vice President Dan Quayle, but Emmy voters disagreed, awarding her the third of her five Emmys for the role.
The tradition of Emmy-winning comedy moms goes all the way back to Jane Wyatt, who won three years in a row (1958-1960) as the matriarch of “Father Knows Best,” though considering Janney’s current nominated role – a bawdy recovering addict – TV motherhood has changed a lot since then.
Will Janney keep the tradition alive with a win for “Mom”? Make your predictions below.