Emmy Episode Analysis: Nathan Lane (‘Modern Family’) plans a wedding gone awry

Nathan Lane‘s Best Comedy Guest Actor nomination for playing Pepper Saltzman on “Modern Family” is his third for this role and his sixth overall. All his nominations have been in guest categories, including performances on “Frasier,” “Mad About You,” and “The Good Wife.” He has yet to win.

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SYNOPSIS: Lane submitted “The Wedding, Part 2,” the second half of the “Modern Family” season finale in which Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cam (Eric Stonestreet) finally get married, but not before several false starts.

As their friend and wedding planner, Lane spends the episode managing a series of crises as the wedding party moves from venue to venue – an approaching wildfire, the arrival of another wedding party, a dwindling string quartet, a car full of butterflies, and the cramped confines of Mitch and Cam’s house – before they finally settle at Jay’s (Ed ONeill) country club for the episode’s happily-ever-after.

Exclusive: Emmy episode submissions for ‘Louie,’ ‘The Good Wife,’ ‘Modern Family’ …

Will the fast-paced farce of a long-awaited “Modern” wedding bring Lane the first Emmy of his career? Let’s consider the pros and cons:


We know the TV academy is fond of Lane in this role, having nominated him three times.

The plot of the episode sets up high stakes for Pepper, giving the energetic Lane opportunities to express comic panic, and to deliver a series of witty one-liners. Upon learning that Mitch and Cam don’t own the upstairs apartment of their house: “I always assumed there was a nicer part you weren’t showing me.”

Lane is a six-time nominee without a win. If any members of his judging panel know his track record, they may wish to give him an overdue hug.


“The Wedding, Part 2” divides its storylines between the show’s large ensemble cast, so Lane spends much of its 22 minutes off-screen.

The episode provides the actor few opportunities to demonstrate range beyond quips and zingers.

Other nominees in the category will have considerably more screen time, especially “Saturday Night Live” hosts Jimmy Fallon and Louis C.K.

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Lane currently ranks third in our predictions with 9/1 odds. Do you think he can win? Make your predictions below:

2 thoughts on “Emmy Episode Analysis: Nathan Lane (‘Modern Family’) plans a wedding gone awry

  1. It was a horrible idea for Lane to submit “The Wedding Part 2.” He definitely should have submitted “The Help,” in which he has a much more prominent role, when his character Pepper is first asked by Mitch and Cam to plan their wedding. His ideas turn out to be more far-out than they had in mind, and he becomes upset, and leaves. His shining moment though is in the heartfelt closing scenes when he and his assistant realize that their romantic feelings toward each other are mutual. Had Lane submitted this episode, he would have a much stronger chance at winning.

  2. Agreed, Daniel. And the wedding two-parter wasn’t all that great anyway for anyone. “The Help” would have been a much better submission from a much better episode.

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