Veteran TV star Gary Cole is contending for first time at the Emmys, having reaped a Best Comedy Guest Actor bid for his scene-stealing turn as political strategist Kent Davison on “Veep.” The recurring character appeared throughout the season and Cole singled out “Crate” as his submission. We break down the pros and cons of this episode below.
SYNOPSIS: This is the ninth of ten episodes in the third season of the savage political satire.
It’s the final days of the Presidential campaign and all of Selina’s staffers are hard at work trying to make sure she gets the nomination.
Among their ideas, Kent decides to create an iconic image for the campaign by presenting height-challenged Selina with a crate to stand on to better connect with voters.
Then, with the sudden resignation of the President, the Veep gets an unexpected promotion.
Despite not having as much screen time as some of his competitors (especially those “Saturday Night Live” hosts Jimmy Fallon and Louis C.K.), all of Cole’s scenes are important to the overall story. At the beginning, he’s the one who gives Julia Louis-Dreyfus the crate and at the end, he’s the one who tells her that POTUS is going to resign. Thus, he makes a memorable impact on the episode and could benefit from his character’s importance.
When Cole tells Louis-Dreyfus that she’s going to become President, he handles the scene like a real pro, allowing Louis-Dreyfus to react and not stepping over her special moment. He’s the show’s wisest character and could attract lots of votes from the older academy members.
Cole is beloved in the industry and has popped up on everything from “The West Wing” to “Entourage” to “The Good Wife” over his illustrious career. Oftentimes, Emmy voters give trophies to whoever they want to hug the most, and Cole is definitely a candidate for the Hug Vote.
After popping up in the first scene to present the titular crate to Louis-Dreyfus, he’s M.I.A. for approximately 15 minutes (of the 27 minute episode) before showing up again near the end. This year, the guest acting reels are not edited down as they have been in previous years, which hurts Cole as his character is not even mentioned when he’s off-screen.
Unfortunately, Cole’s character is notably expressionless on “Veep.” Even when he walks in on Louis-Dreyfus and Tony Hale in the bathroom during their bloody nose laugh-fest, he simply shakes his head and says, “Great. I need to go.”
Cole appeared in all 10 of the show’s third-season episode, which may beg the question from Emmy voters: Is he submitting in the guest acting category instead of the supporting race because it’s easier to win an Emmy that way?
According to Gold Derby’s Experts, Editors and Users, Cole is currently in fifth place to win the category with 50/1 odds. As much as I love Cole on the show, voters aren’t going to feel obligated to give an Emmy to such an emotionless character. Fifth place is generous.
Predict Best Comedy Guest Actor below using our easy drag-and-drop menu, then discuss all the episodes in our Emmy forums.