Emmy Episode Analysis: Can Tina Fey win Guest Comedy Actress again for ‘SNL’ hosting?

Tina Fey returned to her old “Saturday Night Live” stomping grounds and reaped her fourth Best Comedy Guest Actress nomination for hosting the late night laff fest. She won for emceeing “SNL” in 2009. Below, we break down the pros and cons of her most recent appearance. 

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SYNOPSIS: Fey hosts the 39th season premiere of “SNL” on Sept. 28, 2013. The musical guest was Arcade Fire and there was a special appearance from Aaron Paul (“Breaking Bad“).

Fey, who wrote for the show for a decade, including six as head writer, was part of the cast from 2000 to 2006. She departed to work on “30 Rock,” which was produced by “SNL” head honcho Lorne Michaels.

She has reaped Emmy bids for each of her returns to the show, winning for that first, losing in 2010 to “SNL” host Betty White and in 2011 to “Glee” guest Gwyneth Paltrow. Among her competition this time around is another “SNL” emcee, Melissa McCarthy

PROS:

Fey’s monologue was well-received as she welcomed the six new cast members in a song-and-dance number designed to embarrass them on their first show.

The highlight of her appearance was sitting down at the Weekend Update desk to pass the torch to new female anchor Cecily Strong. Fey even gave some important advice to Strong: “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars. Believe in your nightmares. You see this man here (Seth Meyers)? This man don’t own you.”

The fake promo for HBO’s “Girls” featuring Fey as a plastic-handed Albanian girl named Blerta was widely shared on social media back when it first popped up last fall. It was the rare laugh-out-loud sketch from this otherwise mediocre episode.

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CONS:

There’s a new Emmy rule this year that could hurt Fey’s chances. In the past, guest acting Emmy reels were edited down to just feature the scenes with the nominees. This year, no such editing will take place, meaning voters have to sit through a political cold open, two music performances and a long Weekend Update segment in which Fey fleetingly appears. Will Emmy voters get bored and turn off the episode?

Obviously Fey is a hit whenever she returns to “SNL,” but voters may not feel obliged to give her another Emmy for hosting, especially considering that the last time she won was for her iconic portrayal of Sarah Palin. This year, no such media fireworks.

“SNL” hosts used to dominate the guest acting races, with Fey, Betty White, Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake all winning. But it’s been four years since a female “SNL” host claimed victory. Even such heavyweights as Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph couldn’t win in the past few years. Have voters moved on?

According to Gold Derby’s Experts, Editors and Users, Fey is currently in fourth place to win the category with 33/1 odds. But be warned: Throughout her career, Fey has amassed eight Emmy wins from 30 nominations, so it’s never wise to underestimate this academy favorite.

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