Of all the categories at Sunday’s Emmy Awards ceremony, Jeffrey Tambor is one of the biggest favorites to win with overwhelming 2/11 odds as Best Comedy Actor for his role on Amazon’s freshman series “Transparent.” It is his seventh career nomination but the first time he competes as a lead actor.
His six prior supporting nominations were for “The Larry Sanders Show” (1993, 1996-1998) and “Arrested Development” (2004-2005). Now on “Transparent,” he plays Maura Pfefferman, a transgender woman in Los Angeles discovering her new life. In the second episode “The Letting Go,” which Tambor submitted to Emmy judges, Maura embraces her new journey, but nothing about life as a woman is easy — making friends, finding a new community, and above all, coming out to her children.
In a distant second place with 25/1 odds is recent SAG winner William H. Macy for Showtime’s “Shameless.” This is his 11th career Emmy nomination with two past wins in the movie/miniseries categories (acting and writing for “Door to Door,” 2003). He plays alcoholic, deadbeat father Frank Gallagher, and in his submitted episode “A Night to Remem – Wait, What?,” Frank tries to retrace his steps after an epic bender to find out what he did with his six-figure insurance settlement.
Will Forte is tied with Macy in second place for his Fox comedy “The Last Man on Earth.” He has two Emmy nominations this year, including this one as a lead actor and another for writing the pilot episode, “Alive in Tucson.” That is also his episode choice in this race, with the plot involving a a deadly virus that leaves his character, Phil Miller, thinking he is the last man on earth. He travels across the country looking for survivors and then heads back home to Tucson, Arizona. Forte previously had noms for guest starring on “30 Rock” (2013) and as a member of the writing staff for “Late Show with David Letterman” (1998).
Louis C.K. won his sixth career Emmy this past weekend for Best Variety Special Writing. In fact all of his victories have been in writing categories despite a total of 37 nominations as a producer, director, actor, editor, and writer. In the FX comedy “Louie,” he plays a version of himself and has fourth place odds of 50/1. In his submission episode “Bobby’s House,” he goes to a wake with his brother and gets beaten up on the street by a woman. Pamela then gives Louie a makeover to mask his injuries so he can perform on stage.
Tied with C.K. at 50/1 is first-time contender Anthony Anderson for the rookie show “Black-ish.” He stars on the ABC comedy as Andre “Dre” Johnson, an advertising executive and family man in the suburbs. His episode submission is “Sex, Lies and Vasectomies,” where his wife Rainbow learns from her colleague that Dre never had the vasectomy a few years back that he was supposed to have scheduled, so she tests him to see if he’ll come clean and tell the truth.
Matt LeBlanc has yet to win at the Emmys, and this will be his seventh attempt. In Showtime’s “Episodes,” he plays a fictionalized and crazier version of himself, the former star of top-rated show “Friends.” He is in the last spot at 100/1 so this might not be his time on stage yet again. His selection is “Episode 405,” in which Morning shows Matt their sex tape from years ago because Matt has no memory of it. Matt also accepts a lucrative offer to attend a dictator’s birthday party.
Tied with LeBlanc and also from Showtime is Don Cheadle for “House of Lies.” For his eighth career Emmy nomination, he plays Marty Kaan, a deceitful business consultant who recently spent time in prison. His episode submission is “It’s a Box Inside a Box,” in which Marty is on the verge of making K&A one of the biggest players in the business, if he can persuade his employees to stay.
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Photo: Jeffrey Tambor in “Transparent.” Credit: Amazon.