Nobody had won the Emmy as Best Comedy Actress four straight times since Helen Hunt (“Mad About You,” 1996-1999). But Julia Louis-Dreyfus matched her on Sunday night for her role as President Selina Meyer (formerly Vice President). She was the frontrunner going into the ceremony according to exclusive Gold Derby predictions, with 4/7 odds.
Louis-Dreyfus actually has two nominations this year, in this category and in Best Comedy Series as a producer of “Veep.” That brings her career total to 20 Emmy bids with five previous wins. In addition to her three victories for “Veep” she has another lead win for “New Adventures of Old Christine” (2006) and a supporting trophy for “Seinfeld” (1996).
Another acting win this year enhanced her status in Emmy history in two ways. She is now only the third to win Best Comedy Actress five times, tying with Mary Tyler Moore (“The Dick Van Dyke Show,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”) and Candice Bergen (“Murphy Brown”). She also moves into third place for performance victories with a total of six, tying with Art Carney, Tim Conway, Tyne Daly, and Carl Reiner.
For the race this year, Louis-Dreyfus submitted the season finale, “Election Night.” The plot has Selina and her staff with their nerves growing frayed as each state result is called on the night of the presidential election. It ultimately ends in a tie, so what does that mean for her future?
The second spot in our rankings was held by perennial also-ran Amy Poehler for “Parks and Recreation” with 11/2 odds. Poehler has never won before in 13 previous Emmy bids and lost last weekend at the Creative Arts ceremony for hosting and writing the Golden Globe Awards. She is nominated this week for producing the NBC comedy and for playing Leslie Knope, bringing her career total to 17 nominations. Her episode submission is the series finale, “One Last Ride,” in which the team gathers one final time before they go their separate ways with a look 10 years into the future for each character.
Amy Schumer was in third place with 9/1 odds for the variety show “Inside Amy Schumer.” Schumer had a writing nomination last year for her variety sketch show and now adds four more this season. She is nominated in this lead category plus for directing, writing, and producing the program for Comedy Central. Her acting submission is “Cool With It,” which won the Emmy for Original Music and Lyrics last weekend. In this program, Amy goes to a strip club, stars in a boy band’s music video, and fights crime as a plain-clothes police detective.
In fourth place at 14/1 was Lisa Kudrow, who is nominated again in this category for “The Comeback” after a previous bid in 2006. This was her 10th career Emmy nomination with a prior victory in 1998 for “Friends.” The long-delayed second season of “The Comeback” on HBO featured her in the role of veteran sitcom actress Valerie Cherish. In her episode submission, “Valerie Is Taken Seriously,” she is set up for an exclusive interview by the network’s publicity department. Later, Valerie visits Paulie G.’s old writing partner when she’s concerned about her current boss.
This year marked the 22nd career Emmy nomination for Lily Tomlin with five writing victories and one for narration. She was in the fifth spot at 25/1 for the first-year Netflix comedy “Grace and Frankie,” in which she plays Frankie Bergstein, a hippie art teacher whose husband announces he is in love with his male best friend. She submitted the season finale, “The Vows” in which Frankie is forced to help her husband Sol clean out their old house and winds up sleeping with him. Grace then comforts Frankie, who finally recognizes that her marriage is over.
Edie Falco was in last place at 100/1, and this year’s nomination is her sixth for ‘Nurse Jackie.” In addition to the six that she reaped for “The Sopranos,” she is now tied with Angela Lansbury for the most by an actress in a leading role on a series (12). She has won a total of four Emmys, including one for the first season of the Showtime comedy. As drug-addicted nurse Jackie Peyton, she submitted the series finale “I Say a Little Prayer” where Jackie and Kevin are greeted by a surprise visitor during her daughter Grace’s confirmation rehearsal. On the last day before All Saints closes its doors Jackie is offered a job at Bellevue Hospital, and wants Zoey to come with her.
Photo: Julia Louis-Dreyfus in “Veep.” Credit: HBO.