Emmy-nominated actors and actresses each submit a single episode that represents their best work from the past season for consideration. Lead and supporting performers select episodes following the nominations announcement, but guest stars name their submissions on the Emmy ballot, so we already know what episodes voters will consider for Best Comedy Guest Actress. The nominees this year are: four “Saturday Night Live” hosts, two 1990s Emmy winners playing the mothers of the co-leads of “The Big Bang Theory” in the same episode and one actress from a Best Comedy Series nominee (“Transparent”).
Christine Baranski, “The Big Bang Theory” – Gold Derby odds to win: 18/1 (#4)
This is Baranski’s fourth nomination in six seasons as Beverly Hofstadter, mother of main character Leonard (Johnny Galecki). Baranski won an Emmy on her first nomination, as Best Comedy Supporting Actress for “Cybill” in 1995. She and rival nominee Laurie Metcalf have both submitted the season finale “The Convergence Convergence.”
Official ballot description: “Chaos ensues when Leonard’s recently divorced parents and Sheldon’s devoutly religious mother come to town.”
Tina Fey & Amy Poehler, “Saturday Night Live” – Gold Derby odds to win: 5/6 (#1)
Fey and Poehler are nominated for co-hosting the last “SNL” of 2015, with musical guest Bruce Springsteen. Both Fey and Poehler are former main cast members. Poehler was nominated in 2008 and 2009 as Best Comedy Supporting Actress for her regular role on the show while Fey won Best Comedy Guest Actress in 2009 for recurring impressions of real-life Governor Sarah Palin, a role that she reprises in the submitted episode this year.
Official ballot description: “Tina and Amy sing original Christmas songs in their monologue, which reflects their different styles. Parodies include a GOP debate; Tina and Amy as Clinton and Palin meeting in a dream; and in a music video about how they get everything done.”
Melora Hardin, “Transparent” – Gold Derby odds to win: 25/1 (#5)
Hardin is the lone first-time Emmy nominee in this category and the first guest actress to contend from “Transparent.” The lone first-timer last year was Gaby Hoffmann for “Girls;” Hoffmann was simultaneously nominated over Hardin in the Best Comedy Supporting Actress race when both contended for “Transparent” last year. Hardin’s submission is “Flicky-Flicky Thump-Thump,” her second of four appearances this season as Tammy Cashman, ex-fiancée of Sarah Pfefferman (series regular Amy Landecker).
Official ballot description: “Suffering from a post-nuptial breakup, Tammy relapses and confronts Sarah and the Pfeffermans about their indiscretions. Even after tossing stale wedding cake into the pool, a rock bottom, Tammy’s words resonate with each family member. Eventually she gets sober and explores the baggage she’s displaced onto her relationship with Sarah.”
Melissa McCarthy, “Saturday Night Live” – Gold Derby odds to win: 10/3 (#2)
McCarthy is four for four at reaping Emmy bids for hosting “SNL.” Her first was in 2012, the year after she won Best Comedy Actress for “Mike & Molly.” She hosted the 13th episode of the season, with musical guest Kanye West.
Official ballot description: “In her monologue, Melissa sings about hosting five times, but realizes it was a mistake. Parodies include Melissa in a focus group watching a horror show; as a politically incorrect woman on a bus and a single woman learning how to pick up men.”
Laurie Metcalf, “The Big Bang Theory” – Gold Derby odds to win: 7/1 (#3)
After six snubs, Metcalf is finally nominated for playing Mary Cooper, mother of Sheldon (Jim Parsons) in “The Big Bang Theory.” She was nominated for a Critics’ Choice Award last season for the recurring role. Metcalf is also nominated this year at the Emmys forBest Comedy Actress (“Getting On”) and Best Drama Guest Actress (“Horace and Pete”). She won three Emmys on “Roseanne” for Best Comedy Supporting Actress from 1992 to 1994; her first loss was to Baranksi. Her submitted episode “The Convergence Convergence” is the same one for which Christine Baranski is nominated in this category.
Official ballot description: “Chaos ensues when Leonard’s recently divorced parents and Sheldon’s devoutly religious mother come to town; Wolowitz and Koothrappali think the government is out to get them when they are contacted about their guidance system.”
Amy Schumer, “Saturday Night Live” – Gold Derby odds to win: 40/1 (#6)
Schumer hosted “SNL” for the first time this year, in the second episode of the season, which featured The Weeknd as musical guest. Schumer is also nominated as Best Comedy Actress for “Inside Amy Schumer” and won an Emmy last year for producing that Best Variety Sketch Series.
Official ballot description: “Amy does her stand up routine for her monologue. Parodies include Fox & Friends; Amy as a flight attendant who gets sucked out of the plane; Amy as a porn star teaching school kids; and Amy as an actress who ruins re-enactments of Lincoln’s assassination.”
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