Tony Hale won two of his three previous Emmy bids for Best Comedy Supporting Actor for “Veep” (2013, 2015). Not only does he enter 2016’s awards as the defending champ, but he’s also riding a much larger wave of support for the show overall. When he won his first Emmy the show had just five nominations in all. Then the show grew, picking up nine bids in 2014. It held steady in 2015 with nine more, but surged with five victories including Best Comedy Series. Now it’s reaped a whopping 16 nominations. Does this surge in support for “Veep” mean Hale will easily repeat?
Seven out of 14 experts currently making their predictions at Gold Derby say Hale will repeat, giving him leading 17/10 odds: Debra Birnbaum (Variety), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Robert Rorke (New York Post), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby), Anne Thompson (Indiewire), Ken Tucker (Yahoo) and Adnan Virk (ESPN).
But if voters want to honor “Veep” again in this race, this time they have a chance to check off Hale’s co-star Matt Walsh, who broke through with a nomination for the first time in his career. Having two “Veep” actors in the running could boost both of their chances since voters will be evaluating episodes submissions from both of them, essentially giving them two submissions for the price of one. History has shown this multiple-nominee effect pays off; “Modern Family” won this category four times, and in each of those instances it had multiple actors in contention. However, the Emmys have switched from a ranked preferential ballot to a plurality vote — academy members pick one winner and the nominee with the most votes wins. Under that scenario, vote-splitting is possible, so this year Walsh and Hale may actually disadvantage each other. Our experts give Walsh distant 50/1 odds.
This year “Modern Family” is in its seventh season and it’s down to its last man standing. After years of dominating the two supporting categories, Ty Burrell is now the only cast member left in the running. Like Hale, he’s already a two-time champ (2011, 2014), and this category loves to give repeat wins to showy scene-stealers, like four-time winners John Larroquette (“Night Court”) and David Hyde Pierce (“Fraiser”), and three-timers Michael Richards (“Seinfeld”) and Jeremy Piven (“Entourage”). Don Knotts won a record five times for “The Andy Griffith Show.” Experts give Burrell 12/1 odds to add to his Emmy haul.
Three more actors return to this race after scoring nominations last year. Among them, Andre Braugher (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) is the biggest Emmy heavyweight. This is his third nomination in a row and his 10th overall. He’s a two-time winner — Best Drama Actor for “Homicide: Life on the Street” (1998) and Best Movie/Mini Actor for “Thief” (2006) — but the only other nomination for “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” is for Best Comedy/Variety Stunt Coordination, so it appears that voters admire Braugher more than the show. He’s an underdog with 20/1 odds.
Tituss Burgess (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”) also returns. He earned his first nomination last year for the Netflix comedy, which is nominated for Best Comedy Series for the second time, though the series only has four nominations overall this year, down from seven in 2015. Despite that, three experts are picking Burgess to win, giving him 7/2 odds: Joyce Eng (TV Guide), Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post) and Jarett Wieselman (Buzzfeed).
Keegan-Michael Key is back with his second nom in this category for the sketch comedy series “Key and Peele,” but he’s been nominated much more than twice overall. He has actually accumulated nine nominations in just the last three years. He has three bids this year — along with Best Comedy Supporting Actor he’s up for Best Variety Sketch Series and Best Variety Series Writing — but he has yet to win in any race. And in this category he’s disadvantaged by the fact that no sketch performer has won an Emmy in a lead or supporting category since variety performances were moved to the comedy races in 2009. Experts give him 10/1 odds to break that streak.
The last nominee in this category is Primetime Emmy rookie Louie Anderson (“Baskets”), but the veteran comedian already has a pair of Daytime Emmys for his voice-over performance in his animated series “Life with Louie” in 1997 and 1998. He’s the only nomination for “Baskets,” but four experts think his performance will prevail anyway, giving him close 3/1 odds: Eric Deggans (NPR), Kerr Lordygan (Rotten Tomatoes), Matt Roush (TV Guide Magazine) and Glenn Whipp (LA Times).
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