Five talented funny ladies are nominated for Comedy Actress at the SAG Awards this year: Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep), Uzo Aduba (“Orange is the New Black”), Ellie Kemper (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”) and Lily Tomlin & Jane Fonda (“Grace and Frankie”). However, there is one notable name missing from this year’s lineup: Kate McKinnon (“Saturday Night Live”), who is ineligible due to long-standing SAG rules. If eligible, do you think McKinnon would win the SAG Award and follow up her victories at the Emmys and Critics’ Choice Awards? Vote in our poll below.
McKinnon’s SAG ineligibility is particularly puzzling after last year’s surprise Comedy Ensemble nomination for “Key and Peele.” So, why the double standard? At SAG, “Key and Peele” is classified as a “sketch” show and “Saturday Night Live” is considered a “late-night” show, and late-night programs are actually ineligible for consideration by the Screen Actors Guild. This is particularly ironic since “Key and Peele” recently bested “SNL” at the Emmys for Best Variety Sketch Series.
This season on “Saturday Night Live,” McKinnon has been featured more than ever thanks to Hillary Clinton, her signature character, popping up in every cold open in the run-up to the presidential election that ended with Donald Trump winning. Many wondered how “SNL” would respond to the election jawdropper and they surprised all of us by having McKinnon playing the piano and singing “Hallelujah” (Leonard Cohen passed away that week). Our Gold Derby forums erupted with praise. When you add her performance in the “Ghostbusters” reboot, McKinnon could’ve easily been nominated by the SAG popular vote.
McKinnon has been on a roll recently, winning the Emmy Award for Best Comedy Supporting Actress where many other “SNL” alumni and sketch players have failed. Then at the Critics’ Choice Awards she was surprisingly nominated for Best Comedy Actress and won, taking down the five-time Emmy champ Louis-Dreyfus along the way. When you consider the number of awards McKinnon has racked up, a SAG nomination should’ve been an easy hurdle to clear. The governing board needs to adjust “SNL” classification so the show and its players are eligible to compete as their Emmy rivals are. Regardless of who wins Best Comedy Actress at Sunday’s SAG Awards, the nominees are breathing a sigh of relief as they do not have to face McKinnon.
Make your SAG picks and tell industry insiders which shows, films and performers you have out front to win on January 29. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before the show time. Be sure to make your predictions right here. You’ll compete for a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year’s Top 24 users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year’s nominees). Read our contest rules.