White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has just resigned from office, making us wish “Saturday Night Live” aired during the summer months so we could see Melissa McCarthy‘s hilarious take on the situation. McCarthy is just one of the nine “SNL” performers recognized at this year’s Emmys, from the show’s overall total of 22 nominations. The others are recurring player Alec Baldwin for Best Comedy Supporting Actor, regulars Kate McKinnon, Vanessa Bayer and Leslie Jones for Best Comedy Supporting Actress, and hosts Kristen Wiig, Dave Chappelle, Tom Hanks and Lin-Manuel Miranda as Best Comedy Guest performers. Can the show actually do the unthinkable and win four acting Emmys this year?
For Comedy Guest Actress, Melissa McCarthy feels like the frontrunner. If Baldwin’s portrayal of Donald Trump was the biggest impression of the year, McCarthy’s committed, hilarious take on Sean Spicer was the second biggest. This is her fifth nomination for hosting “SNL” and she has yet to win, but now she has the level of acclaim worthy of a victory. Don’t count out Wiig as well, who is now on her eighth nomination without a win and could be considered overdue.
Alec Baldwin arguably had the buzziest performance on television this year as Donald Trump, garnering attention from President Trump himself and his administration. The special circumstances of Baldwin’s “Saturday Night Live” performance give him a huge advantage in Best Comedy Supporting Actor, especially for voters salivating at the idea of hearing what he might say in his acceptance speech.
Kate McKinnon is looking to take home her second consecutive victory in Best Comedy Supporting Actress after becoming the first “SNL” regular to win an Emmy for the show since Dana Carvey in 1993. She certainly had another memorable year as the show’s most prominent star, gaining acclaim for her political impressions of Hillary Clinton, Kellyanne Conway, Elizabeth Warren, Jeff Sessions and more. It is possible that the vote could split now that she’s competing against Bayer and Jones, but there seems to be such huge love in the industry for McKinnon that vote-splitting might not be a factor.
There is no clear frontrunner in Best Comedy Guest Actor, so any one of Chappelle, Hanks or Miranda could easily grab a win. Each actor is respected in his individual field, so it may come down to the episodes themselves. As the first episode of the season after Trump’s election win, Chappelle’s episode was one of the most significant “SNL” shows this past year. The Hanks episode was a popular one, spawning the instant classic David S. Pumpkins, who makes our list of Season 42’s Best Sketches. Miranda’s episode had less buzz but it did have its moments, like his masterful monologue rap.
In addition to these acting wins, the Emmys could also give “SNL” the awards for Best Variety Sketch Series, Best Variety Series Directing and Best Variety Series Writing. This would certainly send a powerful message about the show being a greater cultural touchstone than ever before. Not bad for a show Donald Trump once called “unwatchable.”
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