“I genuinely didn’t think I would win because all the websites said I was gonna lose,” exclaimed Aziz Ansari on stage when claiming the 2018 Golden Globe for his work on Netflix’s “Master of None.” (See full list of Golden Globes TV winners.) Ansari wasn’t wrong about being the underdog. Here at Gold Derby only 6 of our 18 experts from leading publications predicted him to prevail, and I was the only person who thought he would triumph from our in-house editorial team. So how was Ansari able to win the Globe for Best Comedy Actor? Here are my Top 4 reasons why I knew he would win:
1. A stronger season — The last year “Master of None” was eligible, at the 2016 ceremony, Ansari scored a nomination but not the series. This year the show made the series race for the first time, which showed support for him in the acting race. This was a strength not shared by half of his competitors: Kevin Bacon (“I Love Dick”) and William H. Macy (“Shameless”). The second season also took place partly in Italy, which may have helped earn extra votes from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
2. It’s single — It also helped that “Master of None” is a single-cam comedy with no laugh track. In the past 16 years only once has a performance won this category from a multi-cam comedy and that was in 2011 for Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”). This proved to be a hindrance for Eric McCormack (“Will & Grace”).
3. It’s new-ish — The last four years Globes voters have rewarded first-season shows in this category. Now it was “Master of None’s” second season, but that actually made it relatively new. Anthony Anderson‘s “Black-ish” is currently in its fourth season, “Shameless” was nominated for their eighth season and “Will & Grace” for its ninth. Only Kevin Bacon was in a newer show.
4. He was the hot choice — Ansari is one of the coolest guys in stand-up comedy and television. On the show he reflects current sensibilities on race, gender, religions and relationships. He also shows a depth and range with his acting he hasn’t in the past. And he’s also the creator and head writer of the show. Simply put, Ansari is the central voice and face of “Master of None,” leading to voters being keen to reward him.