Comedy Guest Actress: Our editors debate Melissa McCarthy, Carrie Fisher and more
“People have been talking about Melissa McCarthy‘s performance since she first appeared,” declares Marcus James Dixon in our video chat (watch above) about the buzz-worthy Best Comedy Guest Actress category at this year’s Emmys. Gold Derby senior editors Rob Licuria and Dixon are joined by contributing writers Zach Laws and Amanda Spears to debate whether anyone can beat frontrunner McCarthy this year.
McCarthy, a former winner in Best Comedy Actress for “Mike and Molly,” is fending off fellow Emmy winner Wanda Sykes (“Black-ish”), three previous nominees in Angela Bassett (“Master of None”), the late Carrie Fisher (“Catastrophe”) and Kristen Wiig (“Saturday Night Live”), and freshman candidate Becky Ann Baker (“Girls”).
Dixon argues that McCarthy’s “SNL” performance this season is unbeatable. “It was such a water cooler moment that even if you don’t watch it, you know that she did it,” he declares. We talk more about the impact that her sketches had over the past season, and reminisce about our favorite McCarthy moments. “I want to add that when we talk about her sketches, all four of us are laughing,” Dixon reminds us all. “That’s the power of this role.”
Spears remains skeptical, though. “Is ‘Saturday Night Live’ going to win all four acting awards? Let’s step back and think about this,” she questions, alluding to “SNL” contenders Alec Baldwin, Kate McKinnon and Tom Hanks, who are frontrunners to win in their respective categories of Best Comedy Supporting Actor and Actress and Best Comedy Guest Actor. We all acknowledge that it will be tough for the late night veteran to win four acting prizes, but Laws notes that “if I had to bet on the one I think that it is the likeliest to win, this would be one of them, just because of the cultural impact of what [Melissa] did.”
On the other hand, some of us are predicting an upset in this race with a potential Fisher win. “She’s beloved, she passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly and I want to see Princess Leia win this Emmy. I just want it to happen so I am willing it to happen,” Licuria says. “She’s really good in ‘Catastrophe,’ too. But, it’s the only nomination for the show, and that’s what hurts her, and what also hurts her is that Melissa McCarthy is just so freaking amazing in her episode of ‘Saturday Night Live.'”
“Carrie Fisher certainly has the Emmy story, ” Laws agrees. “Aside from the next ‘Star Wars’ movie, this is pretty much the last thing we’re ever going to see her in, and so there’s that sentimental factor there, as well as the performance.” Ultimately though, Laws says that it will be difficult to triumph over McCarthy this year. “I think it’s going to be hard to beat Melissa McCarthy; her sketches were highlights of the season. They were water cooler sketches.”