Last year, “Glee” star Chris Colfer was expected to win the Best Supporting Comedy Actor Emmy but lost to “Modern Family” star Eric Stonestreet. Colfer had submitted an impressive episode to voters — “Laryngitis” — in which his character, gay high schooler Kurt Hummel, struggled to be straight to please his father. Failing, he delivered an emotional performance of “Rose’s Turn” from the musical “Gypsy.” But rather than reward this dramatic performance, Emmy voters opted for Stonestreet’s broad comic turn as Fizbo the Clown.
Two of the other “Modern Family” men — Ty Burrell and Jesse Tyler Ferguson — were also in the running. They, along with Stonestreet and the previously overlooked Ed O’Neill, are all formidable foes for Colfer this year. However, the “Glee” star is coming off a win at the Golden Globes in the very competitive catch-all supporting category.
Often, actors with longer submission episodes, like Colfer has with the hour-long “Glee,” have the advantage over stars of half-hour shows such as “Modern Family.” But if multiple “Modern Family” actors are nominated, they will have the benefit of appearing in their co-stars’ submissions as well as their own. This may have helped Stonestreet win last year.
Edie Falco, who won three Emmys for “The Sopranos, always featured prominently in fellow nominee Lorraine Bracco‘s episode submissions. Felicity Huffman entered a weak episode for the first season of “Desperate Housewives,” but won because of strong scenes in her co-stars’ reels. And Jimmy Smits was considered a frontrunner for his farewell season of “NYPD Blue,” but he submitted his death episode, which showcased his co-star Dennis Franz, and Franz ended up winning instead.
It’ll be hard to pick a winner in this race until we know which “Modern” actors are nominated and what they submit. It’s possible all four adult cast members will make it. Episodes of the ABC sitcom are usually structured to prominently feature the entire cast, meaning any combination of episodes could push one of them ahead of Colfer.
But which one? Our message board posters have been debating the possibilities, though many of them warn that Colfer and the “Modern” cast should watch out for one contender on the cusp of a nomination: Nick Offerman from “Parks and Recreation,” who could win with the right submission. Visit our message boards and join the debate.
beausalant: If anybody from “Modern Family” wins, it will be Burrell. But I also think that Offerman has the biggest chance of winning if he is nominated.
EmmyLoser: I say ideally this race is between Burrell, Offerman, and [Neil Patrick Harris from “How I Met Your Mother”] … BUT, as much as Colfer can be just way too much with the crying, etc., he could do well with an episode where he has a lighter storyline that’s more fun and funny (“Duets,” “Silly Love Songs”).
iskolar: With everything Kurt-centric that Ryan Murphy did in Season 2, I bet he’ll have a nervous breakdown if Colfer is snubbed.
eastwest: Colfer has frontrunner status, but if Nick Offerman gets in, WATCH OUT!
Slam: Colfer is a shoo-in nominee obviously, and he should go with “Born This Way” [as his episode submission]. It has a bit of everything for him. I don’t find him funny, but he is pretty great in that episode.
Are our posters completely off base? What do you think Colfer’s best submission would be? And could he and the “Modern Family” stars be upset by a left-field choice like Offerman or four-time Emmy contender Oliver Platt who plays the clueless husband on “The Big C“? Tell us what you think our message boards.