Last year marked the first time that “Saturday Night Live” did not submit any of its female hosts for Emmy consideration as Best Comedy Guest Actress since they became eligible to compete in that category in 2009. This was surprising for two reasons: seven male hosts were included on Guest Actor ballot and funny women had done well in this race in years prior. Indeed, they had reaped 10 bids in all, with wins in 2009 (Tina Fey) and 2010 (Betty White).
However, even if “SNL” had submitted some of its female hosts last year, they may not have been nominated. Of the 20 hosts, seven were women and six of those were movie stars (Amy Adams, Cameron Diaz, Taraji P. Henson, Scarlett Johansson, Dakota Johnson, Reese Witherspoon), which the Emmys have avoided nominating as “SNL” hosts. The women who have reaped bids were past “SNL” cast members (Fey, Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig) or comedic television stars (Melissa McCarthy, White) with the only exception being Emmy favorite Sarah Silverman.
This year’s Emmy ballot lists six female “SNL” hosts and all are strong contenders as detailed below:
Amy Schumer (October 10 with musical guest The Weeknd)
Schumer is the comedian of the moment, having ascended to industry-darling status last year for her work on “Inside Amy Schumer.” She won her first Emmy, for producing that Best Sketch Series champ and received her first acting nomination, as Best Comedy Actress for the same program. She hosted “SNL” for the first time this season and followed in the footsteps of three-time Guest Actor nominee Louis C.K. (2013, 2014, 2015) by showcasing her stand-up comedy skills in her opening monologue. Gold Derby sister site Indiewire declared that “Schumer should just join the cast full-time.”
Ballot description: Amy does her stand up routine for her monologue. Parodies include Fox & Friends; Amy as a flight attendant who gets sucked out of the plane; Amy as a porn star teaching school kids; and Amy as an actress who ruins re-enactments of Lincoln’s assassination.
Tina Fey & Amy Poehler (December 19 with musical guest Bruce Springsteen)
Fey and Poehler were the first “SNL” co-hosts since Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey (2004); they have somehow submitted as a single entry for the Emmy ballot. This would not be the first time that they have shared an Emmy nomination, as they have been nominated for both co-hosting and co-writing the Golden Globes (2013, 2014, 2015). Of the duo’s “SNL” hosting, Gold Derby sister publication Variety said that “They’re not just naturals at all things ‘SNL,’ they’re a ridiculous amount of fun to watch together.”
Fey has been nominated all four times that she has hosted “SNL,” three times in this category (2010, 2011, 2014) and once in the defunct Best Variety Individual Performance category (2008). She previously won an Emmy (2002) for her role as head writer. In addition, she won an Emmy in this category for her recurring role as Sarah Palin on the show (2009) and was nominated last year for her recurring role on “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” (2015), for which she is also on the Comedy Guest Actress ballot this year.
Poehler was not nominated her previous time as host (2011), but she was nominated for Comedy Supporting Actress (2007, 2008) when she was a part of the regular cast and was nominated in 2011 for “Parks and Recreation” as Comedy Actress; her nominations continued through the conclusion of that show last year. She contends on the Comedy Supporting Actress ballot this year for “Wet Hot American Summer.”
Ballot description: Tina and Amy sing original Christmas songs in their monologue, which reflects their different styles. Parodies include a GOP debate; Tina and Amy as Clinton and Palin meeting in a dream; and in a music video about how they get everything done.
Melissa McCarthy (February 14 with musical guest Kanye West)
McCarthy has been nominated every time that she has hosted (2012, 2013, 2014). Per Rolling Stone, “She’s one of a handful of people that essentially has an open invite to come on whenever she feels like it, with a skill set perfectly equipped to engage with the cast and also put entire sketches on her back when the need arises.” She also hopes to score her fourth Best Comedy Actress nomination this year for “Mike & Molly” (2011 win, 2012, 2014), which just concluded its run.
Ballot description: In her monologue, Melissa sings about hosting five times, but realizes it was a mistake. Parodies include Melissa in a focus group watching a horror show; as a politically incorrect woman on a bus and a single woman learning how to pick up men.
Ariana Grande (March 12 with herself as musical guest)
Grande may be primarily known for her music, but that did not stop Justin Timberlake at the Emmys; he won Best Comedy Guest Actor in 2009 and 2011 for his “SNL” hosting and was nominated again in 2013. Vogue noted that Grande’s celebrity impressions went “instantly viral” and that “Grande blew us all away by showing off her vocal and comedic range.”
Ballot description: Ariana Grande hosts and performs. Skits include Opening Monologue, Tidal, This Is Not a Feminist Song, Kids Choice Awards, Mermaids, Family Feud, and Sound of Music.
Brie Larson (May 7 with musical guest Alicia Keys)
The Emmys do not nominate film actresses for hosting “SNL,” but few are as beloved by the industry as Larson, who swept the Oscar, BAFTA, Critics’ Choice, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Awards for Best Actress earlier this year for “Room.” Reviewing her first “SNL” appearance, Vulture wrote, “Larson gamely steps into every part she’s handed, delivers the material with energy, leads sketches when it’s required but doesn’t get in the way of something that has potential to be really funny.” She is also on the Best Comedy Guest Actress ballot for “Comedy Bang! Bang!”
Ballot description: Brie talks about her Oscar win and celebrates Moms for Mother’s Day in her monologue. Parodies include Game of Thrones; a quiz show about the GOP candidates and a baby shower for housewives who all get the same hair cut at a certain age.
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