On Thursday night, “Late Late Show with James Corden” featured Allison Janney and Bradley Whitford as guests and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to send up the show that made both of them stars: “The West Wing” (watch their walk-and-talk monologue above). Whitford won Best Drama Supporting Actor for “West Wing” in 2001 and received additional nominations in 2002 and 2003. Then, as mentioned by Janney in this sketch, he won Best Comedy Guest Actor last year for his role as a cross-dressing confidante to transgender Maura (Jeffrey Tambor) in “Transparent.” Janney, meanwhile, won a whopping four Emmys for “West Wing.” She prevailed as Best Drama Supporting Actress in 2000 and 2001. Then she graduated to the lead category, which she claimed in 2002 and 2004.
She’s won three more Emmys in just the last two years: Best Comedy Supporting Actress for “Mom” (2014-2015) and Best Drama Guest Actress for “Masters of Sex” (2014). That brings her total to seven, which is a punchline in the sketch. The all-time record for performers is held by Cloris Leachman, who has won eight Emmys in primetime and one in daytime, giving her a total of nine. Janney could tie that record this year as she is eligible to compete again for her roles in both “Mom” and “Masters of Sex.”
James Corden debuted his “Late Late Show” in the spring of 2015, so he’s still awaiting his first Emmy, but he won a BAFTA TV Award in 2008 for Best Comedy Performance (“Gavin & Stacey”) before heading to Broadway and winning a Tony as Best Actor in a Play for “One Man, Two Guvnors” (2012). This year Corden is hosting the Tonys telecast, which means he could win an Emmy as emcee next year just like previous Tony hosts Neil Patrick Harris, Sean Hayes and Hugh Jackman have in recent years.