Alec Baldwin (Trump on ‘SNL’) and Louie Anderson (‘Baskets’) emerge as early Emmy frontrunners

Thanks to recent performances by Alec Baldwin (“Saturday Night Live”) and Louie Anderson (“Baskets”), the upcoming Emmy race for Best Comedy Supporting Actor is funnier than ever. Last weekend Baldwin hosted “SNL,” and that performance along with his 10 other appearances this season as President Donald Trump took him out of guest-star status — assuming the late-night program continues its pattern of airing 21 episodes. Reigning category champ Anderson last week gave a quietly superlative performance as Christine Baskets in the “Ronald Reagan Library” episode of the series, making this year’s Comedy Supporting Actor category one of the toughest in recent memory.

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Baldwin’s “SNL” hosting gig will probably help his Emmy campaign since he was given the opportunity to play multiple characters in addition to Trump, as he’s been doing for most of the season. While critics were somewhat divided on Baldwin’s hosting, his depiction of the President in “The People’s Court” sketch will probably be catnip come voting time for the left-leaning Hollywood community. Vote in our poll below about whether Baldwin is your favorite “Saturday Night Live” host of the season.

Last year Anderson pretty easily put to rest any believability questions of having a man play Zach Galifianakis’ mother in the offbeat FX comedy series, but this season he has gone even further. This week the comedian’s character spent the episode touring her hero Ronald Reagan’s presidential library while awaiting her son’s court date after a recent arrest. On her tour, Mrs. Baskets befriends another parent dealing with a child’s arrest and the quiet semi-romance/friendship the character finds herself in was subtle, touching and continued the series’ unique point of view.

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Anderson’s understated comic interest in hearing her carpet salesman friend (Alex Morris in a nice performance) discuss carpet loops was a classy and tender moment that should be remembered when Emmy episode submissions begin being discussed.

Other returning contenders in the Comedy Supporting Actor race are Andre Braugher (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”), Tituss Burgess (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”), Ty Burrell (“Modern Family”), Tony Hale (“Veep”), Matt Walsh (“Veep”). Stay tuned to Gold Derby’s Emmy coverage as more frontrunners such as Baldwin and Anderson emerge.

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