Bill Hader plays a hit man in the dark comedy “Barry,” and he might just have the marksmanship to take out the competition at the Emmys this year. The HBO series, which premiered on Sunday, March 25, was created by Hader with Alec Berg (“Silicon Valley“). Currently few are predicting Hader to be nominated in a crowded Best Comedy Actor race — he’s an 80/1 underdog according to our predictions as of this writing. However, here are three reasons why I think he is perfectly positioned to win this year.
1. The role has pizzazz
Playing the title role gives Hader everything that an Emmy contender could hope for. Barry Berkman is a lonely hit man who moves to L.A. for a kill and finds a supportive community within the theater scene. Barry is an ex-marine so the role also explores post-service life and PTSD, which provides opportunities for Hader to display both impact and range like past Emmy winners who have portrayed mentally ill or neuroatypical characters, like three-time Comedy Actor winner Tony Shalhoub (2003, 2005-2006) as an obsessive-compulsive detective in “Monk,” or 2009 Comedy Actress winner Toni Collette as a woman with dissociative identity disorder in “United States of Tara.” Also, Barry finding a reprieve from life’s stress through acting will play well with academy voters in the acting branch who are all, well, actors.
2. The actor has props
Hader is a respected comedic actor in the industry, whose eight-season run on “Saturday Night Live” was described by fellow “SNL” alum Bill Murray as “the best work anybody ever did on that show.” It earned Hader the first ever “SNL” nomination for Comedy Supporting Actor in 2012, which he repeated the next year. He left the show in 2013, but he returned as a guest host in 2014 and was nominated again, for Comedy Guest Actor, in 2015. His series “Documentary Now” has been nominated for Variety Sketch Series the past two years. And he won the first of his five Emmy nominations for Best Animated Program (2009) as a producer of the Comedy Central series “South Park.” Altogether he has been nominated 10 times in just the last eight years, so voters are clearly fond of him.
3. The show has pedigree
It’s not just Hader who has respect in the industry. His co-creator Berg, who also wrote for “Seinfeld,” has been nominated for 14 Emmys including writing bids for the past four years for “Silicon Valley.” And “Barry” airs on HBO, which has been the most successful network in nominations and wins at the Emmys for more than a decade with past Comedy Series victories for “Sex and the City” (2001) and “Veep” (2015-2017). And on MetaCritic, the show currently has an impressive score of 84, so it has critical prestige on top of all that.
Do you agree that Hader is a dark-horse Emmy threat?
Be sure to make your Emmy predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before nominees are announced on July 12. And join in the fun debate over the 2018 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.