Tell me something ‘Good’: Maya Rudolph could win her 1st Emmy for ‘The Good Place’ guest role

“Saturday Night Live” alum Maya Rudolph has never won an Emmy for her work on the small screen despite two previous nominations for her work, but that could change this year thanks to her guest role in “The Good Place” as the Judge. She recurred in multiple episodes during season three, but she’s specifically on the Emmy ballot for guest-starring in “Child Sees the Time-Knife,” the penultimate episode. As the plot description on the ballot explains, “The All-Knowing, All-Powerful Judge of the Universe is pissed,” but Rudolph might have reason to celebrate, according to a couple of the Expert journalists we’ve surveyed.

According to the combined predictions of Gold Derby’s users, the front-runner for Best Comedy Guest Actress is Emmy magnet Jane Lynch for playing comic Sophie Lennon in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” To date Lynch has won 4 Emmys out of 11 nominations, all of which she has accumulated in the last 10 years. She was already nominated for playing Sophie last year, so we know voters admire this performance, and “Mrs. Maisel” itself has been an awards juggernaut, winning more Emmys last year (eight) than any other comedy in a single season. Undoubtedly, she’s a formidable opponent.

But Rudolph was also nominated last year for her role as the Judge, and “The Good Place” has seen a spike in industry recognition this past year. It earned its first two Emmy nominations in 2018 (for Rudolph and lead actor Ted Danson), and then during the winter awards seasons it picked up its first ever bids from the Producers Guild, Writers Guild, Art Directors Guild and the American Cinema Editors. No love yet from the Screen Actors Guild, which is worrying since it’s only actors in the television academy who decide the Emmy acting winners, but nevertheless, “The Good Place” is on the rise.

Now two Emmy Experts from top media outlets are predicting Rudolph to win: Kaitlin Thomas ( and Ben Travers (IndieWire). And the actress is overdue. She never earned a nomination for “SNL” while she was a regular cast member from 2000-2007, and though she was nominated in 2012 for guest-hosting the sketch comedy, she lost that prize to Kathy Bates (“Two and a Half Men”). And last year she lost her “Good Place” guest bid to “SNL” guest host Tiffany Haddish. Now Emmy judges will judge the Judge yet again. Will they rule in her favor this time?

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 nominations are announced on July 16. And join in the fun debate over the 2019 Emmy taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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