Heading into the 2021 Emmys, Jason Sudeikis (“Ted Lasso”) is the overwhelming front-runner to claim the trophy for Best Comedy Actor. In fact, he’s the only acting contender that’s unanimously predicted to win by all 28 of our Emmy Experts. Sudeikis plays the titular American football coach who travels to England to coach soccer, a sport he knows nothing about. The former “SNL” alum is coming off big victories at the Golden Globes, Critics Choice and SAG Awards, which makes him a force to be reckoned with heading into the Emmy Awards. Can anyone take him down? Let’s take a look at his four biggest threats, according to our Experts’ racetrack odds.
Michael Douglas (“The Kominsky Method”) — This Best Actor Oscar winner for “Wall Street” (1987) has been nominated twice at the Emmys for starring on the Netflix hit comedy, losing to Bill Hader (“Barry”) and Eugene Levy (“Schitt’s Creek”). He also earned a bid for producing “The Kominsky Method” last year when it was nominated for Best Comedy Series. As this is the final season of the show, it’s the last chance for TV Academy members to reward Douglas for playing beloved acting coach Sandy Kominsky. He previously won an Emmy for “Behind the Candelabra” (2013).
Anthony Anderson (“Black-ish”) — At nine nominations and no wins, might this finally be the year Anderson takes home a golden statuette? He’s been up six times for playing Dre and three times for producing the ABC laffer. In his favor is the fact that last year “Black-ish” entered the Emmy winner’s circle for the first time, claiming the hairstyling prize for the “Hair Day” episode. The popular comedian is also an Emmy contender in Best Reality Host for overseeing the game show revival of “To Tell the Truth.”
Ted Danson (“Mr. Mayor”) — Danson is already in the Emmy history books for claiming the most nominations in the Best Comedy Actor category, and a bid for “Mr. Mayor” would break his own record. He received 11 noms for “Cheers” (winning in 1990 and ’93) and another three citations for “The Good Place,” bringing his category total to 14. On “Mr. Mayor” Danson takes on the role of Neil Bremer, an ad exec who wants to become mayor in order to gain his daughter’s respect. The series has been renewed for a second season by NBC, so if Danson doesn’t win this year, he’ll be coming for that Emmy next year.
Kenan Thompson (“Kenan”) — The longest-running “Saturday Night Live” cast member ever pulled double-duty this year as he also headlined his own self-titled family sitcom on NBC. On “Kenan,” Thompson plays Kenan Williams, the news anchor of a morning show in Atlanta, who struggles to raise two daughters in the aftermath of his wife’s death. He’s not in it alone though, as he has the help of his brother/manager Gary (Chris Redd) and his father-in-law Rick (Don Johnson). Thompson is a prior Emmy champ for writing the “SNL” song “Come Back, Barack.”
Rounding out our Emmy Experts’ Top 10 contenders for this category are Rob McElhenney (“Mythic Quest”), William Zabka (“Cobra Kai”), William H. Macy (“Shameless”), Alan Tudyk (“Resident Alien”) and Ralph Macchio (“Cobra Kai”).
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