- Last Year’s Winner: Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent”
- Was It an Upset? No
- Still Eligible? Yes
- Hot Streak: Last year marked the first time since 2008 that Jim Parsons wasn’t nominated in this category. And he’d won four of the last five.
- Fun Fact: Despite its unbeatable track record as an Emmys magnet, HBO has only won once in this category — in 2007 for Ricky Gervais in “Extras.”
Can Jeffrey Tambor win his second Emmy in as many years after six straight nominations without even one? That’s the buzz around the water cooler, as Tambor’s layered, personal performance in “Transparent” seems hard to top. There are quite a few worthy contenders, but they all should be prepared for disappointment on Emmys night.
First-time nominee Aziz Ansari may pose the greatest threat to the returning champion. Ansari is up for three Emmys this year, all for “Master of None,” and the Academy may want to reward him in this category as the face of the series. That being said, returning threat Anthony Anderson had one helluva year on “Black-ish,” and he’s now a proven favorite among voters. Might he topple the “Transparent” titan?
Likely also-rans are William H. Macy (“Shameless'” time in the sun has passed), Thomas Middleditch (too fresh of a face) and Will Forte (who we’d love to see win, but the show is lacking buzz). Below are IndieWire TV Critic Ben Travers’ predictions for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, which will be updated throughout the awards season. Make sure to keep checking IndieWire for all the latest buzz and highlights from the 2016 race, and read the rest of the predictions in all the categories, as well.
- Anthony Anderson, “Black-ish”
- Aziz Ansari, “Master of None”
- Will Forte, “The Last Man on Earth”
- William H. Macy, “Shameless”
- Thomas Middleditch, “Silicon Valley”
- Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent”
Will Win: Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent”
Could Win: Anthony Anderson, “Black-ish”
Should Win: Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent”