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Emmys: 12 Comedy Leads We'd Love to See Get a Nomination

By Peter Knegt and Ben Travers | Indiewire June 18, 2014 at 10:33AM

We've got video evidence that while these fine comedians aren't likely to see the inside of the Nokia Theater this summer, they're absolutely deserving of your attention.
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Rob Lowe in "Parks and Recreation" on NBC
Colleen Hayes/NBC Rob Lowe in "Parks and Recreation"

4/3) Keegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele - "Key & Peele"


BT: I see your Comedy Central duo and raise you a duo of my own -- "Key & Peele" is about to enter its fourth season and the only Emmy nod it's received is for makeup. Makeup. One more time, just for effect: makeup is the only element of this hysterical sketch show that the Television Academy sees worthy of honoring. I've got nothing against artists Scott Wheeler and Suzanne Diaz getting some deserved attention, but let's honor the driving force behind the show itself, please. Sadly, both men are more likely to be recognized for their solid guest appearances on FX's expected Emmy attraction "Fargo" (though that, too, seems unlikely). Keegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele have been pumping out incisive, focused and altogether awesome episodes for years. Let's throw at least one of them a bone. 

2) Jonathan Groff - "Looking"

PK: I suspect very few bones will sent the way of HBO's "Looking," in part because it hardly feels comedic compared to most of the other shows we've been talking about here. Certainly another example of why the comedy/drama split doesn't seem to quite fit narrative television these days (though I'm also hard pressed to find an alternative solution -- don't even get me started on the term "dramedy"), "Looking" was also one of my favorite new series of the past season.  And that had a lot to do with its lead actor Jonathan Groff.  In just eight episodes, Groff takes protagonist Patrick and, with the help of some very tight writing, develops him into one of television's most complex characters, an extraordinarily imperfect antihero we aren't sure we should be rooting for.  Not exactly the stuff of comedy gold, but still more than worthy of an Emmy nomination.


2) Ricky Gervais - "Derek"


BT: I'll be the first to admit Season 2 of the Ricky Gervais' British comedy, about a nursing home and those who tend to it, was a lesser effort than the first. But for everything else that went wrong, the one constant remained Gervais, whose created a character more endearing (obviously) than Michael Scott -- but just as meaningful, if not more so. Derek is the sweet heart of a world gone cold, and Gervais embodies him in a way unfamiliar to fans of the vicious comic. He's the perfect man to play Derek, and he plays him perfectly. 

1) Amy Schumer - "Inside Amy Schumer"

PK: Amy Schumer plays a whole lot of characters perfectly in "Inside Amy Schumer," and she is my #1 vote here, even though I could probably offer this list in entirely different order depending on the time of day.  But sketch comedy has a hard time in Emmy acting categories, especially if you're not "Saturday Night Live."   And no offence to the glorious Kate McKinnon, but there's no one on "Saturday Night Live" deserving of an Emmy nomination over Amy Schumer, who -- much like the women from "Broad City" are doing with narrative comedy -- is reinventing sketch comedy in her Comedy Central series.  And like the women of "Broad City," hell will have frozen over if a good chunk of typically archaic Emmy voters come to recognize that...


1) Rob Lowe - "Parks and Recreation"

BT: Yes, my quest continues for the best sitcom on television to get the recognition it deserves. Two weeks back, I pushed for voters to put Nick Offerman on their ballots, but there's no one I'd rather see get an Emmy nomination -- and no one less likely to receive one -- than Rob Lowe. While he stands a good shot at a nod for his role in the TV movie "Killing Kennedy," the deck is stacked against him for "Parks." First, he's on the ballot for leading man, not supporting, which he clearly is to anyone familiar with the program. And his case won't be helped by his departure midway through the season, cutting his screen time down even further. This is all the more reason, though, to champion the man who brought the most enthusiasm, heart and humor to network TV this year, and many years prior. He's the best comedic actor of the year, and I will literally cry when the Academy rejects talent in favor of ratings for one more year. 


This article is related to: Emmys, Emmy Awards, 2014 Primetime Emmy Awards, Rob Lowe, Broad City