Last Year’s Winner: Alec Baldwin, “SNL”
Still Eligible: Yes.
Hot Streak: Ty Burrell has been nominated for eight years in a row and won twice (in 2011 and 2014).
Fun Fact: In the eight years “Modern Family” has been eligible, the cast has received 18 nominations in this category alone.
Seven nominees illustrate the level of talent in this category, but there can only be one winner, so who’s it going to be? Alec Baldwin won last year and is up for the same role in 2018; that being said, the buzz has faded a bit on his Donald Trump take, so the “SNL” favorite may not be the frontrunner. The same goes for the winner from two years back: Louie Anderson. “Baskets” saw a bit less love in 2018, so its lone nominee may not be in the driver’s seat.
Tituss Burgess is in a similar position, except he’s yet to win for “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” after four straight nominations. Though the show is losing favor with the Academy (down again in total nominations with just two), perhaps Burgess can gain a little momentum for his breakout turn. Kenan Thompson finally cracked into the acting race after notching his 300th episode on “SNL,” but that nod seems like enough recognition for now.
That leaves just three men: Henry Winkler (“Barry”), Brian Tyree Henry (“Atlanta”), and Tony Shalhoub (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”). They’ve all been nominated before (though this is Henry’s first go at this category), and they all have compelling cases. Winkler hasn’t been in the game since snagging two guest actor nominations in 2000, and despite his iconic work in “Happy Days,” the veteran thespian has never won an Emmy. He’s overdue, and people loved him as an acting teacher and quirky romantic in “Barry.”
Henry, though, has the hottest show and the most screen time. Multiple episodes were dedicated to Alfred in “Robbin’ Season,” and even when his character wasn’t the focus, he could steal the show with a single gesture. If “Atlanta” captures the overall momentum, Henry could walk away with this one… that is, if Tony Shalhoub doesn’t pull a “Monk.” For years, the TV Academy favored Shalhoub over other legendary performances in the lead actor race, including Steve Carell in “The Office,” Larry David in “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and Jason Bateman in “Arrested Development.” Can he get on a roll again in the supporting race?
Below are IndieWire TV Critic Ben Travers’ predictions for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (listed in alphabetical order), which will be updated throughout the season. Make sure to keep checking IndieWire for all the latest buzz and highlights from the 2018 race, and read predictions in the rest of the categories, as well.
- Louie Anderson, “Baskets”
- Alec Baldwin, “SNL”
- Tituss Burgess, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
- Brian Tyree Henry, “Atlanta”
- Tony Shalhoub, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
- Kenan Thompson, “Saturday Night Live”
- Henry Winkler, “Barry”
Will Win: Henry Winkler, “Barry”
Could Win: Tony Shaloub, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Should Win: Henry Winkler, “Barry”