Last Year’s Winner: Kate McKinnon, “SNL”
Still Eligible: Yes.
Hot Streak: McKinnon has won two years in a row for her work on “SNL.”
Fun Fact: Prior to 2008, no actress from “Saturday Night Live” had been nominated in this category. Since 2008, “SNL” performers have snagged 12 nominations.
Can Kate McKinnon make it three in a row? If her movies have anything to do with it, she just might. Though McKinnon’s work on “SNL” is beyond deserving — frankly, she’s beyond compare — she got a “Ghostbusters” bump in 2016, when the much-anticipated blockbuster hit theaters during Emmys season. Last year, “Rough Night” debuted to smaller numbers but still in the summer, and this year she has “The Spy Who Dumped Me” dropping in August. Will small-screen gold plus a big screen bump equal one more trophy?
With seven other nominees in 2018, she has more competition than ever. There were eight nominations in 2015, too, but that was the last year McKinnon lost. Any number of competitors could dethrone the two-time champ, starting with Alex Borstein of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” It’s her fourth nominations, but her first for acting. Viewers love the series and Borstein’s role is funny, charming, and easy-to-love. Much of that is thanks to Borstein’s performance, and she could win extra votes simply because the series is so popular.
Of course, Betty Gilpin was the breakout star of summer 2017. Had she been nominated then, her odds might be even better, but Gilpin is still a major threat. The same could be said for Zazie Beetz in “Atlanta.” Though snubbed for Season 1, the series saw big gains with the TV Academy in Season 2, and Beetz stood out all the more. If “Atlanta” sets up a sweep, she would be part of it.
That being said, McKinnon isn’t the only “SNL” star nominated. Leslie Jones and, surprisingly, Aidy Bryant also nabbed slots in the category, though most of their fan-favorite accomplishments have happened off-screen. Laurie Metcalf stemmed the “Roseanne” backlash to snag a spot, but it’s hard to imagine her winning with a cancelled show overwhelmed by controversy. That leaves Megan Mullally, an eight-time nominee and two-time winner for “Will & Grace.” Though the NBC revival didn’t snag as many nominations as some expected, Mullally still has plenty of fans. If broadcast mounts a rally, she could benefit.
Below are IndieWire TV Critic Ben Travers’ predictions for Outstanding Supporting Actress 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.
- Zazie Beetz, “Atlanta”
- Alex Borstein, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
- Aidy Bryant, “Saturday Night Live”
- Betty Gilpin, “GLOW”
- Leslie Jones, “Saturday Night Live”
- Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live”
- Laurie Metcalf, “Roseanne”
- Megan Mullally, “Will & Grace”
Will Win: Alex Borstein, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Could Win: Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live”
Should Win: Betty Gilpin, “GLOW”