Emmy Watch: Your Comedy Nominees

The primetime Emmy’s, a television production feat in itself, will be recognizing all of your favorite funny moments this Sunday, September 18 at 7 pm EST. We’re looking back at all of the incredible creativity that made these shows stand out.

Like many of you, we tuned in to laugh along with all of the nominees and even interviewed some of the show’s creators. Here’s a review of this year’s comedy categories – outstanding comedy series, lead actor and lead actress, supporting actor and actress, writing and directing. For a roundup of the dramatic nominees, check out our earlier post here

Outstanding Comedy Series

Veep (HBO)
Although the show’s namesake Selina Meyer is actually no longer the Veep, the series led by seven time Emmy award winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus is staying steady entering it’s 6th season of satire. We interviewed Director Dale Stern about how the show thrives in a political climate that can sometimes be funnier than fiction. Veep has appeared on the Emmy’s ballot forty-two times. 

Transparent (Amazon)

Online streaming content is carving out a bigger piece of the Emmy pie. With help from acting legends like Jeffrey Tambor and Judith Light, the groundbreaking show already has six statues. 

Silicon Valley (HBO)

Pied Piper has had its highs and lows throughout the show’s first 3 seasons, but Mike Judge’s startup story has been a steady success. 

Modern Family (ABC)

The ensemble show featuring the Pritchett/Dunphy clan has a favorite character for everyone. Almost the entire adult cast has been nominated for their performances since the show began. We got the scoop from editor Tony Orcena on how they truly keep the show modern

Master of None (Netflix)

With Parks and Recreation wrapping up in 2015, Aziz Ansari moved on to headline his own comedy. Master of None is the breakout this year pulling down 4 nominations from its first season. 

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)

Another hit for executive producer Tina Fey, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt brings in big viewers for the online streaming service. 

ABC pulls down its 2nd nomination for the top comedy award with another family centered sitcom black-ish. This was an incredibly strong season for the network sitcom taking an earnest look at family dynamics in current events while making us laugh. 

black-ish (ABC)


Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent (Amazon)

Aziz Ansari, Master of None (Netflix)

Anthony Anderson, black-ish (ABC)

William H. Macy, Shameless (Showtime)

Will Forte, The Last Man on Earth (Fox)

Thomas Middleditch, Silicon Valley (HBO)

Jeffrey Tambor has a solid opportunity to take the trophy twice in a row, but Anthony Anderson’s performances have been consistently strong. Often touching on more somber material, Transparent gives Tambor an opportunity to show off his wide acting range giving him an edge. Aziz Ansari takes the record for nominations in the most comedy categories spanning Writing, Directing and Acting. Notably missing is any Big Bang Theory acting nods. 

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep (HBO)


Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer (Comedy Central)

Ellie Kemper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)

Tracee Ellis Ross, black-ish (ABC)

Laurie Metcalfe, Getting On (HBO)

Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie (Netflix)

This could be one of the most competitive categories of the 2016 Emmy’s. Julia Louis-Dreyfus has dominated since Veep began 5 years ago and is the favorite to continue her winning streak. As for possible foils, black-ish had a strong season anchored by Tracee Ellis Ross. And you can never count out comedy legend Lily Tomlin who delivers riotous performances as free spirit Frankie to Jane Fonda’s Grace.


Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Tony Hale, Veep (HBO)

Matt Walsh, Veep (HBO)

Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)

Ty Burrell, Modern Family (ABC)

Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox)

Louis Anderson, Baskets (FX)

Keegan-Michael Key, Key and Peele (Comedy Central)

There is no lack of talent in the supporting actor category. Ty Burrell and Tony Hale have helped make Modern Family and Veep the dominant shows in the comedy category for five years. Both have taken home the Emmy, but Tituss Burgess was the odds on favorite in 2015 with his contagious rendition of Pinot Noir in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. This might be his year. 


Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Anna Chlumsky, Veep (HBO)

Allison Janney, Mom (CBS)

Niecy Nash, Getting On (HBO)

Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live (NBC)

Judith Light, Transparent (Amazon)

Gaby Hoffman, Transparent (Amazon)

Overall, this category looks similar to last year, but surprisingly the funny women of Modern Family were shut out. With 7 Emmy wins over her impressive career in both comedy and drama categories, Allison Janney came out on top the past 2 years for Mom. Kate McKinnon has become a Saturday Night Live favorite and her Ghostbusters performance could give her the extra visibility she needs to take home the Emmy.



Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series

Aziz Ansari, Master of None, "Parents" (Netflix)

Mike Judge, Silicon Valley, "Founder Friendly" (HBO)

Alec Berg, Silicon Valley, "Daily Active Users" (HBO)

Jill Soloway, Transparent, "Man on the Land" (Amazon)

Dale Stern, Veep, "Mother" (HBO)

Chris Addison, Veep, "Morning After" (HBO)

Dave Mandel, Veep, "Kissing Your Sister" (HBO)

In the first season post the departure of show creator Armando Ianucci, Veep has clearly maintained its quality. With three strong episodes that see Selina cope with everything from a pimple to a death in the family, Veep is the heavy favorite in the directing category. As the only female nominee in the category, Jill Solloway holds her own with the ambitious music festival episode of Transparent, Man on the Land



Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series

Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan, Catastrophe, "Episode 1" (Amazon)

Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang, Master of None, "Parents" (Netflix)

Dan O'Keefe, Silicon Valley, "Founder Friendly" (HBO)

Alec Berg, Silicon Valley, "The Uptick" (HBO)

Dave Mandel, Veep, "Morning After" (HBO)

Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck, Veep, "Mother" (HBO)


Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series

Larry David, Saturday Night Live (NBC)

Bob Newhart, The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

Tracy Morgan, Saturday Night Live (NBC)

Bradley Whitford, Transparent (Amazon)

Martin Mull, Veep (HBO)

Peter Scolari, Girls (HBO)


Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, Saturday Night Live (NBC)

Christine Baranski, The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

Melissa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live (NBC)

Amy Schumer, Saturday Night Live (NBC)

Laurie Metcalfe, The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

Melora Hardin, Transparent (Amazon)




Kelle Long

Kelle has written about film and TV for The Credits since 2016. Follow her on Twitter @molaitdc for interviews with really cool film and TV artists and only occasional outbursts about Broadway, tennis, and country music. Please no talking or texting during the movie. Unless it is a musical, then sing along loudly.