The pool of nominees for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy is a rich one, with each deserving of the award in their own way. Sadly, only one can walk home with the prize, but who could it be?
What’s interesting about the race is that three of the seven nominees are making their first appearance for their respective shows, each of which wrapped debut seasons that received critical acclaim.
Surrounded by an outstanding cast that includes Laurence Fishburne and Tracee Ellis Ross, Anthony Anderson has won viewers over on “Black-ish” with his portrayal of Dre, an African-American dad who wants to give his kids a little urban culture. After smaller roles in a number of movies — from “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle to “The Departed” — Anderson has made the leap to leading man smoothly, rising to the occasion to carry the series.
Then there’s former “Saturday Night Live” star Will Forte, another actor taking on the role of leading man for the first time — unless you count the movie “MacGruber.” He somehow managed to make the end of the world cool on “The Last Man on Earth,” doing most of the heavy-lifting in the beginning, before the apocalypse became a bit more populated.
The last of the newbies is Jeffrey Tambor, who has earned rave reviews for his portrayal of a transgender woman on the Amazon Prime series “Transparent.” While it’s one of the more serious of the comedies up for an award, Tambor’s nomination is a well-deserved nod to the series, which is getting Amazon its first Emmy recognition.
Outside of the three new guys, the rest of the nominees shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise — they’ve all been up for this Emmy before. Notably missing from the list is Jim Parsons, who has won the award four out of the last five years for “The Big Bang Theory.”
Returning nominees however include Louie CK for “Louie,” Don Cheadle for “House of Lies,” Matt LeBlanc for “Episodes” and William H. Macy for “Shameless.”
That’s three nominations for Showtime, while some might wonder how “Shameless” is still considered a comedy. After all, a change in Emmy rules moved “Orange Is the New Black” from the comedy to drama categories.
None of the repeat nominees have ever walked away with the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy, but with Parsons out of the picture in 2015, is this their shot — or will a newbie step forward to take the crown?
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