1. Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
BIGGEST SURPRISE: Will Forte
This is not intended to slight Forte at all, but he wasn’t even on my radar for this nomination. He wasn’t even the first Will from 30 Rock I expected to get this nomination, that would be Will Arnett. I also would have expect James Marsden to get the nod before Forte. That’s not to take away from Forte, who did great it what wasn’t an easy role and was constantly funny and charming. This could be good news for Jane Krakowski, Fotre’s regular screen partner.
BIGGEST SNUB: Martin Short
Martin Short faced no small challenge when hosting Saturday Night Live this winter. It was the holiday show, it was shortly after the shooting at Sandy Hook, it was a Christmas show and Paul McCartney was guest starring. Combine that with no longer having the election to mock, and the Short show should have been a disaster. Instead it was a triumph, striking just the right tone while being one of the most enjoyable episodes of SNL in ages.
3. Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
BIGGEST SURPRISE: Dot-Marie Jones
It’s not often that last year’s winner is not a favorite to be nominated the next season, but Dot-Marie Jones didn’t have nearly as much to work with this season as last, and Glee has lost stature even from season three. Still, it’s nice that Jones will have a chance to defend her victory, and her work remains one of the lone bright spots on Glee
BIGGEST SNUB: Parker Posey
While it was great to see that Melissa Leo was able to snag a nomination for her work on Louie, it feels odd to then leave Posey’s amazing guest stint on the same program. While Posey didn’t outshine Leo, but her work as just as good, and some of the funniest television of the year.
5. Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
BIGGEST SURPRISE: Adam Driver
Adam Driver wasn’t nominated when Girls took the Emmys by storm last year, so it was a bit of a shock when he showed up on the nominees list this year. Still, Driver’s nominations wasn’t totally unexpected, as Girls continued to perform well with the Emmy voters.
BIGGEST SNUB: Eric Stonestreet
This may be the most surprising snub of all the nominees. Stonestreet has been nominated the last three years and won the Emmy twice. Three of Stonestreet’s cast mates were nominated in the same category (Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ty Burrell and Ed O’Neill) so voted didn’t sour on the program. Perhaps they were just uninterested in seeing Stonestreet win for a third time in four years.
7. Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
BIGGEST SURPRISE: Jane Lynch
Amazingly, Glee is still on the radar of Emmy voters, and Lynch earns her third nomination after missing the cut last year, becoming one of only two Glee cast members to be nominated this year (sorry Chris Colfer and Mike O’Malley). While her nomination isn’t a total shock, her character did toned down to slightly more reasonable levels last season, with such a competitive crowd it’s surprising Lynch was able to claw back into the category.
BIGGEST SNUB: Jessica Walter
SCENE FROM SEASON 5 OF ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT:
Lucille: “Can you believe it Michael? I just got off the phone with the my friend Emmylou. She said that I am no longer welcome over there, can you believe it?”
Michael: Well, you have been away for a long time, mother. Maybe she just forgot about you.”
Narrator: “Michael knew this wasn’t true. That’s because Emmylou had just called Michael and invited him over.”
9. Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
BIGGEST SURPRISE: Matt LeBlanc
LeBlanc is a surprise if only because his show last aired over a year ago and will not air again until at least 2014, putting it in the front of absolutely no one’s mind. Still, LeBlanc fills out a very talented collection of nominees in the Lead Actor in a Comedy series and while his presence is not entirely unexpected (he was nominated two years ago) it is a mild shock.
BIGGEST SNUB: Jake Johnson
New Girl failed to maintain the attention of Emmy voters during its second season, and it comes at the expense of Jake Johnson who has grown into his role of Nick as the show has progressed, but was unable to break through into the Lead Actor category. Next year could be the year for Johnson, as at least two of this years nominees won’t be in the running next year.
11. Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
BIGGEST SURPRISE: Laura Dern
Well, someone was watching Enlightened. The low-rated now-cancelled show from Mike White survived for two seasons on HBO and was honored in a surprise win at the Golden Globes, and now the former Oscar nominee has an Emmy nomination on her resume as well. The show—beloved by critics—has no serious chance of revival, but Dern’s nomination ensures it goes out with some dignity and recognition.
BIGGEST SNUB: Melissa McCarthy
McCarthy won an Emmy two years ago. She was nominated last year. She is nominated again this year for her hosting stint on Saturday Night Live and has become a bankable movie starts with two box office (if not a critical success). As such, it’s a shock that McCarthy won’t be a nominee in the Lead Actress category.
13. Comedy Series
BIGGEST SURPRISE: Louie
Why is one of the best comedies on television being nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series a surprise? Because, despite wins in several categories for Louie C.K. last year, the show has never been nominated in this category, despite being one of the best comedies for years on end. This season it made the final cut, and it qualifies as a nice surprise.
BIGGEST SNUB: Parks and Recreation
It’s a shame the Emmys have only nominated this program once during its tenure on NBC. The light, breezy comedy has the best ensemble on television. Ever member of the cast brings something different to the table, and all are fantastic in their roles. The show was full of highlights this season as the world of Pawnee, Indiana is continued to be explored, and the show managed to make old sitcom tropes feel fresh and new.
So what did you think? What were the biggest surprises in the comedy categories for you? What snubs were unforgivable? Let me know in the comments.