Predicting the Emmy Races You Care About (Comedies)

Here are the predictions for the categories you care about in comedy. Check out our calls for the major categories in drama. The Emmys are fast approaching, and we just want you to be well-armed and informed going in. Soooooooo…you’re welcome.


Outstanding Lead Actress, Comedy

There are some very funny women filling this category, but it’s looking like the reigning Queen of Emmy Comedy, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, is going to be tough to beat. To be fair, she is quite perfect as Vice President Selina Meyer. That being said, Melissa McCarthy (Mike and Molly) and Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie) are both highly talented, but they are non-threats in this category. I’m not a huge Girls fan, but even putting that aside, the push for Lena Dunham seems to have slowed. Orange is the New Black has wowed just about everyone who has watched, but Taylor Schilling may not yet have the sway to overtake JLD or Amy Poehler of Parks and Recreation. Staring down her 7th straight Emmy nomination(!) (the first two were for SNL), Poehler is searching for her first victory, and this could be her year. She already broke through at the Golden Globes, so this could be the logical next step. She has turned Leslie Knope into a comedic force, with the help of an awesome supporting cast, one that just might be able to topple JLD. Parks may not be quite as quick-witted or cerebral as Veep, but it never disappoints with its quirks and comforts. Schilling could shock, and I hope Poehler gets her victory night, but sometimes change is hard and slow.


Should Win: Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

Will Win: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep




Outstanding Lead Actor, Comedy

We live in a horrible world where The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men have produced the last four winners in this category, with (the completely innocent and likable) Jim Parsons taking home three of those trophies himself. Don Cheadle (House of Lies) is a GWW favorite, but his show is not, and he does not appear to be a factor in this race. Likewise for Ricky Gervais (Derek). Matt Leblanc (Episodes) has won me over with his newer work and Friends reruns, but I can’t imagine him being a strong contender. That leaves us with Louis C.K. (Louie), William H. Macy (Shameless), and the aforementioned Parsons (the unstoppable TBBT). Louie, the man and the show, are easily most in tune with our culture right now, but just because someone is the most topical (and by so, so far the best in his category — see CARELL, STEVE) does not mean they will bring home the trophy. For Macy, his performance is the most dramatic of the nominees here, but I don’t think that should or will push him to an upset. It comes down to Parsons and C.K., at perhaps exactly polar opposite ends of the comedic spectrum. Louie is undeniably dark and at times various levels of vulgar and uncomfortable, but C.K. (who, remember, does everything) taps into the latent ethos of a cynical world, without sacrificing the heartwarming pathos that make said world bearable. His performance is understated but gut-wrenchingly honest as his onscreen self traverses parenthood and post-divorce love, yet I still fear the Wrath of Parsons and the Laugh Track. I fear, however, that putting Parsons in the “Will Win” category will in some small way guide him to victory. Just know that he’s out there, lurking, waiting to ruin the nights of more deserving nominees.


Should Win: Louis C.K., Louie

Will Win: C.K.


Very lovable, yes, but let Louie get his night!


Outstanding Comedy Series

Modern Family has won all four trophies in this decade, but this could very well be the year it falls. Silicon Valley may be the only nominee without a significant chance at winning, and it’s still high-quality programmingThe Big Bang Theory isn’t as terrible as I just made it out to be, but I still don’t believe it will or should overtake the other contenders. Some people have grown weary of Modern Family‘s excellence. I am not one of those people. In fact, I found its most recent season to be perhaps its best, with the “Vegas” episode going down as one of my favorite comedy episodes of all time. That being said, I’m getting the vibes that change is in order, leaving us with LouieVeep, and Orange is the New Black. Veep is sharp, and we all love laughing at politicians, but I see it falling just outside true contention. I’ve made my adoration of Louie evident, but I also have to give major props to OITNB, which is truly a unique and groundbreaking series. The former is, by nature, subdued and simmering, while the latter is new and fresh and in the television mainstream. I think the combination of OITNB‘s timing, originality, and powerful female characters will win over enough voters to get the victory. I can’t fault that, though Louie would be a strong and deserving victor.

Should Win: Louie

Will Win: Orange is the New Black



A worthy victor if crowned, though not the one for which I hope.


Before you leave us, here are the quick-hitting supporting acting picks!


Supporting Actress

OITNB fever will win out, but Kate McKinnon deserves some love for helping save underwhelming SNL episodes.


Should Win: Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live

Will Win: Kate Mulgrew, Orange is the New Black


Supporting Actor

I’ll let you know when anyone other than Ty Burrell deserves this category. Watch out for Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Andre Braugher.


Should Win: Ty Burrell, Modern Family

Will Win: Burrell



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About Author: Brian McMahon

Brian is an author and co-founder of GoodWillWatching. He likes to write and is deathly afraid of bugs. His Great American Novel, not yet titled or existent, will be shocking the world some time or another. He once stayed up for two days straight because of poor information regarding the arrival of Halley’s Comet, which was not due for approximately 57 years. You can follow him @bm1313 on Twitter, or in real life from a safe distance.