Emmys 2016: Pete Davidson, Kumail Nanjiani, Charlie Day, T.J. Miller among our Supporting Actor – Comedy picks

This year, the Emmys are really bringing it in spades when it comes to the Comedy field. It’s more spread-out than it has possibly ever been thanks to streaming services, and with that, it’s also getting harder and harder to come up with just six names. Yet, that’s what we try to do here, and this genre is exciting for us since we don’t often get to discuss some of the shows or performers spotlighted here.

Below, you can take a look at our choices for Supporting Actor in this field; you can vote for your personal favorite among the picks below! The results of our reader poll will be announced on July 13, one day before the actual nominations.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Louie Anderson, “Baskets” (FX) – When we first heard that Anderson was going to play the mother of Zach Galifianakis’ title character, our first reaction was confusion. Then, we saw it happen and it was utterly brilliant. It’s the best of Louie that we’ve seen in years, taking a character that is stuffed to the brim with heart, sass, and some great offhanded comments. Anytime Mrs. Baskets is onscreen, you know that we’re going to see an elevation of the material.

Pete Davidson, “Saturday Night Live” (NBC) – There were many very-good performers this year on “SNL,” but when thinking about the men, we just wondered to ourselves who we were the most excited to see almost any time they popped up either in a sketch, a pre-recorded piece, or “Weekend Update.” Consistently, it’s Pete. His “Update” routines have always been really funny adaptations from his stand-up, but this past year he proved further that he can excellent character work, and also anchor down a sketch as the straight-man watching the insanity surrounding him.

Charlie Day, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” (FXX) – Time and time again, “Sunny” probably remains the most underrated comedy for critics on television. Sure, it’s crude, rude, and often offensive, but isn’t that what comedy is sometimes! Plus, you’ll rarely find an actor on TV who consistently steals a scene and changes the entire energy of a room quite like Day as Charlie, probably the nicest and scariest man simultaneously in all of Philadelpha.

T.J. Miller, “Silicon Valley” (HBO) – Erlich has always been a wonderful, scenery-chewing character on this show, and Miller has done great work with him over the past two years to the point that it’s a shame he hasn’t been recognized more. Yet, this year (in particular the past several episodes of season 3) he’s done a particularly excellent job cultivating the downfall of this egomaniac incubator-owner. In some ways, you celebrate his miscues since so many of them were predictable; yet, somehow Miller makes you feel for this guy who, despite being utterly obnoxious, probably does care a lot and has a ton of passion at his core.

Kumail Nanjiani, “Silicon Valley” (HBO) – It’s very rare that we’ve had two actors from a single show in any category of our Emmy list, but the truth is that we love this show and these two actors so much. Kumail as Dinesh is an oft-unsung hero as a utility player who makes a lot out of a little. Basically, you give him a silly subplot about a gold chain and it becomes an internet meme and something you joke about the rest of the week; or, you have him devise better video-chat software thinking he will be able to tell if a woman he likes is attractive, only for the plan to fall apart when he realizes she is not attracted to him. In addition to Dinesh bringing so much humor to the table, there’s a sweet sort of earnestness to him lost across TV in general.

Timothy Simons, “Veep” (HBO) – Now, we turn from an earnest guy to quite possibly one of the most-jerky characters on TV in Jonah. He’s completely absurd, self-serving, delusional, and prone to hissy-fits. Then again, these are all of the reasons why we love him. Simons is routinely a star among “Veep’s” excellent cast, bursting into scenes in a way that harkens back to classic sitcom characters, just with more swear words. He plays the character as a prick, but a compelling one. Like with Miller’s Erlich, you do want to see the guy get some comeuppance, only to then root for him to find his way back to the top.

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