Welcome to CarterMatt’s 2019 Emmy Preview series! This is an annual tradition that we’ve done on the site since 2013, which revolves around us highlighting some of the best from the TV world. These choices were voted on by our staff, and they represent what the ideal Emmy nominations would be for each category. To go along with that, we then ask you which one of our choices you most want to see recognized with a nomination. It’s strictly for fun, but it’s one of our favorite polls to run and it’s a great way to get the word out there about shows and performers during this key campaign window.
The focus of today’s article is the Actor in a Comedy Series category, one that has admittedly changed a lot in the past ten years. Gone is the era where traditional sitcoms dominate it and now, you have a far broader range of work — multi-camera show performances are now squaring off against ones from more subtle comedies, and you’ve got broadcast shows facing off against ones from cable and streaming outlets. The diversity of humor in the field is fantastic, and we’re glad that our dream nominees this year represent such a broad range of shows. We have two traditional sitcoms that are a part of this show, plus three comedies from premium cable and two that hail from Netflix.
Below, you can see our choices for this category — following the description of our “nominees,” you can find the poll to vote for your favorite. (We’re also including some other popular contenders within that poll to widen the field — Jim Parsons from The Big Bang Theory, Andy Samberg from Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and John Goodman from The Conners.)
Voting Rules – Voting will remain open until Monday, July 15 at 1:00 p.m. Pacific time, which is the day before the official nominations are announced. The length of the poll coincides with both Emmy campaigns and lead-up to the official nominations being announced. You can vote however often you’d like; for more technical information if you’re having issues, check out the bottom of this article.
Tim Allen, Last Man Standing – It’s difficult coming back and doing a show after being off the air for more than a year, but that’s what Allen did with his show shifting over to Fox. It’s no surprise at this point that Allen is funny, and he continued to show that throughout the seventh season of the series. To us, what elevated his work further were the emotional scenes where you saw Mike Baxter wrestle with losing his father or figuring out how to continue to be the best father, friend, and co-worker that he can. Viewers relate to sitcoms and, through good and bad times, Allen found a way to ensure that people could see themselves in Mike — even while they were laughing.
Jim Carrey, Kidding – The saga of Jeff Pickles was at times far from a happy one — he’s a children’s show host that over the course of season 1, unravels in perfect harmony with much of his personal life. Carrey’s always been fantastic in darker, more dramatic territory, and you can make the case that Kidding is his best material in years. It’s intense and downright jarring at times, but there is still the necessary lightness to it that represents the range within the comedy genre in 2019. Entering a second season of Kidding we have no idea where things could go, but we are very excited to find out.
Don Cheadle, Black Monday – Mo Monroe is the sort of character that Cheadle often excels at playing — someone who oozes charisma and pride, but also someone who has so many flaws that other people recognize before he can. He’s a wonderful window into the show’s madcap version of Wall Street many years back, and despite the subject matter at times being rather serious, Cheadle still possesses that ability to make us laugh even when things are getting crazy or intense. This is an infectious show, and his magnetism is really the fuel for its engine.
Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory – We know that Jim Parsons is the flashier pick, and he’ll probably continue to be the flashier pick for Emmy consideration. That doesn’t change the fact that Johnny’s done some tremendous work on this show over the years, finding his moments for comedy but also grounding some of the other characters in the process. He had some truly fantastic scenes near the end of the series, as well, whether it be celebrating Penny’s pregnancy or also some of his final moments working with Christine Baranski as his mother Beverly — that “I forgive you” moment may be one of the top 3 emotional Big Bang Theory scenes ever.
Ricky Gervais, After Life – There’s going to be humor in everything that Gervais does within the comedy realm, but what he does as Tony really transcends just that. After Life challenges you to think about the concept of grief, and finding the best and proper way to move forward. It helps you to realize that it’s different for every single person and for Tony, he has to find his own path. Gervais’ delivery and his spirit harken back to some of his best work, but there’s also just so much heart and humanity here. His performance is such that you don’t want to stop watching at any point throughout the first season’s beautiful journey.
Bill Hader, Barry – Who would’ve thought that a show about a hitman-turned actor would be so successful, or so hilarious? Well, anyone who knows the work of Hader probably should’ve seen this coming. Barry is brilliantly funny and creative, and his performance as the title character has that right mixture of manic energy and also personal introspection. While Barry himself may be far from your typical comedy lead, he still finds a way for you to relate to him … even if you’re neither a hitman or an actor. He finds his touchstones and rocks out every single line.
Timothy Olyphant, Santa Clarita Diet – Finally, let’s turn to the man behind Joel Hammond, a wonderful character with incredible energy and a whole lot of love. Joel’s a fighter — he has to be in order to support a cannibalistic wife. Olyphant was a revelation on this Netflix series with much of his comedic timing — the lines were naturally funny, but his chemistry with Drew Barrymore and the punchiness of his delivery really pushed every moment over the top. His performance is fundamentally one of the reasons we’re so sad about this cancellation in the first place.
Now, we turn this to you
Be sure to vote for your favorite Comedy Actor contender below!
I can’t see the poll; what do I do? – If you are on mobile, scroll to the bottom of the page and click to view the non-AMP version. If that does not work, give the poll a moment to load! On some mobile browsers, it may take a moment.
How can I vote more than once? – If you are having trouble casting multiple votes, try switching your browser, your device, or visiting the page under private browsing or incognito mode. There should be many handy guides online explaining how to do so if interested.