Emmy Predictions 2021: Comedy and Variety

black-ish (ABC)
Cobra Kai (Netflix)
Emily in Paris (Netflix)
The Flight Attendant (HBO Max)
Hacks (HBO Max)
The Kominsky Method (Netflix)
PEN15 (Hulu)
Ted Lasso (AppleTV+)

Will and should win: Ted Lasso
Could win: Hacks
Should have been here: Search Party (HBO Max)

The skinny: Last summer, Ted Lasso was just a show a few people had watched and recommended, and filed away as “I’ll get around to that some day.” Now, it’s a full-blown phenomenon that will sweep every category it’s nominated in. It deserves it, too.

Anthony Anderson, black-ish
Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method
William H. Macy, Shameless
Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso
Kenan Thompson, Kenan

Will and should win: Jason Sudeikis
Could win: William H. Macy
Should have been here: Glenn Howerton, A.P. Bio

The skinny: The biggest lock on a night full of them.

Aidy Bryant, Shrill
Kaley Cuoco, The Flight Attendant
Allison Janney, Mom
Tracee Ellis Ross, black-ish
Jean Smart, Hacks

Will and should win: Jean Smart
Could win: Allison Janney
Should have been here: Alia Shawkat, Search Party

The skinny: While she won more than a decade ago for ABC’s short-lived Samantha Who?, she lost for her stellar turns in Fargo and Watchmen. (Though to two great actresses who had already won multiple times.) But she’s likely to pick up two acting trophies on Emmy night, a rare feat.

Carl Clemons-Hopkins, Hacks
Brett Goldstein, Ted Lasso
Brendan Hunt, Ted Lasso
Nick Mohammed, Ted Lasso
Paul Reiser, The Kominsky Method
Jeremy Swift, Ted Lasso
Kenan Thompson, Saturday Night Live
Bowen Yang, Saturday Night Live

Will win: Brett Goldstein
Could and should win: Kenan Thompson
Should have been here: Cole Escola, Search Party

The skinny: Could go any number of ways. As much as I’m down on SNL, Kenan Thompson belongs on the Sketch Comedy Mount Rushmore. He’s been doing this for more than 25 years, and never phones it in. So I’d be fine with him picking up a lifetime achievement award. But it feels like Brett Goldstein – the gruff heart of Ted Lasso – will pick this one up.

Aidy Bryant, Saturday Night Live
Hannah Einbinder, Hacks
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
Rosie Perez, The Flight Attendant
Cecily Strong, Saturday Night Live
Juno Temple, Ted Lasso
Hannah Waddingham, Ted Lasso

Will and should win: Hannah Waddingham
Could win: Kate McKinnon
Should have been here: Paula Pell, A.P. Bio

The skinny: Aside from a brief appearance on Game of Thrones, Waddingham was basically unknown to American audiences. But as the Richmond owner whose tough shell cracks over the course of the first season, she’s a revelation. She’ll only lose if voters do something stupid like pick Kate McKinnon yet again.

The Flight Attendant (“In Case of Emergency”)
Girls5eva (Pilot episode)
Hacks (“There Is No Line”)
PEN15 (“Play”)
Ted Lasso (“Make Rebecca Great Again”)
Ted Lasso (Pilot episode)

Will and should win: Ted Lasso (“Make Rebecca Great Again”)
Could win: Ted Lasso (Pilot episode)
Should have been here: Master of None (“Moments in Love: Chapter 4”)

The skinny: While new shows tend to win for their pilots, I think the sharp writing of the trip to Liverpool takes the victory.

B Positive (Pilot episode)
The Flight Attendant (“In Case of Emergency”)
Hacks (“There Is No Line”)
Mom (“Scooby-Doo Checks and Salisbury Steak”)
Ted Lasso (“Biscuits”)
Ted Lasso (“The Hope That Kills You”)
Ted Lasso (“Make Rebecca Great Again”)

Will win: Ted Lasso (“The Hope That Kills You”)
Could and should win: Ted Lasso (“Make Rebecca Great Again”)
Should have been here: A.P. Bio (“Gary Meets Dave”)

The skinny: Since the pilot’s not nominated here, it feels like the dramatic finale will be the victor, though I once again prefer the seventh episode.

Conan (TBS)
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)
Jimmy Kimmel Live! (ABC)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS)

Will win: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Could win: The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
Should win: Conan
Should have been here: Wilmore (Peacock)

The skinny: They have a chance to finally honor Conan O’Brien, but it’s not going to happen. John Oliver and Company will win once again.

A Black Lady Sketch Show (HBO)
Saturday Night Live (NBC)

Will win: Saturday Night Live
Could and should win: A Black Lady Sketch Show
Should have been here: How To with John Wilson (HBO)

The skinny: I understand the pandemic pushed a lot of shows, but if the crop is going to be this pathetic going forward, it’s time to retire this category. The fact that How To with John Wilson isn’t even nominated is a travesty.

The 63rd Annual Grammy Awards (CBS)
Celebrating America: An Inauguration Night Special (various networks)
The Oscars (ABC)
The Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show (CBS)
Stephen Colbert’s Election Night 2020 (Showtime)

Will win: Celebrating America
Could and should win: The Oscars
Should have been here: N/A

The skinny: The Oscars should win for its catastrophic scheduling if nothing else. But the Emmys are absolutely gonna pat themselves on the back and give it to Biden’s big inauguration party.

8:46 (Netflix)
Bo Burnham: Inside (Netflix)
David Byrne’s American Utopia (HBO)
Friends: The Reunion (HBO Max)
Hamilton (Disney+)
A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote (HBO Max)

Will win: Hamilton
Could win: Bo Burnham: Inside
Should win: David Byrne’s American Utopia
Should have been here: Natalie Palamides: Nate – A One Man Show (Netflix)

The skinny: It’s going to be a photo finish between Bo Burnham and Lin-Manuel Miranda. As high as the quality is on both productions, it’s Spike Lee’s masterful direction of David Byrne’s Broadway residency that should take this award.

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