Not many people correctly predicted Luke Kirby‘s come-from-behind Emmy victory last year for Best Comedy Guest Actor. In fact, this “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” scene-stealer was in fourth place on our 2019 odds chart, behind Peter MacNicol (“Veep”), John Mulaney (“Saturday Night Live”) and Adam Sandler (“Saturday Night Live”). This year our Emmy Experts don’t plan on making the same mistake again — he’s in the runner-up position to win his second Emmy Award for the Amazon comedy. Of course, the odds-on front-runner is still Eddie Murphy (“Saturday Night Live”).
As controversial real-life comic Lenny Bruce, Kirby has submitted the fifth episode of Season 3, “It’s Comedy Or Cabbage,” for Emmy consideration. That’s the one where Lenny and his comedian colleague Miriam “Midge” Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) take a fun and flirty detour while she’s traveling the country as part of Shy Baldwin’s warm-up act. Per to the Emmy ballot: Stand-up Lenny Bruce runs into his old friend Midge on tour in Miami and he takes her on an unforgettable night on the town.
Of Gold Derby’s 29 Experts, these four predict another Emmy win for Kirby: Chris Harnick (E!), Nikki Novak (Fandango), Kaitlin Thomas (TVGuide.com) and Peter Travers (Rolling Stone). If they’re right, that would make him the first person since “SNL” guest stars Jimmy Fallon (2012, 2014) and Justin Timberlake (2009, 2011) to win this category twice, though theirs were not consecutive.
A whopping 24 prognosticators are all backing a victory for Murphy’s much heralded return to “SNL,” which aired last December. They are: Thelma Adams (Gold Derby), Jen Chaney (Vulture), Debbie Day (Rotten Tomatoes), Eric Deggans (NPR), Delaina Dixon (unaffiliated), Shawn Edwards (WDAF-TV Fox), Joyce Eng (Gold Derby), Tim Gray (Variety), Pete Hammond (Deadline Hollywood), Libby Hill (Indiewire), Matthew Jacobs (HuffPo), Kelly Lawler (USA Today), Ed Martin (Media Village), Wilson Morales (BlackFilm), Mary Murphy (Gold Derby), Hanh Nguyen (Salon), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Matt Roush (TV Guide Magazine), Jazz Tangcay (Variety), Anne Thompson (Indiewire), Ben Travers (Indiewire), Ken Tucker (Yahoo), Matt Webb Mitovich (TVLine) and Susan Wloszczyna (Gold Derby).
And the final Expert — Lynette Rice (Ent. Weekly) — goes out on a limb for the late Fred Willard (“Space Force”). Willard’s episode of “Space Force” aired just two weeks after his death so voters may feel compelled to give him a goodbye hug, either for this or for his final appearance on “Modern Family.” The comedy legend was a four-time Emmy nominee for guesting on “Everybody Loves Raymond” (2003-05) and “Modern Family” (2010), but he never took home a golden statue.
When the predictions of our Emmy Experts are combined together, these are the Top 10 they think will contend in Best Comedy Guest Actor: Murphy, Kirby, Willard (x2), John Mulaney (“Saturday Night Live”), Jon Hamm (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Zachary Levi (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”), Jason Alexander (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”), Larry David (“Saturday Night Live”) and Dylan McDermott (“The Politician”).
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