Monday, July 11, 2011

2011 Emmy Nomination Dreams: The Men

The nominations for the 2011 Emmy Awards will be announced early Thursday morning, inevitably starting two months of bemoaning the snubs and pontificating on the winners. But until the names are read aloud by Joshua Jackson and Melissa McCarthy, the world is our oyster and we can remain hopeful that our favorites will make the cut.

The following are my dream nominees for the male Emmy categories. You won't find the likes of Steve Carrell, Alec Baldwin or Jon Hamm on this list—those guys are shoe-ins and will undoubtedly be frontrunners in their categories. No, these are the actors that I fear will be tragically overlooked by the Academy despite delivering some of the best performances on television this year. You'll notice most of these men are eligible for the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series and, yes, many of them are from Community. With 3 or 4 likely nominations for Modern Family in that category, the chances aren't very high for some of my favorite on-screen comedians.

From slapstick comedians to blood-sucking vampires to drag queens, here are the men I would nominate for the 2011 Emmy Awards...

H. Jon Benjamin, Archer
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

This is a complete dream, as H. Jon Benjamin isn't even on the nomination ballot. Instead, he will most likely repeat a nomination  in the Creative Arts Emmys for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance. Still, I don't see any reason why Benjamin's ingenious and consistently hilarious performance as Archer can't compete against the likes of Baldwin and Carrell. If a show like Family Guy can be nominated for Best Comedy Series, why can't the performers be eligible in the big leagues?
Kyle Bornheimer, Perfect Couples
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series 
Perfect Couples didn't even last an entire season and was critically panned, but Kyle Bornheimer's Dave was by far the most lovable and funny part of the cast. From all those "Classic Dave" moments to his not-at-all irrational fear of possums, Bornheimer gave one of the most memorable comedic performances of the year.
Donald Glover, Community
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series 
The first of the Community crew on my list. I could go on and on about how wonderful Donald Glover is on this show, but all you need to do is watch this montage of Troy crying to understand why he deserves an Emmy nomination.
Joel McHale, Community
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series 
If Community is going to score a nomination, its best chance is most likely with Joel McHale. That being said, the Academy didn't exactly give the show a warm welcome last year—it had zero nominations. Still, McHale's straight man Jeff Winger provides a rock solid anchor to the insanity that goes on at Greendale Community College, making those instances when he participates (i.e. paintball and zombies) that much more fantastic.
Nick Offerman, Parks and Recreation
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series 
Nick Offerman is the most likely to be at the top of everyone's BIGGEST EMMY SNUBS list come Thursday should he not get a nod. Ron Effing Swanson is one of those classic television characters that is in a league of his own, and we can attribute so much of that to Offerman's deadpan delivery and side-splitting facial expressions.
Denis O'Hare, True Blood
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series 
I will admit that I am not a huge True Blood fan, and a lot of it has to do with the fact that it is often tremendously scary and gory. In Season 3, most of that had to do with King Russell Edington, played brilliantly by Denis O'Hare. The scene in which he—to put it lightly—violently interrupts a news broadcast (pictured left) is forever branded in my memory and is easily one of the most bone-chilling television moments of the year.
Adam Pally, Happy Endings
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series 
I think it's safe to say that a show that premiered in mid-April to only semi-decent reviews and ratings doesn't have great Emmy chances. But those of us who actually watched Happy Endings know what a tremendously funny show it is, and how great Adam Pally is as rude, butch gay man Max. The clip of him dressed as Snooki for Halloween should be enough to get him some recognition, right?
Danny Pudi, Community
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series 
Much of Community's appeal comes from its constant barrage of pop culture references and meta humor, most of which comes from awkward, skittish Abed. Danny Pudi somehow manages to make Abed a likeable character even when he is at his most extreme—like pulling of a tribute to My Dinner with Andre complete with a monologue about Cougar Town, or transforming into a Jesus-like force at Greendale—and deserves a nod from the Academy for sure.
RuPaul, RuPaul's Drag Race
Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program 
The picture may look out of place amongst the rest of these men, but I'd wager that RuPaul has more cajones than them all. Ru mentors, hosts and judges one of the funniest, heart-warming and ground-breaking reality competitions shows on TV and, goshdarnit, it's about time the Academy gave this diva drag queen some love. Otherwise, I'm going to have to make them lip sync for their lives!
Jason Segel, How I Met Your Mother
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series 
The only one from HIMYM to ever get Emmy love has been Neil Patrick Harris. And while I love me some NPH, Jason Segel brought his A-game to Season 6 and delivered some of the most emotional moments in the series' history. The death of Marshall's father might not have been a comedic highlight in Segel's career, but it certainly some of the best acting I've ever seen him do.

I'll be back tomorrow with my dream list of Emmy ladies, but in the meantime: who do you hope gets nominated on Thursday? Do you think anyone on my list has a chance for a nod? Sound off in the comments!

[Image Sources: ABC, CBS, NBC, HBO, FX, Logo TV]

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