Welcome back to CliqueClack Goes to the Emmys, a column where I, Julia, go through who and what I want to be nominated and win at this year’s Emmys, and pretend that it has any effect on the actual (inevitably disappointing) nominations. This week we’re conquering the Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Emmy. And the nominees are:
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Max Greenfield, New Girl
Tony Hale, Veep
Danny Pudi, Community
Damon Wayans Jr., Happy Endings
You’ll note that the forever-ignored Nick Offerman isn’t here for his role on Parks and Recreation, and there’s a good reason for that: he’s Lead Actor material. I mean, if Rob Lowe counts as a “lead” actor, doesn’t Offerman? I’d go into more detail on this logic, but that would spoil my Lead Actor column that’s coming up in a few weeks, so you’re just going to have to trust that I’ve thought this one out. But yes, on to the actual nominees!
Modern Family fans, I’d like you to cherish this moment, because Ty Burrell is the only nod I’m giving this show. In a show I regularly find lazy, bland, and disappointing, Burrell is the only part that I enjoy. I realize that’s kind of faint-sounding praise, but believe me, it’s praise. If someone has to win from Modern Family, I’d make it him.
I have to admit that it took me a while to fall for Max Greenfield on New Girl. At first I thought Schmidt was just a cartoonish fall man. Yes, he made me laugh on the regular, but he didn’t feel multi-dimensional. But I think the greatest choice the writers ever made with his character was getting him with CeCe. Between his heartfelt and incompetent attempts to win her (The terrible perfume! Skywriting! Proclaiming his love in a crowded diner!) and his performance in “The Story of the 50″ where we see why Schmidt acts the way he does, he somehow went from gimmicky to sympathetic, not to mention probably the funniest part of a truly stellar show.
What is it about Tony Hale that does henpecked so well? Because his new role on Veep as Gary Walsh, bodyman to the Vice President, is kind of like Buster from Arrested Development, if Buster was competent and also a real person. The problem with Hale’s performance is it’s hard to pinpoint a singular really great moment or line, because he doesn’t ever have one. He’s more like a humor catalyst, like everything magically becomes funnier by having him hover in the background.
I am pretty sure that one paragraph is not enough to do justice to any character on Community, let alone Danny Pudi‘s portrayal of Abed. There are essays and near-dissertations written about it by fans that you should google, because they’re going to be way better than anything I have to say. Abed should be a distant, unrelatable joke of a character, but Pudi portrays him in a way that’s deeply sympathetic, heartfelt, and profound. Seriously, I can’t possibly pay proper tribute to Abed in one paragraph. Cool? Cool. Cool cool cool.
I can pinpoint the exact moment I decided Damon Wayans Jr. needed an Emmy. It was right here:
The thing is, I really could have chosen any number of moments, like when he decides to resurrect “Blackass” (his black version of Jackass), him crying at a romantic comedy in the theaters with Alex, or any time he and Eliza Coupe do that bizarrely functional married thing they do so well. But sue me, it was his dance routine into the dentist’s chair that sealed it for me.
And the winner is… Okay, this was literally the hardest time I had choosing of any category. I have stayed up nights going back and forth between Damon Wayans Jr. and Max Greenfield. I honestly could not decide. But what it came down to for me was this clip (which isn’t even the full clip — you should see the full clip, it’s even better) of what was probably the best episode tag I saw all year:
If you can deny an Emmy to that delivery of “I can’t find my driving moccasins anywhere,” honestly, you’re a stronger person than I am.
So agree with Max Greenfield for the win. He had me at episode one – “Curly Sue. Let’s do this.”
Plus, I just realized he was on Veronica Mars. With the whole Schmidt Spinning DVD cover, promo, and real life classes, he should be an easy win.
I think we need 6 entries in this category just so Donald Glover can get his due. Troy really has gotten some of the best story-line arcs the past few seasons and Glover nailed them.
But I still have to give it to Greenfield too. I don’t know how it happened but New Girl really managed to build itself into a great ensemble comedy. Even when the rest of the show was mediocre Schmidt managed to at least make the show have something funny going for it. The guy manages to make every joke kill.
Plus I’ve been re-watching the 1st season of Veronica Mars (I needed something to watch, except Sundays there is literally nothing good on until Louie and Futurama come back) and just noticed that Greenfield played Leo as well. Now I’m sad their break-up doesn’t involve Leo trying to White Fang Veronica.