A version of this story about comedy performers with multiple nominations first appeared in the Down to the Wire: Comedy issue of TheWrap’s awards magazine.
In this year’s Emmy comedy categories, a handful of performers weren’t satisfied with just one Emmy nomination – instead, they two, three, four or even five. Here’s a guide to the year’s double, triple, quadruple and quintuple dippers.
>Outstanding Comedy Series, “Abbott Elementary”
>Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, “Abbott Elementary”
>Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, “Abbott Elementary”
Brunson’s three nominations for “Abbott Elementary,” an ABC show she created after years spent doing digital comedy for YouTube, BuzzFeed and Instagram, made her the first Black woman ever nominated for producing, writing and acting in a comedy series. The mockumentary set among the teachers at a beleaguered Philadelphia grade school was based on Brunson’s mother, a teacher, and inspired by a childhood that found her falling in love with comedies like “The Brady Bunch,” “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, ” “Martin” and “All That.” As for her performance as impossibly sunny Janine, Brunson told TheWrap’s Libby Hill, “I’m like 3% Janine. If that. She’s very peppy, very optimistic and very necessary… Janine was inspired by a friend of mine who’s so optimistic, to the point where, when I first met her, I couldn’t stand her. And over time, she became one of my favorite people in the world.”
>Outstanding Comedy Series, “Barry”
>Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, “Barry”
>Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”
>Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series, “Barry”
>Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, “Barry” (with Alec Berg)
Hader created “Barry,” and his fingerprints are all over it: He was nominated as an executive producer of the third season; as the lead actor (a category he won in 2018 and 2019); as the director of the “710N” episode; and as the writer of the Season 3 finale, “starting now.” Directing, he told TheWrap’s Adam Chitwood, came naturally to him: “Since I was very young, because I watched a lot of movies, I was always thinking of shots, always thinking of camera angles.” As for the finale, which ends — spoiler alert! — with hitman-turned-aspiring actor Barry Berkman being caught by the police, the episode was the darkest 29 minutes yet of a show that has always embraced darkness. “It felt to me like what this wanted and what it meant was that you would have an episode that wasn’t funny,” he said. “You looked at it and you went, ‘Gosh, if we tried to put any comedy in here, it just really kills everything.’”
Hader’s fifth nomination came for a performance in which he did nothing but bring the comedy. On Season 11 of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” he appeared as Igor, a store proprietor; as Gregor, a concierge; and as Timor, a restaurant manager. “Why is it you all look alike and have or on the end of your names?” Jeff Garlin’s character asks, quite sensibly.
>Outstanding Comedy Series, “Only Murders in the Building”
>Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, “Only Murders in the Building”
>Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, “Only Murders in the Building” (with John Hoffman)
Martin pitched the idea for “Only Murders in the Building” during a lunch with producers John Hoffman and Jess Rosenthal, when he also told them that he’d do it if it filmed in New York, if shooting ended each day in time for him to get home for dinner with his family, and if they cast Martin Short as his co-star. (The third part of the show’s central trio of amateur sleuths and podcasters, Selena Gomez, came later.) Martin’s only writing credit in the series so far (which he shares with Hoffman) came in the first episode of the first season, “True Crime,” but that’s the one that was submitted to the Emmys and nominated. “It’s always difficult to balance because you’re in a serious crime story, and then you wonder how big the comedy can get,” Martin told TheWrap’s Natalie Oganesyan.
Prior to this year, Martin had received 10 Emmy nominations in seven different categories — but so far, he’s only won once, for his first nomination in 1969 as one of the writers of “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.”
>Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series, “Saturday Night Live”
>Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special, “Jerrod Carmichael: Rothaniel”
It’s been 14 years since “Saturday Night Live” didn’t get at least two guest nominations, with the show averaging more than five guest noms a year over the past six years. But this year, Carmichael is the sole SNL guest nominee, for hosting the show in April. He landed a second nomination for writing his Bo Burnham-directed special, “Jerrod Carmichael: Rothaniel,” adding to a past year in which he also came out as gay, called out the anti-trans jokes in Dave Chappelle’s standup special and made his feature directorial debut with “On the Count of Three,” which premiered at Sundance in 2021 and received a theatrical release in May 2022.
>Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series, “Ted Lasso”
>Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series, “Success”
The 71-year-old British actress gets an asterisk because she’s not all comedy. After decades of acclaimed work on stage and screen, she accomplished a remarkable feat this year, with a comedy nomination for playing the mother of Rebecca Welton (Hannah Waddingham) on “Ted Lasso,” the reigning Emmy winner in the Outstanding Comedy Series category and the year’s most-nominated comedy series, and a drama nom for playing Lady Caroline Collingwood, the second wife of Logan Roy (Brian Cox) and the mother of Kendall, Roman and Siobhan Roy (Jeremy Strong, Kieran Culkin and Sarah Snook) on the 2020 Outstanding Drama Series winner, “Success,” the most nominated series in any genre.
Read more from the Down to the Wire: Comedy issue here.