With writer/director/producer/actors Donald Glover (“Atlanta”) and Aziz Ansari (“Master of None”) not in contention at the Emmys this year, who will fill the void for comedy auteurs in the Best Comedy Actor race? It could be Ramy Youssef, whose new Hulu series “Ramy” is one of the most critically acclaimed of the season. He’s a dark horse contender with a few of the Expert journalists we’ve polled boldly proclaiming he’ll make the cut.
As of this writing Eric Deggans (NPR), Matt Roush (TV Guide Magazine) and Glenn Whipp (LA Times) are betting on Youssef to be nominated for his performance as an observant Muslim navigating family and romance in his New Jersey neighborhood. Gold Derby Editors Chris Beachum and I are also anticipating a nomination for the TV newcomer. It would be the first bid in the category for Hulu, which has recently made strides in drama (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) and limited series (“The Looming Tower”) categories.
More and more the Emmys are showing a fondness for comedies with a strong authorial voice in front of and behind the camera and with unique points of view, as evidenced by recent Best Comedy Actor nominations for Ricky Gervais (“Derek”), Will Forte (“The Last Man on Earth”) and Ansari, as well as wins by Glover (2017) and Bill Hader (“Barry,” 2018), all of whom contribute to their shows as writers, directors, producers or all of the above. And since “Atlanta” and “Master of None” didn’t air any new episodes this past season — not to mention Larry David‘s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” — that opens the door for voters to anoint a new favorite multi-hyphenate talent.
Will that be Youssef? And if so, how many nominations will he get? He’s on the ballot for Best Comedy Actor, but he could also be nominated for Best Comedy Series as an executive producer. He’s on the Best Comedy Writing ballot twice for the episodes “Between the Toes” and “Strawberries.” And he was also submitted for Best Comedy Directing for “Strawberries.”
Be sure to make your Emmy predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before nominations are announced on July 16. And join in the fun debate over the 2019 Emmy taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.