Emmys: Lead Actor (Comedy) – With Only Five Slots Available, Is There a Shocking Snub Lurking?

Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tony Awards ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis. The prediction pages reflect the current standings in the race and do not reflect personal preferences for any individual contender. As other formal (and informal) polls suggest, competitions are fluid and subject to change based on buzz and events. Predictions are updated every Thursday.

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2023 Emmy Predictions:
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Weekly Commentary (Updated June 15, 2023): Lead comedy actor has 68 performers seeking attention (vs. 84 last year), including veterans Steve Martin and Martin Short from “Only Murders in the Building” and a second Bob Odenkirk bid from another AMC series, “Lucky Hank.” Unfortunately, that means only five nominees will be named and that puts someone in the lineup in jeopardy. But who?

Jason Sudeikis from “Ted Lasso” and Jeremy Allen White from “The Bear” seems locked and loaded for nominations. Bill Hader is likely a sure bet as well, but with only five slots, anyone is susceptible to a miss. The same goes for the “Only Murders in the Building” duo Steve Martin and Martin Short.

With that said, Jason Segel’s work in “Shrinking” is revered with the show looking to be a hot contender in several categories. Could he unseat one of the five leading men?

Read: 

Emmy Nominations voting runs from June 15-26. The Primetime Emmy nominations will be announced on July 12. Check back every Thursday for the latest updates. All information is preliminary and is subject to change.


And the Predicted Nominees Are:


  1. Jeremy Allen White — “The Bear” (FX)
  2. Jason Sudeikis — “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+)
  3. Bill Hader — “Barry” (HBO)
  4. Steve Martin — “Only Murders in the Building” (Hulu)
  5. Martin Short — “Only Murders in the Building” (Hulu)

Next in Line


  1. Jason Segel — “Shrinking” (Apple TV+)
  2. Donald Glover — “Atlanta” (FX)
  3. Mohammed Amer — “Mo” (Netflix)
  4. Bob Odenkirk — “Lucky Hank” (AMC)
  5. Nicholas Hoult — “The Great” (Hulu)

Other Top-Tier Possibilities


  1. Nathan Fielder — “The Rehearsal” (HBO)
  2. Sylvester Stallone — “Tulsa King” (Paramount+)
  3. Ramy Youssef — “Ramy” (Hulu)
  4. Utkarsh Ambudkar — “Ghosts” (CBS)
  5. Delroy Lindo — “Unprisoned” (Hulu)
  6. Matt Berry — “What We Do in the Shadows” (FX)
  7. Kayvan Novak — “What We Do in the Shadows” (FX)
  8. Arnold Schwarzenegger — “Fubar” (Netflix)
  9. Adam Scott — “Party Down” (Starz)
  10. Dave Burd — “Dave” (FX)

All Eligible Performers (Alphabetized by Network)**


  • John Goodman — “The Conners” (ABC)
  • Sean Giambrone — “The Goldbergs” (ABC)
  • Topher Grace — “Home Economics” (ABC)
  • Elisha Williams — “The Wonder Years” (ABC)
  • Jean Elie — “Send Help” (Allblk)
  • Bob Odenkirk — “Lucky Hank” (AMC)
  • Enrique Arrison — “Acapulco” (Apple TV+)
  • Chris O’Dowd — “The Big Door Prize” (Apple TV+)
  • Billy Crudup — “Hello Tomorrow!” (Apple TV+)
  • Rob McElenney — “Mythic Quest” (Apple TV+)
  • Keegan-Michael Key — “Schmigadoon!” (Apple TV+)
  • Jason Segel — “Shrinking” (Apple TV+)
  • Jason Sudeikis — “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+)
  • Billy Gardell — “Bob Hearts Abishola” (CBS)
  • Utkarsh Ambudkar — “Ghosts” (CBS)
  • Cedric the Entertainer — “The Neighborhood” (CBS)
  • Skylar Astin — “So Help Me Todd” (CBS)
  • Steve Howey — “True Lies” (CBS)
  • Iain Armitage — “Young Sheldon” (CBS)
  • Ben Wang — “American Born Chinese” (Disney+)
  • Joel McHale — “Animal Control” (Fox)
  • Marcus Scribner — “Grown-ish” (Freeform)
  • Ronald Gladden — “Jury Duty” (Freevee)
  • Garrett Dillahunt — “Sprung” (Freevee)
  • Donald Glover — “Atlanta” (FX)
  • Dave Burd — “Dave” (FX)
  • Keegan-Michael Key — “Reboot” (FX)
  • D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai — “Reservation Dogs” (FX)
  • Jeremy Allen White — “The Bear” (FX)
  • Matt Berry — “What We Do in the Shadows” (FX)
  • Kayvan Novak — “What We Do in the Shadows” (FX)
  • Garret Dillahunt — “Sprung” (Freevee)
  • Hugh Laurie — “Avenue 5” (HBO)
  • Bill Hader — “Barry” (HBO)
  • Julio Torres — “Los Espookys” (HBO)
  • Bernardo Velasco — “Los Espookys” (HBO)
  • Drew Tarver — “The Other Two” (HBO)
  • Terence Nance — “Random Acts of Flyness” (HBO)
  • Nathan Fielder — “The Rehearsal” (HBO)
  • Bashir Salahuddin — “South Side” (HBO)
  • Michael Cimino — “Love, Victor” (Hulu)
  • Steve Martin — “Only Murders in the Building” (Hulu)
  • Martin Short — “Only Murders in the Building” (Hulu)
  • Ramy Youssef — “Ramy” (Hulu)
  • Keegan -Michael Key — “Reboot” (Hulu)
  • Nicholas Hoult — “The Great” (Hulu)
  • Chris Estrada — “This Fool” (Hulu)
  • Delroy Lindo — “Unprisoned” (Hulu)
  • Carlos Valdes — “Up Here” (Hulu)
  • George Lopez — “Lopez vs. Lopez” (NBC)
  • Joseph Lee Anderson — “Young Rock” (NBC)
  • Ralph Macchio — “Cobra Kai” (Netflix)
  • William Zabka — “Cobra Kai” (Netflix)
  • Lucas Bravo — “Emily in Paris” (Netflix)
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger — “Fubar” (Netflix)
  • Mohammed Amer — “Mo” (Netflix)
  • Kurtwood Smith — “That ’90s Show” (Netflix)
  • Rob Lowe — “Unstable” (Netflix)
  • Neil Patrick Harris — “Uncoupled” (Netflix)
  • Mike Epps — “The Upshaws” (Netflix)
  • Sylvester Stallone — “Tulsa King” (Paramount+)
  • Pete Davidson — “Bupkis” (Peacock)
  • John Larroquette — “Night Court” (Peacock)
  • Adam Devine — “Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin” (Peacock)
  • William Jackson Harper — “The Resort” (Peacock)
  • Ed Helms — “Rutherford Falls” (Peacock)
  • Christoph Waltz — “The Consultant” (Prime Video)
  • James Corden — “Mammals” (Prime Video)
  • Stephen Merchant — “The Outlaws” (Prime Video)
  • Christopher Walken — “The Outlaws” (Prime Video)
  • Ignacio Diaz-Silverio — “Primo” (Prime Video)
  • Hosea Chanchez — “The Game” (Starz)
  • Adam Scott — “Party Down” (Starz)
  • Alan Tudyk — “Resident Alien” (Syfy)

** This list or category submission is not yet complete or confirmed and is subject to change.

2022 category winner: Jason Sudeikis as Ted Lasso from “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+) – Season 2

Emmy Awards Predictions Categories

DRAMA SERIES | COMEDY SERIES | LIMITED OR ANTHOLOGY SERIES | TV MOVIE | LEAD ACTOR (DRAMA) | LEAD ACTOR (COMEDY) | LEAD ACTOR (LIMITED/TV MOVIE) | LEAD ACTRESS (DRAMA) | LEAD ACTRESS (COMEDY) | LEAD ACTRESS (LIMITED/TV MOVIE) | SUPPORTING ACTOR (DRAMA) | SUPPORTING ACTOR (COMEDY) | SUPPORTING ACTOR (LIMITED/TV MOVIE) | SUPPORTING ACTRESS (DRAMA) | SUPPORTING ACTRESS (COMEDY) | SUPPORTING ACTRESS (LIMITED/TV MOVIE) | TALK SERIES | SCRIPTED VARIETY | GAME SHOW | DIRECTING (DRAMA, COMEDY, LIMITED/TV MOVIE) | WRITING (DRAMA, COMEDY, LIMITED/TV MOVIE) | REALITY (COMPETITION, STRUCTURED, UNSTRUCTURED, HOST)

Creative Arts and Other Emmy Categories

GUEST ACTOR (DRAMA) | GUEST ACTRESS (DRAMA) | GUEST ACTOR (COMEDY) | GUEST ACTRESS (COMEDY) | VOICE-OVER | SHORT FORM | DOCUMENTARY | MUSIC | ANIMATED | OTHER CATEGORIES

About the Primetime Emmy Awards

The Primetime Emmy Awards, better known as the Emmys, are given out by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS). Since 1949, the awards have recognized excellence in American primetime television programming. They are divided into three classes – Primetime Emmy Awards, the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards (honors artisan achievements), and the Primetime Engineering Emmy Awards (recognizes significant engineering and technological contributions). The typical eligibility period is between June 1 and May 31 of any given year. The Television Academy comprises over 25,000 members, representing 30 professional peer groups, including performers, directors, producers, art directors, artisans, and executives.

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