“Saturday Night Live” standout Kate McKinnon is the odds-on favorite to win the Emmy for Best Comedy Supporting Actress for the third year in a row. That’s according to the combined odds of more than 1,000 Gold Derby users, but not everyone agrees. While McKinnon has the most support from the Expert journalists we’ve polled, our Editors give the edge to Alex Borstein for her scene-stealing performance in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”
McKinnon plays multiple characters on the late-night sketch comedy series, which may explain her appeal: it gives voters the chance to reward several performances for the price of one. She currently leads our predictions with odds of 5/4 and support from nine Experts: Debra Birnbaum (Variety), Chris Harnick (E!), Ed Martin (Media Village), Kaitlin Thomas (TVGuide.com), Anne Thompson (IndieWire), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone), Ken Tucker(Yahoo!), Adnan Virk (ESPN) and Glenn Whipp (LA Times).
Borstein is not far behind. She has 23/10 odds and is backed by seven Experts: Debbie Day (Rotten Tomatoes), Eric Deggans (NPR), Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post), Robert Rorke (New York Post), Matt Roush (TV Guide Magazine), Ben Travers (IndieWire) and Susan Wloszczyna (Gold Derby).
But it’s reversed if you ask Gold Derby’s Editors. Four of us are predicting Borstein: me, Chris Beachum, Paul Sheehan and Wloszczyna. Just two are predicting a McKinnon three-peat: Rob Licuria and Matt Noble. The other three are anticipating an upset by Laurie Metcalf (“Roseanne”): Joyce Eng, Marcus James Dixon and Tom O’Neil.
Winning this category three years in a row is not unprecedented. The last to accomplish that feat was Doris Roberts (“Everybody Loves Raymond”), who won consecutively from 2001-2003, and then one more time in 2005. Metcalf actually did it too during the original run of “Roseanne.” She won from 1992-1994. The only other two examples were Valerie Harper for “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” (1971-1973) and Rhea Perlman for “Cheers” (1984-1986).
That means one woman per decade for the last four decades has earned thee consecutive Emmys in this category, so we’re due for another triple crown. That’s good news for McKinnon. But this category has also awarded breakout performances on new shows in recent years, like Jane Lynch(“Glee,” 2010) and Allison Janney (“Mom,” 2014). Borstein fits that mold, especially since her character Susie Myerson is a similar kind of acid-tongued showcase role.
And Borstein isn’t just an Emmy favorite for her work on-screen. She also picked up her second voice-acting bid this year for “Family Guy,” so voters have two reasons to check off her name. Do you think the television academy will continue to reward their returning favorite McKinnon, or will Borstein get her due for the first time?