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Biggest Emmy Snubs of All Time Part 1: Never Nominated

August 30, 2013

As you may have noticed, I tend to post several Emmy-related things this time of year.  I had the idea the other day to recognize the best actors/characters who had been snubbed by the Emmys. However, I realized that there were multiple types of snubs: those who had never been nominated (which I’ll cover here), those who had been nominated but didn’t win, and those who had been nominated but won for something other than their biggest roles (I’ll have a post soon about those types of snubs). So, in honor of the best that haven’t had their work recognized, here are the (approximate) top 25 to never be nominated, along with 5 honorable mentions.

Honorable Mentions (in no particular order):

People from Saturday Night Live who didn’t earn acting nominations

It’s been a trend recently to nominate cast members from SNL in the supporting categories (Amy Poehler, Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader all earned nominations in the past few years). However, given that the show has had some of the best comedic talent of all time (Will Ferrell, Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy, Mike Myers, Adam Sandler, Chris Farley, John Belushi, Phil Hartman, Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase, Tina Fey, Jimmy Fallon, and dozens more) the fact that hardly any of them earned acting nominations is a shame.

The “Family” on The Sopranos

The Sopranos earned it’s fair share of nominations over the course of its run.  However, six of the most memorable characters on the show never got any recognition for their contributions. Silvio Dante (Steven van Zandt), Paulie Walnuts (Tony Sirico), Bobby Baccala (Steve Schirripa), and Big Pussy (Vincent Pastore) were all big parts of the Soprano “Family,” while two huge parts of the New York family, Johnny Sack (Vincent Curatola) and Phil Leotardo (Frank Vincent) also played big parts in the proceedings.  The Sopranos had a rich ensemble of characters, and it would have been nice if more had been honored for their work.

The cast of Firefly

Firefly has become one of the most beloved cult shows of all time.  It was a show that was ahead of its time, and it featured some great talent. Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, and Alan Tudyk are all great and brought life to some fantastic characters.  Morena Baccarin has been nominated for her work on Homeland, but those four will always remind me of Serenity and the colorful characters aboard her.

The voice casts of Futurama, Bob’s Burgers, and Archer

While the Emmys do recognize voice actors, they have neglected these shows for the most part.  I decided to use one entry for all of them because I couldn’t single out one show over the others. H. Jon Benjamin earned a nomination for Archer, but the rest of the cast hasn’t. Bob’s Burgers has been neglected entirely in the voice actor categories, as has Futurama. Billy West has been an outstanding voice actor for the better part of 20 years, but his characters haven’t earned any recognition which is a shame.

Jere Burns and Jim Beaver

Jere Burns and Jim Beaver have been character actors on some of the best shows of the past decade (Both have had recurring characters on Breaking Bad and Justified, while Beaver also starred on Deadwood).  Neither has yet been recognized for their work, but both are responsible for some of the most memorable moments those shows had to offer.

Now onto the top 25 never nominated snubs.

25: Roz Doyle (Frasier)-Peri Gilpin

Gilpin was the only regular cast member on Frasier to not earn a nomination.  For a show that earned a tremendous number of nominations, it’s a shame one more couldn’t be had here, considering Roz was such a great character.

24: Sam Axe (Burn Notice)-Bruce Campbell

Burn Notice is one of your more typical USA shows.  It’s not the most complicated to follow, it has some entertaining moments, and some unique characters. Bruce Campbell is the most consistently interesting character on Burn Notice and while the show has earned some nominations, he hasn’t.  If anyone on the show deserved one, it was him, particularly since he also plays Chuck Finley.

23: Bill Haverchuck (Freaks & Geeks)/Roman DeBeers (Party Down)-Martin Starr

This is the first of a few “double representation” posts.  Bill Haverchuck was definitely one of my top two characters from Freaks & Geeks, a show that was vastly under-appreciated in its day but has found a following thanks to syndication, DVDs, and Netflix. Party Down also falls in that category, a show which Martin Starr also had a large role. The combined roles lead Starr to have a spot on this list.

22: Major Frank Burns (M*A*S*H)-Larry Linville

M*A*S*H is one of the most respected shows of all time, and many people from the show earned nominations. Larry Linville wasn’t one of them, however. He played uptight Frank Burns, a character that most people hate, but part of the reason he was so hatable was because he was played so well. It’s not an easy task being the guy everyone hates, so it’s a shame that he wasn’t honored for taking on that role.

21: Jeff Winger (Community)-Joel McHale

Community has been vastly underrepresented at the Emmys, particularly in the acting categories, where it has received zero. McHale was my choice to represent the show for two reasons: he’s the backbone of the show, and as such, he deserves to be recognized; secondly, since the supporting categories are more packed than lead, he has the easier path to nomination than his castmates, therefore, it’s a bigger snub since it’s a less crowded category.

20: Thomas Klebanow (The Wire)/Doug (Flight of the Conchords)/Gale Boetticher (Breaking Bad)-David Costabile

Costabile has been featured in prominent roles in three of my favorite shows but has yet to be noticed by the Emmys for his work. He is currently on Low Winter Sun and could possibly earn a nomination in the future for his work on that, but as it is, he is one of the snubbed. Thanks for your great work G.B.

19: Daryl Dixon (The Walking Dead)-Norman Reedus

The Walking Dead is a show that can be inconsistent at times, but Daryl is one of the most consistently great parts of the show. As someone who has read the comics, it’s amazing that the best character the show has to offer is one who wasn’t even in the comics, but that goes to show how good Reedus is in this part.

18: Chloe O’Brien (24)-Mary Lynn Rajskub

Chloe was the most consistently good thing about 24, other than Jack Bauer, of course.  Even though the show was regularly nominated in many categories, the actors were often neglected. Rajskub should have earned a nomination at least once, but unfortunately that was not the case.

17: Cersei Lannister (Game of Thrones)-Lena Headey

Game of Thrones is one of the most dense shows on television, and as such, there are numerous characters who deserve nominations.  Cersei is one such character.  Headey has been putting in great work every season but has yet to see a nomination for her work.  Given what is coming up in season four (I’ve read the books, so I pretty much know what we’re in for), I think she could earn a nomination in the (relatively) near future.

16: Murray Hewitt (Flight of the Conchords)-Rhys Darby

Flight of the Conchords was a very under-appreciated show, but there were some great moments along the way.  When the laughs weren’t provided by the songs, it was often Murray making us laugh.  Darby’s line delivery helped make the character so great, and without his bumbling band manager, the Flight of the Conchords wouldn’t have been anywhere near as successful.

15:The Janitor (Scrubs)-Neil Flynn

The Janitor was one of the best characters on Scrubs, a show that earned many snubs.  While he was probably the most bizarre character on a very quirky show, he had his heart-warming moments as well.  The His Story episode that focuses on the Janitor is one of my favorites.  Flynn is a great character actor, and it would have been great to see him honored for this role.

14: Henry Pollard (Party Down)/Ben Wyatt (Parks & Recreation)-Adam Scott

Adam Scott has played the male lead character on two different shows and was fantastic on both.  He plays a great straight man to the craziness that Parks & Rec presents, but the times he lets loose are some of the funniest moments the show has to offer.  He did a great job on Party Down as well.  If you haven’t watched that show by now, you really should because Scott plays understated comedy so well.

13: Nick Andopolis (Freaks & Geeks)/Marshall Eriksen (How I Met Your Mother)-Jason Segel

Jason Segel is one of the funnier people in Hollywood right now and is on a very popular show in How I Met Your Mother.  While Neil Patrick Harris has earned all the praise, if it weren’t for Segel’s Marshall, I don’t know that I would still be watching.  He is very funny, while being generally pretty grounded.  Segel’s work during the season where Marshall dealt with his father’s death was just great, and I wish he could have earned some recognition for it.  He was also one of my favorite parts of Freaks & Geeks.  Those two things earn him a spot on this list.

12: Dr. Christopher Turk (Scrubs)-Donald Faison

The second Scrubs character to make the list, Turk was one half of one of the greatest bromances of all time.  JD would have been nothing without Turk, and Turk was nothing without JD.  Plus he was pretty damn hilarious.  I still have an unhealthy love of brinner because of Turk.

11: Ned Stark (Game of Thrones)-Sean Bean

Although he was only on the show for the first season, the impact of Ned Stark is still being felt in the land of Westeros.  Given that Breaking Bad wasn’t eligible during that season at the Emmys, and therefore, Bryan Cranston left an open spot, it’s a shame that Bean wasn’t recognized.  If you weren’t watching the show before Ned’s departure, you may have jumped on the bandwagon once you heard what happened.  Without Bean’s portrayal of the head of Winterfell, Game of Thrones may not have survived its first winter.

10: Lindsay Bluth Funke (Arrested Development)-Portia De Rossi

While Lindsay isn’t my favorite character on Arrested Development, De Rossi is the only adult cast member of the show who hasn’t been nominated either for her work on AD or another show.  She provided this show with a ton of great moments and the fact she’s the only one not to be recognized is a huge mistake. COME ON!

9: Detective Jimmy McNulty (The Wire)-Dominic West

The Wire is one of the five best shows of all time.  Apparently no one told the Emmys because it was only nominated for two total awards during it’s run.  McNulty was the lead in a vast array of characters, but West did a great job of mixing comedy and drama in this role.  He should have been rewarded accordingly.

8: Corporal Maxwell Klinger (M*A*S*H)-Jamie Farr

Corporal Klinger was one of the funnier characters on M*A*S*H, but never earned a nomination for his work.  In the later seasons he became more serious (as did everything with the show, really), but he should have earned some respect for playing a man in a dress for as long as he did.

7: Monica Geller (Friends)-Courteney Cox

This may be a controversial selection given that many enjoy hating on Friends these days.  However, I think it was and is a great show.  With that said, Cox was the only one of the six to never earn a nomination.  While she’s not my favorite of the group, I think it’s a shame that she didn’t get recognized at least once.

6: Hank Schrader (Breaking Bad)-Dean Norris

I expect this snub to be rectified following the last eight episodes of Breaking Bad, but if I’m wrong. I’ll be very disappointed with Emmy voters.  Norris has been consistently great as Hank, and now that he really knows who Heisenberg is, he has stepped his game up even further.  As it is, he is just a great actor on a great show.

5: Pete Campbell (Mad Men)-Vincent Kartheiser

(Editor’s Note: Man, did I have fun selecting a gif for Pete.  I chose this one because I forgot this moment.  The punch, the stair trip, and him smoking pot rounded out the top four)  Kartheiser ranks higher than Norris for one reason: he plays a character that everyone hates which makes for a significantly higher degree of difficulty.  Apparently Emmy voters hate him so much, they won’t nominate him.  It takes hard work being so dislikable on a show full of dislikable characters, and he deserves some credit for that hard work.  Keep up the good work, Vince, and maybe some day the hate will turn into love.

4: Charlie Kelly (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia)-Charlie Day

For eight seasons (soon to be nine), Charlie Day has given the world one of the funniest characters on television, and yet he still gets no recognition.  While everyone from this show could make this list (with the exception of Danny DeVito because he already has an Emmy for Taxi), Charlie is the most glaring omission.  From Day Man to Green Man to Kitten Mittens to bird law to bashing rats to going America all over everyone’s asses, Charlie has had so many great moments and deserves to be awarded for them.

3: Dr. Perry Cox (Scrubs)-John C. McGinley

Dr. Cox was the best thing about Scrubs, in my opinion.  McGinley was a perfect fit for this character and did outstanding things in this role.  He had a great mix of humor and heart, while always having a soft spot for his pupil JD.  He should have won an Emmy based on the episode “My Lunch” alone, but unfortunately, he wasn’t recognized for his work at all which is a damn shame.  He must have called the Emmy voters by girls’ names a little too often.

2: Ron Swanson (Parks & Rec)-Nick Offerman

Ron Swanson is the most snubbed character currently on television, despite being (arguably) the funniest character on television.  Offerman brings so much to the table comedically that you are almost in awe watching him.  As great as Amy Poehler is, she shouldn’t be the sole award representative for the funniest show on television.  I hold out hope that this is the last post where I talk about Offerman being snubbed, but I have yet to be proven otherwise.

1: Omar Little (The Wire)-Michael K. Williams

Omar is the best thing about The Wire.  I mentioned earlier how criminally underrepresented it was at the Emmys, and that is most obvious here.  Omar is one of my top 10 characters of all time, and it is a travesty that Williams was never nominated for this role.  He is the king, and we all know that when you come at the king, you best not miss.  The Emmys missed big time with this one.  Oh, indeed.

So, there you have it, my top 25 all time Emmy snubs along with 5 honorable mentions.  If you think I missed one, feel free to tell me in the comments.  Be on the look out for my “Nominated Snubs” post coming soon, which will focus on those who were nominated but didn’t take the award home.

Hope you liked this post, and I hope you like what else I have to say


From → Television

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