Sure, we were bummed when Schmidt and Cece called it quits. But putting the player back on the market afforded his portrayer plenty of juicy (and hilarious) material. Heck, his tragicomic romance with Nurse Jackie's Merritt Wever alone made the break-up worth it to the Fox hit's breakout star.
Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live
Tony Hale, Veep or Arrested Development
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
Simon Helberg, The Big Bang Theory (Supporting Actor)
Even if voters see no other episode than the one in which Howard discovers an unopened letter from his estranged father, they'll understand why we've been saying for years that this scene-stealer is not only the CBS smash's secret weapon but breathtakingly versatile to boot.
Ed Helms, The Office
Alex Karpovsky, Girls (Supporting Actor)
As Girls‘ sad-sack cafe manager Ray, Karpovsky walks a tightrope in which he must balance his character’s amusingly misanthropic tendencies with his wide-eyed romantic adoration of college-age girlfriend Shoshanna. And while his character often misfires — he even botches the return of a stolen dog to its rightful owner — the actor himself remains steadfast in bringing to life the show’s most fully realized male character.
Taran Killam, Saturday Night Live (Supporting Actor)
Killam proved to be one of the few consistent lights in SNL‘s otherwise gloomy Season 38. Whether headlining pop-culture spoofs (as The Walking Dead‘s Rick and Homeland‘s tiny-mouthed Brody) or popping up in wildly random sketches (as a dancing pig and an angry brother unloading his rage on Justin Bieber), Killam was game for anything — and seriously funny in the process.
We'd say this funnyman deserves an Emmy for giving real heart and depth to Brad, aka the most endearingly childish metrosexual this side of New Girl's Schmidt. Except the real reason he deserves it is hello — he's made Brad the most endearingly cartoonish metrosexual this side of New Girl's Schmidt!
Rainn Wilson, The Office (Supporting Actor)
This having been the NBC comedy's final season, this is Emmy's last chance to recognize its thrice-nominated second banana. Luckily, the series' last episodes — in which Dwight finally got the job (of manager), the girl (Angela) and even a family (Phillip is his!) — were an enviable showcase.