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How ‘The Daily Show with Trevor Noah’ is Submitting Correspondents For Emmys

Michael Schneider

Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” may have finally found a way to get its correspondents some Emmy love. In a first, the late-night show is submitting its team of on-air contributors in the comedy guest actor and guest actress categories.

Competing for a nomination in the outstanding guest actor in a comedy series category will be Ronny Chieng, Michael Kosta, Roy Wood Jr. and Jaboukie Young-White. And in the hunt for an outstanding guest actress in a comedy series nod will be the show’s Desi Lydic and Dulcé Sloan.

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It might seem unusual to submit that group as “guest” performers, given that they’re permanent members of “The Daily Show” team. But because they’re all only seen occasionally on the show, not every night, they fit the guidelines.

Specifically, the Television Academy’s Emmy rules stipulate that “performers on variety sketch series may enter in lead, supporting or guest comedy categories, however, only performers appearing in less than 50% of the eligible episodes are able to enter in the guest categories. Sketch performers on variety talk series will be considered by petition on a case-by-case basis.”

And indeed, none of the “Daily Show” correspondents appear in more than 50% of the show’s annual run.

This is the first year Comedy Central has submitted its “Daily Show” correspondents, and it comes after the network asked the Academy to review their performances. The org agreed that the performances qualified as guest actor and actress.

The 50% rule was established in 2015 to resolve the debate over who might be considered a “guest.” The category had become confusing, as nominees — and often winners — landed a slot despite appearing in almost every episode of a TV show, all because they had been contractually given a “guest star” credit. (John Lithgow, for example, won the drama guest actor Emmy in 2010 for “Dexter,” despite appearing in every episode of that season.)

Since the TV Academy opened the door to allow variety sketch performers to compete in regular acting categories, “Saturday Night Live” has done quite well in the guest performers categories — but those nominees have been guest hosts.

Now, this could open the door to more variety talk show contenders — many of which similarly feature occasional contributors — to do the same thing.

Other categories “The Daily Show” is submitting contenders in this year include variety talk series; variety talk series writing; character voice-over performance, motion design; variety picture editing; multi-camera series or special makeup (non-prosthetic); variety series lighting design/direction; variety, nonfiction or reality costumes; technical direction, camerawork, video control; variety series or special sound mixing; interactive program and main title design.

Also, the show’s “Behind the Scenes (The Daily Show with Trevor Noah)” will be submitted in the short form variety series category.

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