Amidst a flurry of record-breaking Emmys mornings for the likes of Zendaya (youngest producing nominee) and Quinta Brunson (first Black woman with three comedy nods in the same year), Tony-winner Nathan Lane became the most-nominated performer in the history of the comedy-guest-actor category.
That’s all thanks to his role as scheming deli maestro Teddy Dimas on Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building, which earned 17 nominations, including Lane’s sixth nod for guest actor in a comedy. “I just started receiving some texts today, and I was just thrilled and delighted,” Lane tells Vanity Fair of learning the news.
Lane’s previous nominations come from episodes of Modern Family, Mad About You, and Frasier—plus one in the drama-guest-actor lineup for The Good Wife. Does Lane find himself reflecting on any of these building blocks in his road to Emmy history? “Well, I haven’t,” he says with a laugh. “It sounds a little like Norma Desmond.” Lane then breaks into an impression of the diva: “Max, Max, run the Modern Family episodes again. I want to see my work as Pepper Saltzman!”
Despite his many nominations, Lane has yet to win. The actor concedes that “it’s a thrill just to be invited to the party and be in the conversation” given the breadth of worthy TV shows. Still, he has to be itching to give an acceptance speech, right? “Seven nominations for the Primetime Emmy, which is…you hope it doesn’t turn into Susan Lucci,” Lane quips.