The 2021 Emmy Award nominations are set to be announced this upcoming Tuesday, July 13. Saturday Night Live is almost sure to receive some nominations – the show has been nominated for a least one Emmy every year since 1989. In past years, four of the current cast members have been nominated for Emmys for their performances on SNL: Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Cecily Strong, and Kenan Thompson. Six other cast members have been nominated for their writing work on the show: Mikey Day, Chris Redd, Colin Jost, Michael Che, Andrew Dismukes, and Bowen Yang.
One notable omission from that list of Emmy nominees is Beck Bennett. Bennett has been a cast member since 2013, making him one of the longest-tenured performers on SNL. Alongside Kyle Mooney, he’s written some of the best Saturday Night Live sketches over the past eight years, such as “The Race,” “Beers,” and “A New Kyle.” However, since he isn’t an official writing staff member, he has never received an Emmy nomination for his writing, even though SNL has been nominated for Outstanding Writing For A Variety Series four times since he joined the cast.
Bennett has also yet to be nominated for an Emmy for his acting work, despite being one of the most prominently featured members in the cast. According to Vulture, which has kept track of SNL screen time data over the past few years, the only SNL players with more screen time than Bennett over the past three seasons are Kate McKinnon and Kenan Thompson, both of whom have received several Emmy nominations.
This past season, however, Beck Bennett had the most screen time of the entire cast. Furthermore, he also had the third-most screen time in cut-for-time sketches behind only Ego Nwodim and Mikey Day. Clearly, Beck Bennett was the most in-demand actor on Saturday Night Live in season 46. Fittingly, this should be the year that he finally receives an Emmy nomination.
Just to be clear, I’m not saying that Bennett deserves an Emmy nomination just because of the quantity of his work. The quality of his work this past season was outstanding as well. Let’s take a look at it, shall we?
Beck Bennett’s acting in pre-taped sketches
Pre-taped sketches are where Beck Bennett shines the brightest. If you want to watch just a few sketches to see how talented Bennett is, these are the ones to watch.
Beck Bennett’s character work and impressions
Beck Bennett is often called upon to play the straight man in SNL sketches because he excels in that role. However, he’s also an excellent character actor, and he performed plenty of memorable characters and impressions in season 46.
Beck Bennett’s ability to work as part of an ensemble
Bennett is engaging and charismatic enough to carry a sketch all on his own, but he also does an excellent job of fitting in with his scene partners and not stealing focus. Here are some great examples of his work this season as part of an ensemble:
Beck Bennett is a triple threat
You already know that Beck Bennett can act, but the man can sing and dance to. He’s probably never going to star in a Broadway musical, but he can capably carry a tune and his dance moves are so much fun to watch. I’ve already recommended “Drivers License” and “Bachelor Party,” but here are a couple more sketches where Bennett shows off his musical abilities and one where he really shows off his dance moves.
Suffice to say, Beck Bennett is an incredibly talented actor and comedian, and he has been making Saturday Night Live a better show for the past eight years. As far as I’m concerned, he’s clearly a deserving candidate, but only time will tell if the Television Academy agrees that he’s worthy of an Emmy nomination.