Last Week Tonight Wants the Best Voice-Over Emmy, Too

In the decade since Last Week Tonight with John Oliver premiered on HBO, it’s pretty much become a given that the series will take home a handful of Emmys in any given year—including the top honor in its main category (which recently shifted from Outstanding Variety Talk Series to Outstanding Scripted Variety Series). Now, the late-night satire program is looking to own the Voice-Over category, too.

Of the 158 names submitted for consideration to make it onto this year’s final Emmy ballot, nine of them belong to Last Week Tonight. All but one of those come from the April 14 episode, in which Oliver helps to explain Medicaid—and its many “bullsh*t loopholes”—with the help of Amber Ruffin and a bunch of talking vegetables. 

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The entire segment is only four minutes long, but, in the mind of the show’s producers, features enough standout voice work to merit eight submissions: two for Fred Armisen (who plays both Sweet Potato and Tomatillo), two for Nick Kroll (as both Cantaloupe and Coconut), and two for Cecily Strong (who plays Orange and Ginger); Mark McKinney (as the talking Peach that begins and ends the bit) and Eugene Mirman (as Butternut Squash) round out the list of submissions for the segment. 

A ninth submission was made for What We Do in the Shadows star Matt Berry, who narrated a cautionary tale about freight trains for the December 10, 2023 episode.

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Since its inception, the Emmy for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance has traditionally gone to actors on animated sitcoms like The Simpsons or Family Guy, with Dan Castellaneta, Hank Azaria, and Seth MacFarlane each notching three wins apiece for this particular talent. In more recent years, Maya Rudolph has dominated the category, taking home the statuette in 2020, 2021, and 2023 for her role as Connie the Hormone Monstress on Big Mouth. While Rudolph, Castellaneta, Azaria, and McFarlane’s names have all been submitted once again for 2024 Emmy consideration, Last Week Tonight is ready to gain a foothold here, too. 

The 2024 Emmy nominations will be announced on Wednesday, July 17; the awards will be handed out on Sunday, September 15.

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