Saturday, September 10, 2022

Nathan Lane's Daytime Emmys


Much has been said about Nathan Lane finally winning his first Prime Time Emmy for Guest Actor in a Comedy for Hulu's Only Murders in the Building after seven nominations. He was previously nominated for Modern Family (3 times as Pepper Saltzman, Cameron and Mitchell's excitable friend), The Good Wife, Mad About You and Frasier. But what everyone seems to forget is that he already won two Daytime Emmys for his voice work on two cartoon shows--Disney's The Lion King's Timon and Pumbaa and Teacher's Pet. The latter was a delightfully quirky ABC series about a talking dog who disguises himself as a boy in order to attend school with his master. It ran from 2000 to 2002 and was pretty funny. The artwork was bizarre and fascinating and the cast was particularly distinguished for an animated show. Lane was joined by Jerry Stiller as sarcastic parrot Pretty Boy, David Odgen Stiers as neurotic cat Mr. Jolly, Debra Jo Rupp as the boy's teacher who also happens to be his mom, Wallace Shawn as the principal Mr. Strickler, and I'm pretty sure Betty White did a guest shot as the grandmother. Bernadette Peters, Fred Willard, Tim Curry, and Patrick Warburton also did guest appearances. There was also a film version which I never saw.

Lane was brilliantly funny as Spot the canine who longs to be a real boy and loves school. The premise was keeping his disguise a secret from the human, grown-up world. I recall sitting with Gary Beach, who played Roger DeBris in The Producers, at the Outer Critics Circle Awards at Sardi's. I mentioned that his Producers co-star Lane was starring in a cartoon show as a talking dog and he was totally unaware of it. He said he'd have to watch the show.

So Lane now has yet another award to add to his vast collection. Here's a rundown of his other prizes:

3 Tony Awards--for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Producers and Angels in America 

Six Drama Desk Awards--for The Lisbon Traviata, Guys and Dolls, Love! Valour! Compassion!, Forum, The Producers, Angels in America

Six Outer Critics Awards, two Obies, the Drama League Award (for The Nance) and the John Willis Theater World Award for Lifetime Achievement. the People's Choice Award and nominations for the Golden Globe and SAG Awards.

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