By Michael Slezak
Updated July 09, 2009 at 06:54 PM EDT

We are now on Day Three of our intense, wide-ranging discussion about world peace global climate change awards honoring achievement in prime-time television programming, and the topic turns to an area that always gets me crazy passionate: Supporting Actors and Actresses (Comedy Division). Maybe it’s because they don’t typically make $1 million an episode, or because they often play second-fiddles to their bold-faced costars in their shows’ promotional campaigns, or maybe I just like wacky sidekicks. Whatever the reason, my initial brainstorm about which folks I’m rooting for in these categories quickly reached the double digits. But assuming Vanessa (L Yeah) Williams is going to get hers for her ingenious portrayal of Wilhelmina Slayyyytaaah on Ugly Betty, I forced myself to whittle my list down to the four underdogs who’ll be getting the slow clap/good vibes treatment from me come the morning of July 16, when Emmy nods are announced:

Keir Gilchrist, United States of Tara: Gilchrist’s awkward, gay, film buff son of Toni Collette’s titular character was the main reason I stuck with Tara past its first few episodes, and got rewarded with a series that’s now on my permanent DVR schedule. I thank him by rooting for his Emmy nod that’s probably never going to happen.

Michael Urie, Ugly Betty: Urie’s bitchy, gay, fashion buff assistant to Mode magazine’s most fearsome editrix proved to be more than just a quip-spewing lapdog/attack dog this season. Watching Marc strive for love and a better career proved alternately hilarious and heartbreaking, and proved Urie is every bit as valuable to the Ugly Betty cast as the more heralded Williams and America Ferrera.

Ana Ortiz, Ugly Betty: Speaking of Betty’s long list of MVPs, I’ve got to hand it to Ortiz. Sure, she showed her dramatic chops when Ignacio’s health woes surfaced, but more importantly, even her most throwaway lines and facial expressions leave me howling with laughter. Hilda FTMFW!

Hamish Linklater, The New Adventures of Old Christine: It’s not easy stealing a scene from Julia Loius-Dreyfus, but Linklater is the stealth weapon in the fully loaded arsenal of this underappreciated CBS sitcom.

Okay, so those are my longshot picks for Emmy nominations for Supporting Actors and Actresses in a Comedy (we’ll get to their dramatic counterparts tomorrow), but who are you rooting for? Remember, if your faves don’t getany Emmy love, they could still score themselves an EWwy nod, so make sure to argue passionately on their behalves! Ready, set, discuss!

addCredit(“Gilchrist: Jordin Althaus/Showtime; Urie and Ortiz: Patrick Harbron/ABC; Linklater: Greg Gayne/CBS”)