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Emmy First-Timers Club: D'Arcy Carden Reveals the TV Obsession She'd Cancel Plans Over

Closing out E! News' weeklong celebration of the Emmy First-Timers Club, The Good Place's D'Arcy Carden answered some burning questions.

By Billy Nilles Sep 20, 2020 1:30 PMTags
Watch: D'Arcy Carden Praises Jennifer Aniston at 2019 E! People's Choice Awards

You never forget your first. For a lucky handful of TV personalities, that time is now. Get to know the names behind the nominations with Emmy First-Timers Club, E! News' weeklong celebration of newcomers with nods in some of the biggest categories!

When D'Arcy Carden learned she'd been nominated for her first Emmy, she was already busy celebrating.

The Good Place actress was watching this year's nomination ceremony with her husband Jason and their dog, reveling in the love sent the show's way in the form of its second Outstanding Comedy Series nod, when her phone buzzed.

"I got a text from my manager and my publicist and they said, 'I hope this isn't spoiling anything, but you're an Emmy nominee," Carden, who played virtual assistant Janet on the NBC hit, told E! News in late July. (Her category, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, wasn't announced during the livestream.) "We just were sort of like awestruck. It was excited and happy. We weren't screaming or jumping all over the place, we were just like, 'Wow. Oh my God. Wow.' It was cool."

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Emmys 2020: Stars React to Their Nominations

For her nomination to come when it did, some six months after The Good Place aired its series finale in January, made it all the more special, she added.

"It feels like a long time ago. There's like another level of gratefulness that we weren't forgotten, or whatever. It's so nice that people are still thinking about the show," Carden said. "The cast and the whole Good Place family just feel so strongly about that show and it's really special that it would get a send-off like this. It's awesome, like, oh my God, are you kidding me?"

While we await the results of Carden's category, which will be revealed when the virtual 2020 Primetime Emmy Awards get underway live on Sunday, Sept. 20, get to know the actress a bit better with her responses to our Emmy First-Timers Club questionnaire!

Maarten de Boer; Melissa Herwitt/E! Illustration

Whose performances inspired you to become an actor?

Carol Burnett as Miss Hannigan in Annie. She was so connected and looked like she was having the time of her life. 

What was the last non-acting job you held?

I was a nanny, which I loved. 

What TV show other than your own have you never missed an episode of?

I'm going to answer this question pre-Netflix/ pre-DVR/pre-TiVo—because now everyone watches everything. But in the old days you had to watch it live, or catch the rerun in the summertime. Am I a billion years old? I never missed an episode of Friends, and for MANY years, I never missed an episode of American Idol. My dad and I would cancel plans to watch it live, we were obsessed. 

When was the first time, if ever, you remember seeing yourself represented on TV?

There was something about the SNL women in the 90's that really spoke to me. Molly Shannon, Ana Gasteyer, and then a bit later with Maya [Rudolph] and Amy [Poehler].

What was the first thought that passed through your mind when you learned you were nominated? 

"Holy. S--t." 

How did you celebrate your nomination?

William Jackson Harper and his girlfriend, Ali Ahn, came over and we had a socially-distant-celebratory-dance-party in our backyard. 

Where will you put your Emmy if you win?

I'm not sure, but definitely in a spot where you'll see it in the background of Zooms.

To see if Carden's future Zoom calls are going to get a visual upgrade, be sure to tune in when the 2020 Primetime Emmys go live on Sunday, Sept. 20.

And for more from the Emmy First-Timers Club, check out answers from Nicole Byer, Rain Valdez, Mamoudou Athie, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Jovan Adepo and William Jackson Harper!

Visit E!'s 2021 Emmy Awards page for a recap of TV's biggest night.