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Betty White, Letterman top Emmy oddities

Nominations include Old Spice's 'Man'

The Betty White pop culture phenomenon has made its way to the Emmys.

Four-time Emmy winner White scored her 16th nomination on Thursday, as a guest actress in a comedy (for her stint as host of “Saturday Night Live”).

What’s more, White’s episode of “SNL” also landed nominations for lighting direction, hairstyling and makeup, among other awards.

As a matter of fact, it might have been White’s involvement in “Saturday Night Live” — which began as a tongue-in-cheek Internet campaign — that pushed the late-night sketch series to 126 nominations, making it the most-nominated program in Emmy history.

“SNL” surpassed “ER,” which earned 124 noms over its life, and “Cheers,” which had 117. “SNL,” which traditionally received only a handful of nominations year after year, saw its tally increase dramatically last year, after its performers were made eligible for the comedy acting categories.

Since then, “SNL” picked up 13 nominations last year and 12 this year, putting it over the top.

Among this year’s other notable notes and Emmy oddities:

— Not everyone’s gonna like this. Those controversial Prophet Muhammad episodes of “South Park” — which became even more controversial after Comedy Central censored one of them without the show creators’ permission — scored a nomination in the outstanding animated program category.

— Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” may soon become “The Man With an Emmy Your Man Could Smell Like.” The popular ad campaign, starring actor Isaiah Mustafa, earned a nomination in the outstanding commercial category.

That capped a good run for Old Spice ad agency Wieden + Kennedy, which earned three noms in the category. MJZ, which produced the ad, also received three commercial nominations.

— Most politically incorrect category? Perhaps a tie between the aforementioned animation category (thanks to those Muhammad eps) and outstanding music and lyrics — which boasts, among its nominees, the “Family Guy” original song “Down’s Syndrome Girl.”

In that eclectic category, other nominees include “Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit” from “How I Met Your Mother,” as well as “How Lovely to Be a Vegetable” from “Rescue Me” and “Saturday Night Live’s” “Shy Ronnie.”

— It’s gonna be a bit awkward at the “So You Think You Can Dance” judge’s table. “Dance” judge Adam Shankman is nominated in the outstanding choreography category — but for his work on the Academy Awards. He’ll face off against fellow “So You Think You Can Dance” judge Mia Michaels, who is nominated for her work on the show.

— Most obscure nomination might be “Virtuality,” the busted Fox sci-fi pilot that ultimately ran as a TV movie way back in June 2009. The program, which is nominated for special visual effects on a mini, movie or special, is so obscure that the TV Academy even got the network wrong. NBC (which produced “Virtuality” through Universal Media Studios) got the credit for the program, even though Fox actually aired it.

— One thing is for certain this time at the Emmys: HBO’s “The Pacific” will win the outstanding sound mixing for a mini or movie category. That’s because all four nominations in the category went to “The Pacific”: Part 2 vs. Part 5 vs. Part 8 vs. Part 9.

— The Emmys love honoring TV pilots and series finales, and this time was no different. In the comedy directing category, for example, the pilots to “Glee,” “Modern Family” and “Nurse Jackie” all got noms.

— It’s good to be the boss. John Shaffner is not just the chairman of the TV Academy, he’s also a nominee. Shaffner, known as one of the industry leaders in art direction, scored nominations this year for his work on “The Big Bang Theory” and “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien.”

— Most depressing category goes to the outstanding children’s nonfiction program award, where “Nick News with Linda Ellerbee – The Face of Courage: Kids Living with Cancer” faces off with PBS’ “When Families Grieve.” What happened to sunny days, sweeping the clouds away?

— Several moonlighting thesps have doubled their chances at an Emmy later this summer. “30 Rock’s” Tina Fey scored a guest nom for her hosting duties on “SNL” (as well as a “30 Rock” writing nom) in addition to best comedy actress. “How I Met Your Mother’s” Neil Patrick Harris is up for his show as a supporting thesp, as well as a guest actor for “Glee.”

“Mad Men’s” Jon Hamm, up for best actor in a drama, is also a guest actor nominee for “30 Rock.” “Glee” star Jane Lynch was nommed as best supporting actress, as well as a guest actress for “Two and a Half Men.” And Christine Baranski is up for “The Good Wife,” as well as for her “The Big Bang Theory” guest turn.

— Among networks, new pay cabler Epix landed its first-ever nom, for “Believe: The Eddie Izzard Story,” which landed a nomination in the outstanding nonfiction special category. On the flip side, broadcast net the CW was once again ignored by voters.

— Streaks are meant to be broken: “Late Show with David Letterman” failed to get a nomination in the variety/music/comedy category, while “Entourage” and “Two and a Half Men” star Charlie Sheen also came up short for the first time in years.

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