Eddie Murphy Wins First Emmy for 'Saturday Night Live' Hosting Gig

The 59-year-old comedian won Guest Actor Comedy Series on Saturday night, more than 20 years after his last Primetime Emmy nomination.

Eddie Murphy

Image via Getty/Rodin Eckenroth

Eddie Murphy

Eddie Murphy has reached another career milestone.

On Saturday night, the 59-year-old comedian secured his first-ever Primetime Emmy for his hosting gig on Saturday Night Live. Murphy, who was nominated for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series, was up against Adam Driver (SNL), Luke Kirby (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Dev Patel (Modern Love), Brad Pitt (SNL), and Fred Willard (Modern Family). This was Murphy's fifth Emmy nomination and his first in over 20 years.

Murphy returned to Studio 8H in December 2019, about 35 years since he left the sketch show as a regular cast member. His episode saw him reprise some of his most iconic SNL characters, including Gumby and Mr. Robinson.

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Murphy's much-anticipated return also helped SNL garner its highest ratings in about two years, reportedly drawing 9.921 million Live+Same Day viewers and receiving a 2.5 rating among adults 18-49.

The comedian spoke about his return during a conversation with Antonio Banderas on Variety Studio: Actors on Actors. He told his Shrek co-star he decided he wanted to host after the series' 40th anniversary special.

"The show’s been on the air for over 40 years now, so it’s this American institution," he said. "They had this 40-year anniversary a few years back, so everybody that was ever on the show was there, and it was this really great night. I got this big wave of nostalgia and great feelings and seeing all these other actors that have been on the show. There was such a strong kinship with everybody, I felt like I was at my old high school. I decided, this Christmas, I’m going to go back and host the show. I hope it’s funny."

Murphy received the award during the Creative Arts Emmys virtual ceremony. The 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards will air live Sunday on ABC.

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