Eddie Murphy wins first Emmy for his long-awaited return to 'Saturday Night Live'

Tyler Aquilina
·3 min read

Eddie Murphy's career has come full circle: Almost 40 years after his first Emmy nomination, for Saturday Night Live, he won his first Emmy, for… Saturday Night Live.

The actor took the award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series at Saturday's Creative Arts Emmys ceremony for his long-awaited return to Studio 8H in December. The episode marked Murphy's first SNL hosting gig in 35 years, and one of his few return appearances to the show that made him a star. He brought back some of his most memorable SNL characters on the episode, including Buckwheat, Mister Robinson, and Gumby, damn it!

Murphy was not on hand to accept the award on Saturday, but the Television Academy shared his acceptance speech in a tweet after his win.

"Thank you to everybody at the Emmys. Thank you so much for giving me an Emmy," a beaming Murphy said. "I don't have an Emmy. This is 40 years since I started Saturday Night Live. This is my first Emmy, so thank you so much. I want to thank Lorne Michaels for putting this whole thing together and making this happen. And I want to thank the cast and the writers and the crew at SNL. This was a very very special thing for me to come back and have the show turn out the way it did. I'm still floating from it. And thank you to everybody for giving me an Emmy."

The comedian also stopped by the press room after his win where spoke further about his win for returning to his one-time home at SNL.

“It’s so special because it was 36 years to the day since I was on the show. For it to turn out the way it turned out and this on top of it ... It’s just really really special.”

He also said he was looking to do more on-stage comedy. "We were planning before the pandemic hit on doing standup, getting some stuff together," he told reporters. "As soon as it’s clear to go back out there, that’s the plan.”

Murphy rocketed to fame as a cast member on SNL in the early 1980s, and has been widely credited with helping keep the show afloat during years of behind-the-scenes turmoil. He earned his first Emmy nod, for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy, for his work on the sketch show in 1983. Before his appearance last year, he had only returned to host the show once after departing to pursue a film career.

"When I was back there for the 40th anniversary, I started having the kind of feelings you would have when you go back to your old high school," Murphy told EW of his decision to finally return to SNL. "The show is a big part of my personal legacy and I was like, 'Let me go back to where I came from, and be funny there and have some fun.'"

Lauren Huff contributed to this report.

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