‘Saturday Night Live’: 1 of the Show’s Biggest Stars Could Finally Snag an Emmy in 2021

Comedy, as they say, is subjective. Just look at how many comedy stars have struggled to stay on the top of their game. Perhaps no production has been as successful at creating enduring stars as Saturday Night Live. Icons like Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, and Chris Rock started out there. Now one of the NBC series’ biggest names finally has another shot at landing an Emmy.

Lorne Michaels and cast and crew of 'Saturday Night Live' at the 71st Emmy Awards
Lorne Michaels and cast and crew of ‘Saturday Night Live’ at the 71st Emmy Awards | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

A ‘Saturday Night Live’ legend returned after 25 years

SNL has been on a bit of a hot streak, thanks to its political satire. But 2019 brought an especially notable episode. Twenty-five years after last hosting the show, SNL alumnus Eddie Murphy returned to the stage and brought his fan-favorite characters with him.

For decades, Eddie Murphy has been one of the biggest comedy stars in the world. Few former SNL stars boast hits like Beverly Hills Cop, Coming to America, and The Nutty Professor. And while other SNL alumni have returned sporadically, Murphy has been famously standoffish.

Nonetheless, his return proved to be an undeniable highlight of season 45. Despite such a significant gap since he’s done live comedy, Murphy made a seamless return to form. So, of course, the Emmys took notice of his hilarious work.

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Eddie Murphy has never won an Emmy Award, not even for ‘SNL’

Prior to becoming a big-screen leading man, Murphy was a regular cast member on SNL from 1980 to 1984. During that time, he created indelible characters like Buckwheat, Gumby, and Mr. Robinson. Yet, despite landing three Emmy nods for his work on the show, Murphy has never won one. The upcoming Emmys ceremony is a long-overdue chance to correct that.

To be fair, he isn’t the only legendary SNL alumnus the Emmys failed to recognize. Will Ferrell, for instance, also never won an Emmy for his work on the show from 1995 to 2002. But while Ferrell got one in 2019 for another project, Murphy’s last Emmy nod was in 1999 for producing animated sitcom The PJs.

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Murphy might not be the only star to win an Emmy in 2020

The Emmys might decide to finally give Murphy an award for his SNL work. And if they do, it will likely be as much for his work in the 1980s as his recent hosting gig. Considering the amount of support the show has among the 2020 Emmy nominees, Murphy has a good shot. Altogether, SNL landed 15 nominations.

Alongside Murphy, other nominees for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series include SNL hosts Brad Pitt and Adam Driver. Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Maya Rudolph also received guest nods for their SNL appearances. And regular cast members Kenan Thompson, Kate McKinnon, and Cecily Strong are also up for awards.