Eddie Murphy Wins First Emmy for Guest Actor in a Comedy Series

Eddie Murphy on SNL (Credit: NBC)

Eddie Murphy took home his first-ever Emmy Award Saturday night for guest hosting Saturday Night Live.

The comedian won in the category for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series at the 2020 Creative Arts Emmys. In a pre-recorded acceptance speech, he thanked SNL‘s executive producer, cast and writers.

“Thank you to everybody at the Emmys. Thank you so much for giving me an Emmy,” a thrilled 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.”

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The actor and comedian faced tough competition in the category, including Fred Willard (Modern Family), Adam Driver (Saturday Night Live), Dev Patel (Modern Love), Brad Pitt (Saturday Night Live) and Luke Kirby (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel).

But in the end, it was Murphy’s long-awaited return to SNL that clinched the award.

In December 2019, he hosted the NBC sketch comedy series for the first time in 35 years. During the episode, the SNL alum reprised some of his iconic characters, including Buckwheat, Gumby, and Mister Robinson in a sketch about neighborhood gentrification.

“I was gone for a bit, but now I’m alright. My neighbors was all Black, but now they’re white. The white people came and changed everything, but I am still your neighbor,” Murphy’s Mr. Robinson sang.

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Saturday marked the final installment of the five-night Creative Arts Emmys, which honor outstanding artistic and technical achievement in television. The awards began Monday with a ceremony honoring reality TV and nonfiction programming. Tuesday’s ceremony honored variety programming. Scripted programming was recognized on Wednesday and Thursday. For a full list of Saturday’s winners, click here.

There are still more Emmys to be handed out. The top 23 categories will be presented during the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 20  at 8 p.m. ET/5p.m. PT on ABC.