Eddie Murphy won his first Primetime Emmy on Saturday night following five nominations throughout his acting career. He earned the award in the Guest Actor Comedy Series category after he hosted Saturday Night Live in December. He did not immediately accept the award during the virtual telecast, but the Television Academy later tweeted out his speech.
"Thank you to everybody at the Emmy's," Murphy said in his virtual acceptance speech. "Thanks so much for giving me an Emmy. 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." Murphy also thanked SNL creator Lorne Michaels, the cast, writers and crew for the long-running sketch comedy series.
Murphy faced a stacked list of competitions on Saturday night. The nominations included Fred Willard in Modern Family (posthumous nomination), Dev Patel in Amazon's Modern Love and Luke Kirby, who portrayed Lenny Bruce on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Brad Pitt and Adam Driver also received nominations after they each hosted SNL.
"So thrilled you won!!!! And thank you for coming back to host SNL. It was one of the funniest episodes in the history of the show... and meant so much to us folks who watched & loved you on SNL 40 years ago," one fan commented on Twitter after watching the acceptance speech. Several others agreed with the sentiment and said that Murphy was long overdue for a Primetime Emmy.
Murphy brought back several fan-favorite characters during his return to SNL in December. He portrayed Buckwheat once again during a spoof of The Masked Singer. He also portrayed Mr. Robinson for a new version of "Mister Robinson's Neighborhood." Murphy used the Mister Rogers' Neighborhood parody to teach viewers about gentrification.
During this skit, Murphy sang his version of "Won't You Be My Neighbor." He then taught his viewers about "Squatter's Rights," which is like "finder's keepers, but for other people's houses." The character also stole a massive TV from his new neighbors, who had purchased a run-down apartment for $1.2 million.
According to Deadline, Murphy previously received Emmy nominations for his work on SNL. This list includes SNL in 1983 (Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy, Variety, or Music series) and 1984 (Writing in a Variety or Music Program, Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program). Additionally, he received a nomination in 1999 for The PJs (Outstanding Animated Programming, Hour or Less).