‘Saturday Night Live’ 40th anniversary celebration wins Emmy Award for Best Variety Special

saturday night live 40th anniversary nbc emmy

NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” is the most awarded series in Primetime Emmy history, and this year the long-running variety series celebrated its 40th anniversary with a special that has added to the show’s record haul. Our exclusive Gold Derby odds had it heavily favored to win Best Variety Special with leading odds of 3/10. This isn’t the first victory in this category for “SNL”; it actually won this award for its 25th anniversary in 2000.

Related: Watch our editor Emmy slugfests predicting all four guest acting races

Ranked second with 12/1 odds was “Mel Brooks Live at the Geffen,” which had two nominations this year including this award and Best Variety Special Writing for star Mel Brooks. Just last year this award went to the AFI Life Achievement Award special honoring Brooks.

The annual “Kennedy Center Honors” were uncharacteristically far behind in our predictions with 20/1 odds. Honoring lifetime achievement in the performing arts, It has won this category seven times, including five in a row from 2009-2013. It also won twice more in 1984 and 1986, when series and specials were combined into one category. The nominated special, which aired in 2014, honored Al Green, Tom Hanks, Patricia McBride, Sting and Lily Tomlin. It had four total nominations, also including Best Variety Special Directing, Best Music Direction and Best Technical Direction.

Also with 20/1 odds were “Louis C.K.: Live at the Comedy Store.” The prolific Louis C.K., who also has several nominations for his FX series “Louie,” is now a six-time Emmy champ for writing, but he has yet to win Best Variety Special.

A third program got 20/1 odds from our predictors: “Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga: Cheek to Cheek Live.” This is the only nomination for the music special, but Tony Bennett previously won this category in 2007 for “Tony Bennett: American Classic.”

Rounding out the category was “Bill Maher: Live From D.C.” with 100/1 odds. Bill Maher has earned multiple nominations over the years for various variety series and specials, but his only win to date was Best Informational Program last year as a producer of HBO’s “Vice.”

Complete list of 2015 Creative Arts Emmy winners

Do you think “SNL” star Kate McKinnon will win at next week’s ceremony?? Make your own Emmys picks now to the right or at the bottom of this post, and you could win one of our three prizes ($500, $300 and $200 Amazon gift certificates) as well as a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year’s Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year’s Emmys line-up).

Last year, our Experts had an accuracy rate of 58.62% when it came to predicting the Emmy winners. That score tied them with both Gold Derby’s Editors and the Top 24 Users (those two dozen folks who did the best at predicting last year’s Emmys). Our Users scored  51.72% (Click on any of these groups to see what they got right and wrong last year.)

Which group will be victorious this year? Meet the guy who won our contest to predict the Emmys last year — and learn how he did it and how you can be our next Gold Derby superstar.

As some of our Users turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, it’s important that you give us your predictions. Your picks influence our Users racetrack odds, which also factor into our official combined odds.

Photo: “SNL: 40th Anniversary.” Credit: NBC

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