The odds-on favorite the entire season, the star beat out reigning champ Luke Kirby (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”), Fred Willard (“Modern Family”), Dev Patel (“Modern Love”), and fellow “SNL” nominees Brad Pitt and Adam Driver.
This was Murphy’s fifth Emmy bid; he earned three (two for acting, one for writing) during his tenure at “SNL” from 1980-84, and a fourth for producing the animated series “The PJs” in 1999. His hosting stint in December marked the first time he returned to the sketch series in 35 years. The milestone episode scored “SNL’s” its highest ratings in nearly three years as Murphy busted out some of his classic characters, including Buckwheat, Gumby and Mister Robinson, for maximum nostalgia.
His triumph extends “SNL’s” win record to six in the category, following Justin Timberlake (2009, 2011), Jimmy Fallon (2012, 2014) and Dave Chappelle (2017). Murphy is also the fifth Black comedy guest actor to win, with Roscoe Lee Browne (“The Cosby Show,” 1986), Cleavon Little (“Dear John,” 1989), Chappelle and Katt Williams (“Atlanta,” 2018) being the others.
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