Live from the Emmys it’s “Saturday Night Live.” The venerable NBC late-night comedy-variety series has received lots of Emmy love over the decades. the show’s history with TV top honors leads off our “Saturday Night Live” trivia, which has 47 fun facts and figures in honor of the show’s upcoming season number.
“SNL” earned 21 Emmy nominations this year bringing the grand total to 306. And it has collected 85 trophies including seven at this year’s Creative Arts Emmys. Dave Chappelle picked up his second Emmy for guest hosting as did former regular Maya Rudolph. She made Emmy history as the first person in 20 years to claim consecutive guest awards; Jay Thomas won in 1990 and ’91 in for “Murphy Brown.”
The TV academy embraced the irreverent series in its first season bestowing four Emmys on the show including outstanding comedy-variety or music series. Since 2017, “SNL” has won every year in what is now called variety sketch series.
Chevy Chase, the breakout star of the first season and the first to leave the series, won two Emmys in 1976 as a writing and for his performance He went on to guest host “SNL” eight times, though, he hasn’t appeared in that capacity since 1997.
Over the years, Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Bill Murray, Phil Hartman, Mike Myers and Tina Fey all won writing Emmys with Fey being the first female head writer on the show.
Joan Cusack was the first former cast member to be nominated for an acting Oscar reaping a bid for “Working Girl” in 1988, two years after her one and done season on the show. Aykroyd was next for supporting actor for 1989’s “Driving Miss Daisy,” losing to Denzel Washington for “Glory.”
Murray, who was nominated for the 2003 best actor Oscar for “Lost in Translation,” made his first appearance on the show on Jan. 15, 1977. Ralph Nader was the host; George Benson, the musical guest. That episode marked the first appearance of the popular sketch, “The Coneheads.”
The beloved Gilda Radner earned her Emmy in the continuing or single performance by a supporting actress in variety or music in 1978.
Original cast member Laraine Newman was nominated for an Emmy in 1979 as a cast member when the series was up for outstanding comedy-variety or music program. Her daughter, Hannah Einbender, is nominated this year for supporting actress in a comedy series for HBO Max’s “Hacks.
The March 7, 1981 episode of “SNL” lives on in infamy. It was when cast member Charles Rocket uttered the F-word during a parody of the legendary “Dallas” episode “Who Shot J.R? called “Who Shot C.R.?” “Dallas” star Charlene Tilton was the guest host and asked him what it was like to be shot and he said “Oh, man, this is the first time I’ve ever been shot…I’d like to know who the f-k did it.” Jean Doumanian, who had been named producer in 1980 after Lorne Michaels left, was fired after the next episode along with Rocket and several other cast members. Eddie Murphy, Joe Piscopo, Denny Dillon and Gail Matthias escaped the axe though Dillon and Matthias were soon gone.
John Goodman hosted the show 12 years in a row. Ironically, he auditioned for the series in 1980 and was turned down. Other famous faces who unsuccessfully auditioned include Jim Carrey, Lisa Kudrow, Paul Reubens, Mindy Kaling, Kevin Hart and Aubrey Plaza. Laurie Metcalf made one appearance as a featured player on April 11, 1981.
Singer/actor Justin Timberlake has won four Emmys for his appearances on “SNL.” In 2007, he shared the music and lyrics Emmy with regular Andy Samberg, as well Jorma Taccone, Katreese Barnes, Asa Taccone and Akiva Schaffer for “Dick in a Box.” He won in 2009 and 2011 as guest actor and in 2011 for music and lyrics with Barnes, Seth Myers and John Mulaney for “Justin Timberlake Monologue.”
Anthony Michael Hall was the youngest “SNL” regular during the 1985-86 season. He was just 17. “SNL” host Betty White was 88 when she won comedy guest actress in 2010.
“SNL” writer/producer Steve Higgins, who has won six Emmys, is also the announcer on NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” And speaking of Fallon, the former “SNL” regular has won two Emmys in the guest actor category in 2012 and 2014.
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