Last December, Eddie Murphy returned to Saturday Night Live for the first time in 35 years. One of the most anticipated television events of the year, Murphy's return was lauded by all who tuned in, and now, it's netted the comedian his first-ever Emmy win. Saturday evening, the Television Academy revealed Murphy won the Guest Actor Comedy Series Emmy, a category packed to the brim with stiff competition.
Also nominated in the category this year were Brad Pitt and Adam Driver, both for their roles hosting Saturday Night Live this past year, Dev Patel (Modern Love), Luke Kirby (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), and the late Fred Willard (Modern Family). It was Murphy's fifth Emmy nomination.
His first three nominations came during his time on SNL in the early 1980s. In 1983, Murphy was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy, Variety, or Music series while he tallied two nominations in 1984 — Writing in a Variety or Music Program, and Oustanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program. His fourth nomination was in 1999 for The PJs.
Murphy's fame largely came in part to his involvement in SNL from 1980 until 1984. He served as host twice throughout his career on the show.
The funnyman's SNL return right before Christmas last year wasn't just one of the show's highest-rated episodes of the season, but of the previous decade. Nielsen reported 9.921 million viewers watched the show live and a whopping 16.3 million viewers were counted in the DVR +7 numbers, making it the highest-rated episode of Saturday Night Live since 2008.
As a whole, SNL Season 45 is one of the most divisive seasons rated on Rotten Tomatoes. While it was a hit with critics (72-percent Fresh,) the season has a paltry 34-percent Rotten Audience Score.
Murphy can now add his Emmy next to the Golden Globe he won in 2007 for Dreamgirls, a role he also earned a Best Supporting Actor nomination for at the 2007 Oscars.