Saturday Night Live has been on the air for over four decades, with its 42nd season debuting next month, but last night marked the first time an SNL cast member performance has earned an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.
The late night comedy stable has picked up a handful of Emmy statuettes for its guest hosts. The first guest acting win for SNL was Justin Timberlake”s in 2009 for his third time as host. And when cast members were honored in the Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program category, the show did earn wins for Chevy Chase, Gilda Radner, and Dana Carvey.
Four other SNL cast members had been honored with Emmy nominations in the supporting actor categories for their work on the sketch comedy show though without taking home a statuette: Eddie Murphy, Bill Hader, Amy Poehler, and Kristen Wiig. McKinnon”s wonderfully wacky SNL performances had also been nominated twice before.
SNL also put another first in the Emmy history books this year: The first shared win for the Guest Actress in a Comedy award, which Poehler and Tina Fey together picked up at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards show. (It”s also Poehler”s long-overdue first Emmy win after 18 nominations for acting and writing.) The duo”s co-hosting of SNL in December, when they reprised their roles as Hilary Clinton and Sarah Palin – opposite McKinnon”s Hillary – earned them the Emmy.
McKinnon thanked Hillary Clinton and Ellen DeGeneres (two of her stand-out impressions) in her acceptance speech. She also thanked her late father, who had her start watching SNL when she was 12 years old.
We”ll get to see more of McKinnon”s comedy chops when SNL returns on October 1.
Update September 19, 2:08 p.m.: This post previously incorrectly reported that McKinnon”s Emmy win marked the first time a Saturday Night Live cast member performance has earned an Emmy. We regret the error. It is, in fact, the first time an SNL cast member”s performance earned an Emmy in the Outstanding Supporting Actor or Actress in a Comedy Series. Previously, Emmys in the Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program category went to Chevy Chase, Gilda Radner, and Dana Carvey.