Eddie Murphy won the Creative Arts Emmy for Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for hosting SNL, his first Emmy in a long and storied career. Though the actor and comedian has slowed down recently, he has been a more or less constant fixture of both film and television since rising to prominence in the 1980s. Murphy most recently starred in the Netflix biopic Dolemite Is My Name as blaxploitation icon Rudy Ray Moore, who achieved fame as the fictional pimp and kung-fu master Dolemite.
Murphy got his first break on SNL between 1980 and 1984 when he was a permanent cast member and hosted the sketch comedy show twice. He joined the series at an uncertain time given the departures of heavy hitters including Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd, as well as, temporarily, creator Lorne Michaels. Creating numerous beloved characters and bringing his infectious charm and humor to every sketch he starred in, Murphy revived the sketch show and went on to stardom. As part of season 45 in December 2019, Murphy returned to the show for the first time in 35 years, making his third appearance as host.
Now, Murphy won the Creative Arts Emmy for Guest Actor in a Comedy Series. Murphy was nominated alongside Fred Willard for Modern Family, Dev Patel for Modern Love, Luke Kirby for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Adam Driver and Brad Pitt, also for SNL. It is the actor's first Emmy and his first nomination since 1999 when he was considered for Outstanding Animated Program for the PJs, his stop-motion adult animated sitcom. The Creative Arts Emmys specifically honor behind-the-scenes work in the industry, including technical and artistic achievement.
It's no wonder why Murphy received the honor for his appearance on SNL, which was as eventful and auspicious as a return could be. Murphy reprised his roles as a number of old characters that had made him famous in his days as a regular. As Mr. Robinson, a parody of Mr. Rogers, he cheerfully bemoaned the gentrification of his neighborhood. Feminist sympathizer (and pimp) Velvet Jones was a contestant on the recurring Black Jeopardy sketch, foul, cigar-smoking Gumby sat for an interview on the Weekend Update, and zany Buckwheat was revived after his untimely demise over three decades ago. Murphy captivated audiences as well as he did all those years ago, with these skits seeing enormous replay online.
It may just have been the beginning of a return to form for Murphy, as he has much planned for the near future. Just around the time of his hosting, Murphy resolved to return to stand-up comedy in 2020. Eager to revive more than his sketch personas on SNL, Murphy has lined up sequels to his 80s smash hits, including Coming 2 America later this year and Beverly Hills Cop 4 in the works. It seems this is just a new beginning for an already legendary actor.