Saturday Night Live won three Emmys at the variety-focused Creative Arts Emmy Awards on Tuesday (Sept. 15). SNL has now won 80 Emmys, more than any other series in TV history. Its wins this year include outstanding variety sketch series for the fourth year in a row, and two Emmys for an episode hosted by one of its breakout stars, Eddie Murphy.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver also won three Emmys on the night. The HBO series has won outstanding variety talk series the last four years running and has an excellent chance of making it five years straight in that marquee category on Sunday at the televised Emmys.
Three shows each won two Emmys on the night – Live in Front of a Studio Audience: All in the Family and Good Times; RuPaul’s Drag Race (Episode: “I’m That Bitch”); and The Oscars.
This is the second year in a row that the Live in Front of a Studio Audience franchise has won outstanding variety special (live). Last year, Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s All in the Family and The Jeffersons took the honor. It’s certainly not for lack of competition: In both years, the franchise beat The Oscars, The Golden Globes and The Tonys.
All in the Family was an Emmy juggernaut in the ‘70s, winning four awards for best comedy series, more than any other series in the decade. But The Jeffersons won just two awards in its original run (one for star Isabel Sanford, the other for video tape editing). Good Times was never even nominated for an Emmy.
RuPaul’s Drag Race also won two Emmys at the previous night’s Creative Arts Emmys, which were focused on reality and non-fiction programming. It won outstanding casting for a reality program and outstanding picture editing for a structured reality or competition program.
Carpool Karaoke: The Series took outstanding short form variety series for the third year in a row. This is the ninth Emmy win since 2016 for executive producer Ben Winston, who is set to take over as the top producer of “Music’s Biggest Night” starting with the 63rd annual Grammy Awards in January.
Rickey Minor took the award for outstanding music direction for The Kennedy Center Honors. This year’s edition of that CBS perennial had a strong musical emphasis, with honorees Earth, Wind & Fire, Linda Ronstadt and Michael Tilson Thomas. This is Minor’s second Emmy win.
Here’s the complete list of winners from the second night of the pre-telecast awards:
Outstanding Variety Special (Live) — Live in Front of a Studio Audience: All in the Family and Good Times (ABC)
Outstanding Short Form Variety Series — Carpool Karaoke: The Series (Apple TV)
Outstanding Variety Sketch Series – Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Outstanding Music Direction — Rickey Minor for The Kennedy Center Honors (CBS)
Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series — Saturday Night Live (Episode: “Host: Eddie Murphy”), Directed by Don Roy King (NBC)
Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series — Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
Outstanding Contemporary Hairstyling for a Variety, Nonfiction, or Reality Program —RuPaul’s Drag Race (Episode: “I’m That Bitch”) (VH1)
Outstanding Contemporary Makeup for a Variety, Nonfiction or Reality Program (Non-Prosthetic) — RuPaul’s Drag Race (Episode: “I’m That Bitch”) (VH1)
Outstanding Costumes for a Variety, Nonfiction, or Reality Program — The Masked Singer (Episode: “The Season Kick-Off Mask-Off: Group A”) (Fox)
Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction for a Variety Special — Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show Starring Jennifer Lopez and Shakira (Fox)
Outstanding Picture Editing for Variety Programming — Last Week Tonight with John Oliver – Ryan Barger (Segment: “Eat Sh!t, Bob!”) (HBO)
Outstanding Production Design for a Variety, Reality or Competition Series — Saturday Night Live (Episodes: “Host: Eddie Murphy”, “Host: John Mulaney”) (NBC)
Outstanding Production Design for a Variety Special — The Oscars (ABC)
Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Variety Series or Special — The Oscars (ABC)
Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control for a Series — Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (Episode: “Episode 629”) (HBO)
Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control for a Special — Live in Front of a Studio Audience: “All in the Family” and “Good Times” (ABC)
Nicole Byer, the Emmy-nominated host of Nailed It!, hosted Tuesday’s pre-telecast ceremony, as she did Monday night and as she will Wednesday and Thursday nights.
Presenters included Josh Flagg (Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles), Chris Hardwick (The Wall; The Talking Dead), Sofia Hublitz (Ozark), Thomas Lennon (Reno 911), Desus Nice & The Kid Mero (Desus & Mero), Jeremy Pope (Hollywood), Issa Rae (A Black Lady Sketch Show; Insecure) and Tracy Tutor (Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles).