Eddie Murphy has finally won an Emmy, scoring the coveted statue for his work on “Saturday Night Live’’ — 40 years after his first appearance on the show.
The comedian — who reprised some of his classic characters, including Gumby and Buckwheat, for his Emmy-winning episode of the late-night TV show in December — laughed and thanked “SNL” creator Lorne Michaels during a short videotaped acceptance speech.
“This is 40 years since I started ‘Saturday Night Live.’ This is my first Emmy, so thank you so much,’’ Murphy, 59, said.
“This is a very, very special thing for me, to come back and have the show turn out the way it did. I’m still floating from it,” the actor said.
December’s show was the first time Murphy had appeared on “SNL” since 1984. His first appearance was in 1980.
His Emmy was for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series. Among those Murphy beat out for the prize was Brad Pitt, who also was nominated for an “SNL” appearance.
In the early 1980s Murphy first earned national attention as a cast member on Saturday Night Live (SNL) and was credited with helping to revitalize the show.] His characters included a grown-up version of the Little Rascals character Buckwheat; a street-wise children’s show host named Mr. Robinson (parodying Fred Rogers, who found it amusing); and a morose, cynical Gumby, whose trademark slogan became an SNL catchphrase: “I’m Gumby, dammit!”
The Buckwheat character was retired in spectacular fashion—assassinated, on camera, in front of 30 Rockefeller Plaza—at Murphy’s request, after he grew tired of constant demands from fans to “Do Buckwheat! Do Buckwheat!” In Rolling Stone’s February 2015 appraisal of all 141 SNL cast members to date, Murphy was ranked second (behind John Belushi). “It is customary (and accurate) to say that Eddie Murphy is the only reason SNL survived the five-year wilderness without Lorne Michaels,” they noted.
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