The long-running NBC sketch series won nine Emmys this year out of its 22 nominations. Alec Baldwin won Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his repeated portrayals of Donald Trump, while Kate McKinnon took home the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, due in no small part to her portrayals of Hillary Clinton among many other characters. The series also picked up the Emmy for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series and Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series.
Baldwin, speaking backstage after his win, said that he believes his portrayal of Trump caught on because so many people are frustrated with the administration and he provides some measure of relief.
Series mastermind Lorne Michaels also said backstage that Trump’s propensity to cause controversies on a day-to-day basis kept the entire staff on their toes.
Prior to Sunday night’s ceremony, the show won five Creative Arts Emmys, including wins for guest actor in a comedy series for Dave Chappelle, who hosted the show on Nov. 12 immediately after the presidential election, and guest actress in a comedy series for Melissa McCarthy, who memorably portrayed former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
“SNL” tied with HBO’s “Westworld” for the most Emmy nominations this year. The comedy series also saw a large spike in its ratings for its 42nd season, thanks to regular appearances by McCarthy, McKinnon, and Baldwin. The season averaged approximately 11 million viewers per episode, making it the most-watched season since 1993-1994. It also averaged a 3.5 rating in adults 18-49, its best performance in that measure since the 2009–2010 season.