From Tina Fey to Justin Timberlake: 7 'Saturday Night Live' Hosts Who Have Won Guest Actor Emmys

10:00 AM 9/13/2018

by Lexy Perez

Whether impersonating famous political figures or winning a Facebook campaign to host, hosts for the comedy sketch series have become strong contenders in the guest acting Emmy category.

Tina Fey, Justin Timberlake and Melissa McCarthy_Split - Getty - H 2018
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Bring the funny to Saturday Night Live and score an Emmy Award? 

Though a slew of stars have hosted NBC's comedy sketch series over the years, there are a few who have ultimately earned Emmy noms — and wins. From portraying political figures such as Sean Spicer and Sarah Palin to making a catchy tune about gift-wrapping, stars Tina Fey, Justin Timberlake, Jimmy Fallon, Betty White, Dave Chapelle and Melissa McCarthy have created their own comedic legacies through their SNL hosting gigs. 

Most recently, Tiffany Haddish joined SNL's class of Emmy-winning hosts during the Creative Arts Emmys on Saturday. 

Ahead of the 2018 Primetime Emmys on Sept. 17, The Hollywood Reporter takes a look back at the SNL performances that have nabbed the coveted golden statuette in years past. 

  • Tina Fey

    Thanks to the uncanny resemblance between the two, Fey’s portrayal of former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin earned the comedian a win for her infamous political impression on SNL in 2009. Though exaggerating the same mannerisms and vocal accent of the Alaska governor, Fey’s comical take on Palin not only attracted new audience members, but the attention of Palin herself. Palin joined in on the fun, appearing alongside Fey during an opening sketch. Fey's portrayal proved to be popular among the SNL audience, leading the comedian to revisit her impression six times on the comedy sketch series' stage. In 2016, Fey earned another Emmy win, tying with her SNL colleague and friend Amy Poehler. This year, Fey secured her third Emmy nom for the guest actress category for her May hosting gig. 

  • Justin Timberlake

    The singer has been a favorite on SNL as he has proven himself capable of taking on infamous characters and accents and utilizing his musical talent for comedic purposes. Throughout his five hosting gigs, Timberlake helmed famed sketches such as “Wrappingville” and joined Jimmy Fallon for their infamous “The Barry Gibb Talk Show” sketch. Timberlake’s third hosting gig in 2009 secured him a guest actor win. Timberlake won again for hosting in 2011, as well as the Emmy for outstanding original music and lyrics for his parody song “Dick in a Box.” 

  • Jimmy Fallon

    The seasoned SNL vet — who appeared on the comedy sketch series for six years — won an Emmy for hosting SNL in 2012, eight years after his run as a castmember concluded. The episode featured Fallon’s signature musical impressions and high energy. The current late-night host won the same award again in 2014. During his second hosting gig, Fallon enlisted help from Timberlake, where they performed their infamous “The Barry Gibb Show” parody, and Fallon joined Timberlake in another installment of his “Wrappingville” skit. Fallon also performed a Christmas-themed skit where he impersonated Michael Bublé, Alan Rickman, Harry Styles and Pitbull in the mock three-minute ad for “Now That’s What I Call Christmas” compilation. 

  • Betty White

    Age is just a number, and being 88 years old at the time of filming, Betty White turn as SNL host in 2010 netted the highest ratings for the series in 18 months. During the Mother’s Day broadcast, White showcased her dry humor and crafty wordplay, pleasing the audience who campaigned on Facebook for the actress to host the sketch series. The guest actress win marked the Golden Girls veteran’s fifth Emmy. White later returned during SNL's 40th anniversary special, where she locked lips with actor Bradley Cooper during a sketch. White previously won an Emmy in the same category for her 1996 appearance on The John Larroquette Show.

  • Dave Chappelle

    Dave Chappelle returned to the sketch comedy arena when he hosted SNL in 2017. During his stint, Chappelle performed a lengthy monologue in which he commented on the post-election political climate. In a sketch centered on election night, Chappelle welcomed Chris Rock as they portrayed a candid record of what transpired for black and white citizens on Nov. 8. “Don’t worry about it. Eight years are going to fly by,” Chappelle said during the sketch, with Rock quipping “Don’t worry! It’s going to be all-white.” Chappelle went on to win an Emmy for guest actor. 

  • Melissa McCarthy

    Melissa McCarthy became notorious for her Sean Spicer impression on SNL after portraying the White House press secretary in a mock press conference during her 2017 hosting gig. It was her fifth time hosting, and she'd been Emmy nominated for all five, but 2017 was her first win. Though comical, McCarthy portrayed Spicer as a furious man annoyed by the constant humiliation following him throughout Trump’s presidency. The same year McCarthy won the Emmy, the real-life Spicer made a surprise appearance on the Emmys riding a motorized podium across the stage as a stunned McCarthy looked on. 

  • Tiffany Haddish

    After hosting SNL in November, Haddish secured her first Emmy win during the Creative Arts Emmys for best guest actress. Haddish also made SNL history by becoming the first black female stand-up comedian to host the comedy sketch series in 43 seasons. The actress beat out contenders Jane Lynch, Maya Rudolph, Molly Shannon, Wanda Sykes and SNL veteran Fey for the guest actress title. Throughout her hosting gig, Haddish delivered the funny in her varied skits that include portraying Cardi B in one of the show’s impression-filled faux-audition reels for the Lion King and playing a Mortal Kombat-inspired character, Boo Boo Jeffries. During her opening monologue, the Girls Trip star also addressed the sexual misconduct allegations existing in the industry. "Listen, fellas, listen. If you got your thing-thing out and she's got all her clothes on, you're wrong. You're in the wrong. Wait until she takes her own clothes off, then pull your thing-thing out," she quipped.