Emmys: 'SNL's' Don Roy King Wins Directing for a Variety Series Third Year in a Row

The Adam Sandler-hosted episode of 'Saturday Night Live' scored the longtime NBC director his 10th Emmy.

Saturday Night Live's Don Roy King won the prize for best directing for a variety series for the third year in a row at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday night.

Onstage, King accepted the award in honor of longtime SNL lighting director Phil Hymes, who died earlier this year. "His fierce focus made us flinch, but also made us better," he said.

King went on to thank SNL creator Lorne Michaels.

"Lorne demands excellence and blue-ribbon writers take up that mandate and create 10 one-act plays in four days. The best sketch actors in the world bring those characters to life," he said. "Genius designers paint the pictures around them, and the finest video and audio and stage crews in television support all of that. And then I stand there and say, 'That's pretty good. Ready, two? Take two.' And for that they give me a gold statue. I'll take it!"

King's win came right after Michaels delivered an emotional acceptance speech for the best variety sketch series Emmy. The same Adam Sandler-hosted episode was submitted in that category, and onstage, Michaels described how emotional Sandler's return to NBC's Studio 8H was — especially because of the Chris Farley tribute he performed.

Backstage, King called the tribute "touching and funny and remarkably human."

Like Sandler did after departing the show in 1995, Eddie Murphy is set to return to SNL as a host in December. King explained to reporters that he thinks it'll be "thrilling to see him come back and see how sharp his chops are, and see him reaping old stuff and bring something new."

"[The] rest of the staff would agree it'll be an exciting episode," he added.

Overall, King said he feels that what SNL is doing "is more important than ever, especially with young people."

"I think in the past two years, the shows we’ve done have been more important in lots of different ways," he said. "We’ve undoubtedly held people accountable and done some healing. Making fun of something traumatic can be more than healing."

Though King admitted he doesn't "have much to say or do" regarding the show's editorial content, his job "is to capture the humor in some way that’ll do some justice and see it home in the way the writer intended."

"For me, whether it’s jokes about an assassin president or [a] fart joke, it’s kind of the same challenge," King told reporters. "But I agree that my advantage is that I work with Lorne Michales, who is just brilliant at pushing the envelope so far and making decisions that are fair but risky, and treating everyone with the same tongue-in-cheek parody."

King and SNL beat out fellow nominees Alex Buono and Rhys Thomas for Documentary Now!'s "Waiting for the Artist," Derek Waters for Drunk History's "Are You Afraid of the Drunk?," Paul Pennolino for Last Week Tonight With John Oliver's "Psychics," Jim Noskinson for The Late Show With Stephen Colbert's "Live Midterm Election Show" and Sacha Baron Cohen, Nathan Fielder, Daniel Gray Longino and Dan Mazer for Who Is America?'s "Episode 102."

King has been with SNL since 2006, and has dominated the best directing for a variety series category since 2010, with the exception of 2015 and 2016, when he lost out to The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and Inside Amy Schumer, respectively.

Saturday Night Live was nominated for a total of 18 Emmys this year. 

The hostless 2019 Primetime Emmy Awards took place at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles and aired on Fox.