Saturday Night Live: 11 performers nominated for Emmy Awards

Lorne Michaels and cast and crew of 'Saturday Night Live' (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Lorne Michaels and cast and crew of 'Saturday Night Live' (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images) /

The 2021 Emmy Award nominations were announced on Tuesday, July 13, and Saturday Night Live was well represented among the nominees. The long-running sketch comedy series was nominated for 21 awards, including Outstanding Variety Sketch Series, Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series, and Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series.

The majority of the nominations, however, went to the show’s cast. Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, and Aidy Bryant were all nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. It is McKinnon’s eighth straight nomination in the category, and the second nomination in the category for both Bryant and Strong. Aidy Bryant was also nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series this year for her role in the Hulu comedy Shrill. 

Kenan Thompson and Bowen Yang were both nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. It is Thompson’s third nomination in the category and Yang’s first. Yang’s nomination makes him the first-ever featured player to be nominated in the category. Thompson is also nominated this year for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series this year for his role in the NBC comedy Kenan.

Saturday Night Live also received six nominations in the guest actor and actress categories. Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig were both nominated for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series, while Daniel Kaluuya, Dan Levy, Dave Chappelle, and Alec Baldwin were all nominated for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series.

Additionally, cast members Colin Jost and Michael Che are also nominees at this year’s ceremony, but their nominations come for their work as head writers on the show.

Saturday Night Live didn’t go without any Emmy snubs

11 acting nominations for one show is very impressive, but one could make the case that there were even more SNL performers who were snubbed by the television academy.

Beck Bennett had more screen time than any other SNL performer this season, and just yesterday I made the case for him to be nominated for an Emmy. Pete Davidson has been one of the most recognizable cast members for years (and this might be his final season on SNL) but he has yet to ever be nominated for an Emmy Award.

Chris Redd wrote and starred in some of the most viral SNL sketches of the season, but he failed to garner his first acting nomination either. And most surprisingly, Anya Taylor-Joy – who may very well have been the best Saturday Night Live host of the season – was not nominated for her hosting performance. Luckily for fans of Taylor-Joy, she was still nominated in the category of Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Or Anthology Series Or Movie for her role in The Queen’s Gambit. 

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You can find the full list of Saturday Night Live Emmy nominations here, and you can find out who won at the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony on September 19, 2021, hosted by Cedric the Entertainer.