'Saturday Night Live's Lorne Michaels Pays Tribute to Norm Macdonald in Emmys Speech

The cast and crew return for a new season on Oct. 2.

Saturday Night Live just broke its own record. The NBC series took home the statuette for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series during Sunday's 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards, earning its 92nd win and its fifth straight Emmy in the category.

The series beat out HBO's A Black Lady Sketch Show for the honor, which creator Robin Thede hilariously reacted to in the crowd.

Producer Lorne Michaels accepted the award on the show's behalf, with cast members including Kenan Thompson, Cecily Strong, Aidy Bryant and Bowen Yang.

"We began last season with six live election shows in a COVID bubble with everyone in masks and a small audience of exhausted first responders. No better way to do comedy," Michaels said in his speech. "Jim Carrey was [President Joe] Biden, Maya Rudolph was Kamala [Harris], Alec Baldwin was [Donald] Trump and Kate [McKinnon] was everyone else. The Dave Chappelle/Foo Fighters episode was the last of those six shows and it happened on the Saturday that the election results were announced. Fatigue soon turned to exhiliartion and we went to work. The cast, the crew and our entire production team all rose to the occasion. That show won this Emmy."

Michaels also took a moment to pay tribute to former cast member Norm Macdonald, calling the late actor "one of the best we ever had."  


Macdonald, a former "Weekend Update" staple on SNL, died at the age of 61 on Sept. 14, after battling cancer for nearly a decade. The comic was revered in the comedy world, and stars including Adam Sandler, Jon Stewart, Conan O'Brien, Jim Carrey, Patton Oswalt and Steve Martin flocked to social media to honor him upon hearing of his death. 

Season 46 of SNL will premiere on Oct. 2 with many beloved cast members, including seasoned vets like Thompson and Bryant and breakthrough newcomers like Yang. Strong revealed to ET's Kevin Frazier and Nischelle Turner on the Emmys red carpet that she still doesn't know whether she'll be asked back for the new season.

"It's still... we're still figuring it out," Strong admitted. "What does that mean? I know. Well, it means I'm thinking it will probably happen." But she did caution that "nothing's for sure" until she signs on the dotted line.

The 2021 Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by Cedric the Entertainer, aired live Sunday, Sept. 19 on CBS and Paramount+. For complete Emmys coverage, stay tuned to ETonline.com.