Sunday could be a very live night for “Saturday Night Live.”
“SNL” went into this Emmy season as the most-honored show in Emmy history, with 209 nominations and 50 wins. It added 22 nominations, the most it had ever received in its 42 seasons on the air. And at last weekend’s Creative Arts Emmys, it picked up five more wins, putting it one shy of the “SNL” record for wins in a single year going into Sunday’s Primetime Emmy Awards.
Lorne Michaels’ show has been on a roll with Emmy voters in recent years, with 39 of its 55 wins coming in the last 11 years, after it took 31 years to land its first 16 Emmys.
And this year, with the show enjoying a resurgence in popularity as it has taken aims at President Trump at every opportunity, “SNL” has a chance to add five more wins to its record-breaking total. (We predict it will win four and lose one.)
Here’s what “Saturday Night Live” has already won in 2017, and what it could win on Sunday:
ALREADY WON: Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
Three of the six nominees were “SNL” hosts, with Dave Chappelle, the first post-election host, winning over turns from Tom Hanks and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
ALREADY WON: Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
Melissa McCarthy beat one other “SNL” host, Kristen Wiig, no doubt aided by her viral impersonation of Sean Spicer.
ALREADY WON: Outstanding Makeup for a Multi-Camera Series or Special (Non-Prosthetic)
“SNL” beat the likes of “Hairspray Live!” and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” for the episode hosted by Alec Baldwin.
ALREADY WON: Outstanding Production Design for a Variety, Nonfiction, Reality or Reality-Competition Series
Again, the Alec Baldwin episode won, this time over “Drunk History” and “Portlandia,” among others.
ALREADY WON: Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control for a Series
This time, it was the Jimmy Fallon-hosted episode that won.
WILL WIN: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin, a two-time winner for “30 Rock,” is nominated in a field that also includes Tony Hale, Ty Burrell and Louie Anderson, who between them have won five of the last six awards in this category; Hale and Burrell have won twice each and Anderson was the surprise victor last year. But Baldwin’s “Saturday Night Live” appearances as Donald Trump were among the most viral moments of an enormously politicized television season. After sweeping the Creative Arts Emmys guest-acting categories, “SNL” seems poised to do the same with the supporting-comedy awards.
WILL WIN: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Vanessa Bayer, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon are all nominated in this category, but McKinnon is the prohibitive favorite. Even the impact of Baldwin’s appearances as Trump were dwarfed by one moment on the first post-election “SNL”: McKinnon as Hillary Clinton sitting at the piano and singing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” as an elegy to the recently-deceased Cohen and to her political career.
It wasn’t a particularly comic moment, but it was a devastating one – and it’s hard to imagine that it won’t win her a second consecutive Emmy, great work from Judith Light, Anna Chlumsky and Kathryn Hahn notwithstanding.
WILL WIN: Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series
From 2010 to 2015, Don Roy King won five consecutive Emmys for directing “SNL.” In the show’s Emmyest year ever, it figures he’ll win another.
MIGHT WIN: Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series
In the acting categories in which it has multiple nominees, “SNL” will lose to itself. But this is the Primetime Emmy Awards category where it has the best chance of going home empty-handed. It faces a tough battle from reigning champ “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver,” as well as from “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” and “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee.”
WILL WIN: Outstanding Variety Sketch Series
In the Year of Trump, can anything beat “SNL” in this category? Probably not. “SNL” can thank Donald Trump for all its Emmy momentum – and this should be the topper on the show’s best Emmy year ever.