8 Original SNL Songs are Vying for Emmy Noms—Here’s a Breakdown

Emmy voting is in full swing, which means the ballots listing the potential nominees are public, revealing what material each show deemed worthy of award consideration.

While much attention is given to the writing awards for late-night shows, the original music many series regularly produce is an oft-overlooked component of their comedy output. Perhaps no late-night show churns out as much of it as Saturday Night Live—which explains why the show has submitted a number of songs for Emmy consideration this year.

Of the 60 tunes in contention for an Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics nomination, eight of them belong to SNL.

Historically, the show stands a real chance at winning. SNL has taken home the trophy three times before: for the Digital Short “Dick in a Box” in 2007, Justin Timberlake’s 2011 monologue, and 2018’s “Come Back, Barack.”

Here’s a look at the eight songs from Season 49 that SNL felt were among its best.

“Dune Popcorn Bucket”

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Marcello Hernández sings a romantic ode to the suggestive-looking real-life phenomenon that was the Dune popcorn bucket. Bowen Yang and host Ayo Edebiri also feature on the track, which has logged 2.3 million views on YouTube.

The Emmy ballot credits the lyrics to SNL writers Dan Bulla and Steven Castillo, and the music to Bulla and music producer Jake Procanik.

“Rome Song”

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When Jason Momoa hosted, SNL took the opportunity to take on the viral TikTok trend in which a majority of men admitted to thinking about the Roman Empire on a surprisingly regular basis. Momoa, Kenan Thompson, and Mikey Day are the Rome-obsessed men; Ego Nwodim, Punkie Johnson, and Chloe Troast are their spurned partners who wind up singing about their own Roman Empire: astrology. It currently has more than 1.3 million views on YouTube.

SNL head writer Streeter Seidell wrote the lyrics with Bulla. Bulla is also credited with the music alongside Jake Procanik.

“Airplane Song”

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Aired during the Josh Brolin-hosted episode, Andrew Dismukes is an airplane passenger stuck on a flight without any entertainment options, leaving him with only one choice: watching the movie on the seatback screen of the man sitting catty-corner to him. Brolin is that man, and together the pair belt out a ballad about the harrowing experience. Kenan Thompson also delivers an impassioned verse as the flight’s air marshal.

Dismukes wrote the lyrics with SNL writer Auguste White and writing supervisor Gary Richardson. The music is by Saturday Night Live’s music director, Eli Brueggemann.

“Tampon Farm”

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When Kate McKinnon returned to host SNL, she led a music video with the help of fellow former cast members Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph, as well as former SNL writer Paula Pell and musical guest Billie Eilish. In the song, a guitar-strumming McKinnon sings about a group of women working on a tampon farm—as in, a farm that grows tampons. It has more than 1.6 million views on YouTube to date.

McKinnon wrote the lyrics with SNL co-head writer Alison Gates, while Brueggemann wrote the music.

Maya Rudolph Mother’s Day Monologue

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The viral moment of Maya Rudolph’s return to SNL this season found the former cast member performing an original song about how she’s “mother,” as the kids say. Performed in honor of Mother’s Day, Rudolph led a choreographed routine that weaved through Studio 8H before returning to the stage. The monologue has garnered more than 1.6 million YouTube views.

Saturday Night Live took viewers behind the scenes of the sketch in a video that followed Brueggemann’s creation of the song.

The lyrics are credited to Rudolph and SNL writers Mike DiCenzo, Jake Nordwind, and Auguste White. Brueggemann holds the sole credit for music.

“Lake Beach”

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SNL cast members Andrew Dismukes and James Austin Johnson plus host Nate Bargatze make up a country music group in this song about a rural pastime: hanging out and drinking on a lake beach. Dave Grohl, frontman for that week’s musical guest Foo Fighters, also appears in the video—albeit not singing, but delivering lines of dialogue. It’s approaching 1.7 million views on YouTube.

The lyrics were written by Dismukes, Johnson, Bulla, and Seidell. The music was written by Bulla and Brueggemann.

“We Got Too High”

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Billed as a Please Don’t Destroy film, this song features the comedy group of John Higgins, Martin Herlihy, and Ben Marshall rapping with host Ramy Youssef rapping about getting so high that their night of partying becomes a night of sad paranoia. It features Travis Scott, that week’s musical guest, and has more than 1.2 million views on YouTube.

The PDD trio of Higgins, Herlihy, and Marshall wrote the lyrics with Bulla. Bulla is also credited for the music alongside Procanik.

“Get That Boy Back”

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Nwodim, Troast, and Chloe Fineman lead a country song about their post-breakup revenge tactics—with Troast’s ideas proving increasingly over the top. The song features Chris Stapleton (that week’s musical guest) as Troast’s ex, and also features a verse by host Ryan Gosling. The video has nearly 2.9 million views on YouTube.

Troast is a credited lyricist alongside Marshall, Higgins, and Ceara O’Sullivan. Brueggemann wrote the music.  

This year’s Emmy nominations will be announced on Wednesday, July 17, with the ceremony taking place on Sunday, September 15.

1 Comment

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  1. Lem says:

    Why is Fully Naked in New York from the Emma Stone episode not on this list? It was definitely one of the best SNL original songs (and in my opinion would beat others on this list).