Fey is in contention for two awards at the main ceremony next Sunday
Comedy actress Tina Fey has won an Emmy Award for her satirical portrayal of Republican vice-presidential contender Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live.
Fey was honoured at the Creative Arts Primetime Emmys, which recognise technical and other achievements.
Pop star Justin Timberlake, who did not attend, won for playing various characters on Saturday Night Live.
There were also wins for Ellen Burstyn for Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Michael J Fox for Rescue Me.
"I always wanted one of these," Burstyn said, winning her first Emmy after being nominated five times.
'Living my dream'
In winning her award, Fey beat two contenders from her own comedy, 30 Rock, which had led the way with 22 nominations.
However, the show was only named winner of two categories - including best comedy, which it scooped last year too.
As Fey collected her trophy, she made reference to Palin, who resigned in July as governor of Alaska less than a year after she was chosen as vice-presidential contender.
"Mrs Palin is an inspiration to working mothers everywhere because she bailed on her job right before Fourth of July weekend. You are living my dream. Thank you, Mrs Palin."
It marked Fey's sixth career win, and she is in contention for two awards at the main ceremony next Sunday, including best comedy actress for 30 Rock
BBC period drama Little Dorrit scooped four prizes and animation show South Park was named best animated program for the third time, beating The Simpsons.
Dan Castellaneta, who voices Homer Simpson, won his fourth Emmy in the voice-over category.
TV movie Grey Gardens was one of seven shows to pick up three awards, after being nominated for 17 prizes.
The opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics and American Idol also received three creative arts trophies.