Melissa McCarthy made a surprise visit to Saturday Night Live on February 4, channeling her signature comedic rage to play Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary who’s spent the better part of the past two weeks defending President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration and the size of his inauguration crowd to a confused press.
She first stormed onstage in a square suit, glared out at the audience, and spat, “I’m apologizing on behalf of you to me, for how you’ve treated me for the last two weeks. And that apology is not accepted.”
From there, McCarthy launched into a tirade so jam-packed with pettiness that it would make a Real Housewife proud. She handily skewered Trump’s recent announcement of his Supreme Court nominee, declaring that the event featured a “standing ovation that lasted a full 15 minutes” and declaring that “everyone was smiling, everyone was happy, the men all had erections, and every single one of the women was ovulating left and right. No one was sad!”
Then McCarthy showered her face in gum and snarled, “I’m here to swallow gum, and I’m here to take names.”
The sketch only got more chaotic as Spicer started taking questions from the press. The press secretary responded to a question from the New York Times with a “boo” and some word salad, insisting that Trump only called his immigration ban a “ban” because that’s how the New York Times wrote about it: “He’s using your words.” When another reporter tried to ask about the White House’s Holocaust statement that failed to mention Jewish people, McCarthy’s Spicer sprayed him with a water gun.
At one point, McCarthy even tried to explain the ban with props, by holding up two stuffed animals — a moose and a lamb — to illustrate the dangers of “radical moose-lambs.” That prompted Cecily Strong’s Wall Street Journal reporter to ask whether Spicer was okay, and me to snort seltzer.
By the end of the sketch, she’d even covered some of the more bizarre headlines that have swirled around the White House as of late, including how some people think Spicer accidentally tweeted out his email password, and Trump hosting a screening of Pixar’s Finding Dory the Sunday after he signed the immigration executive order.
McCarthy has proved throughout her career — including during her Oscar-nominated turn in Bridesmaids — that she’s an expert at playing hyper-tense, aggrieved characters who are always on the edge of erupting in melodramatic frustration. So even though her SNL appearance was a surprise, her casting as Spicer is spot-on. We don’t yet know whether she’ll be reprising the role throughout the rest of the season, but here’s hoping that, like Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump impression, McCarthy’s Spicer will return to help SNL take on this truly dramatic, unprecedented time in American politics.