McCarthy plays angst-ridden Spicer on ‘Saturday Night Live’

Sketch opens with White House briefing

This was not, let’s be honest, the best week to be Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary.

He started on Monday buffeted by questions about Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser, and Sally Q. Yates, the former acting attorney general. On Tuesday, it fell to him to make the initial announcement that James B. Comey had been terminated as FBI director. Then there was the strange saga of whether Spicer had gathered in, among or behind a cluster of bushes before addressing reporters on White House grounds. By Friday there were rumblings President Donald Trump could replace Spicer or end White House press briefings altogether.

So, hopefully, Spicer wasn’t watching “Saturday Night Live” over the weekend.

In the culmination of her frequent guest appearances during this season, Melissa McCarthy, the “SNL” host, returned to the role of Spicer.

The sketch opened with a White House briefing run by deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (played by cast member Aidy Bryant), who explained that she was filling in for Spicer. When a reporter pointed out that Spicer was, in fact, hiding in bushes that could be seen in a window just outside the room, Bryant’s character explained, “I believe that’s a naval exercise. He’s trying to blend in with his surroundings.”

After other reporters suggested that Sanders should run these meetings full time, McCarthy, as Spicer, charged into the room, took over the briefing and attempted to explain that Trump had not fired Comey to halt an FBI investigation that could lead back to him.

“Trump is innocent,” she said. “How do we know? Because he told us so. Period. Then he hired lawyers to agree with him. And they’re going to prove it with a certified letter, which you know is the truth, because it costs an extra $2 to have it certified.”

As more and more of the correspondents asked her to consider the possibility that Trump was not being honest with her, McCarthy’s character fell into an existential funk, and set off in search of the president.

In a filmed sequence whose creation was widely documented Friday, McCarthy roamed the streets of New York riding a motorized White House podium (to the tune of Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Only Living Boy in New York”). Told that the president does not come to Trump Tower anymore, she finds him at a New Jersey golf course — where he is played, as always, by Alec Baldwin.

As Spicer, McCarthy asked, “Have you ever told me to say things that aren’t true?”

As Trump, Baldwin responded, “Only since you started working here.”

“Sean, kiss me,” Baldwin implored. “I’m famous, it’s OK.”

McCarthy asked if it would be “like ‘The Godfather,’ when you kiss me and no one ever sees me again?”

Baldwin answered, “Yes.” So saying, they locked lips and ended the sketch.

Earlier in the night, Baldwin had played Trump in the “SNL” cold opening, for a sketch that recreated the president’s provocative interview with NBC News anchor Lester Holt.

Michael Che, playing Holt, began the interview by asking about Comey’s dismissal, which Trump’s staff said was for reasons other than the Russian investigation.

Baldwin answered, “I fired him because of Russia. I thought, he’s investigating Russia. I don’t like that. I should fire him.”

Che seemed taken aback. “But that’s obstruction of justice,” he said.

“Sure, OK,” Baldwin said.

In surprise, Che said, “Wait, so did I get him? Is this all over?” He paused to listen into his earpiece, then continued, “Oh, no, I didn’t? Nothing matters? Absolutely nothing matters anymore?”

“That’s right,” Baldwin said. “Nothing’s going to stop me because I’ve got the Republicans in the palm of my hand.” To prove his point, he brought out the House speaker, Paul D. Ryan (Mikey Day), who offered to serve the president ice cream.

Baldwin rebuffed any comparisons to President Richard M. Nixon, saying, “I am not a crook. OK, plus, I bet Nixon only got one scoop of ice cream for dessert. But I get two scoops.” (He made V signs with both hands.)

Che explained, “You’re also very different from Nixon because he won the popular vote.”

He then asked Baldwin’s character, “A lot of people are worried about who you’re going to replace James Comey with at the FBI. Can you just reassure us all that you’re not going to pick someone crazy like Judge Judy?”

Baldwin answered, “I can promise you this right now: Whoever I choose is going to be so bonkers, you’re going to wish like hell it was Judge Judy.”

Categories: Entertainment

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