While next week’s host Alec Baldwin popped up as Donald Trump in his customary cold open on last night’s Kristen Stewart-hosted Saturday Night Live, the biggest splash of the night came when former host and all-around comic force Melissa McCarthy cannonballed unexpectedly into the show as White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Leading one of his typically contentious and fact-adjacent press conferences, McCarthy’s Spicer initially got little reaction, until the studio audience realized just who was under the truly uncanny wig, makeup, and ill-fitting suit. (One gets the sense that it’s a lot easier to attract big-name, Trump-hating stars these days.)
Berating the press for asking about the latest round of lies, evasions, and “alternative facts” coming from the Trump administration, McCarthy’s Spicer stayed on the offensive, beginning by ”apologizing, on behalf of you, to me!,” and pugnaciously announcing that the press conference was going to be like a Rocky movie, because, as he says, “Myself and the press have gotten off to a rocky start. When I say ‘rocky start,’ I mean it in the sense of the movie Rocky because I came out here to punch you. And also I don’t talk so good.”
McCarthy never pauses for an instant, mirroring her subject’s sweaty bull-rush debate tactics as her Spicer whips out several crates of props (a moose and lamb illustrate “Muslim”), making outrageous claims about the size and oddly sexual happiness of a recent Trump crowd, and asserting to the bewildered journalists that Trump’s repeated references to a Muslim “ban” are not a contradiction of the official line that it is not a ban because, “It’s circular using of the word and that’s from you.” (He also calls out CNN for “fake news,” revealing the CNN reporter locked in a cage, wearing a diaper.) McCarthy’s big splash concludes with her hauling Spicer’s podium around to attack reporters who dare question him, and taking a super-soaker to one who asks about the White House’s Holocaust Remembrance statement (that, suspiciously elided all reference to Jews), while Spicer casually slips in the fact that Trump is also disbanding the entire National Parks service. That’s how they get you.