When it comes to television, President Trump has recently seemed to be both fixated on and deeply offended by the portrayal of himself and his White House staff on none other than Saturday Night Live. However, surprisingly what is more upsetting to the President than Alec Baldwin’s hilarious and spot-on impersonation of President Trump is Melissa McCarthy’s arguably more hysterical turn as Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
What the President seems to find most offensive is not the fact that SNL is mocking him and his staff, but that it is a woman that is impersonating a man that President Trump put in power. After Melissa McCarthy’s first performance as Sean Spicer, reports were leaked expressing President Trump’s disdain for women playing men in his inner circle broke and everyone paying attention knew that it was only a matter of time before McCarthy returned to SNL as Spicer.
This past weekend marked her return. While Alec Baldwin was the guest host and the audience expected the cold open to be Baldwin’s delightfully savage President Trump, but they were instead surprised with McCarthy as Spicer or “Spicy” as she has coined. The sketch starts out poking fun at the real Sean Spicer’s press conference during the week stating McCarthy could tone down the gum chewing in her impersonation. So, as Spicer, McCarthy claims to be limiting the gum chewing to just one piece and pulls out a piece of gum the size of a sheet of paper and begins chomping away.
After fumbling through the names of Central Asian leaders and countries, “Spicy” proceeds to demonstrate how the Muslim ban works using dolls, including a Barbie and Moana doll and then terrorizes the press corp with leaf blowers, throwing gum, and a moving, motorized podium. However, the most surprising and possibly best part of the sketch was the surprise appearance of the much beloved cast member Kate McKinnon as newly confirmed Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
The pleasant surprise of McKinnon as Attorney General Jeff Sessions adds more fuel to the fire when it comes to going after President Trump and his staff. It is of no doubt that the sketch was specifically created with the President’s disdain in mind. This is particularly true when it comes to McCarthy’s hilarious jab at Kellyanne Conway and the President’s public discussions of Ivanka Trump’s clothing and accessories line in the press this week.
Kellyanne Conway got herself in trouble during an on-air interview with Fox News in which she plugged Ivanka Trump’s clothing line touting statistics about sales and telling the audience to “go buy it,” even going so far as to call what she was saying a “free commercial.” McCarthy used the incident for comedy gold on SNL by turning the White House press briefing into a Home Shopping Network ad for a bangle bracelet and thrusting a leg in the air to show of the Ivanka Trump high-heeled pumps.
If the intention was to make the President uncomfortable and infuriated, McCarthy, McKinnon, and the whole of SNL likely succeeded with flying colors. Not only were two male government officials under the Trump Presidency satirized by women, but one was shown to be wearing a women’s bangle bracelet and high-heeled shoes. For a President who is reported to have told female staff members to “dress like women,” seeing the male staff members in this light is sure to rustle some feathers. Luckily for SNL, this is likely just the beginning of some real fun and TV magic.