Melissa McCarthy and Alec Baldwin's characters were sharing the stage for the first time
Melissa McCarthy and Alec Baldwin returned to Saturday Night Live yesterday (May 13) after a four-week absence, reprising their roles as White House press secretary Sean Spicer and Donald Trump.
In the new sketch – which starts with McCarthy’s Spicer hiding in the bushes – questions from the press about Spicer’s job security and his relationship with Trump spur him to travel around New York to find the President. When Spicer finds Trump, Trump makes a move on him.
The sketch included footage of McCarthy riding Spicer’s podium through New York City, news of which had been shared by fans on social media on Friday.
Prior to his inauguration as President, Trump frequently responded to his portrayal on the NBC show. In December 2016 he tweeted: “Totally biased, not funny and the Baldwin impersonation just can’t get any worse.”
Since he took office, Trump has not publicly commented on the parody, but when McCarthy first played the role of Spicer in February, a source told Politico that the President of the United States resented his press secretary being played by a woman: “More than being lampooned as a press secretary who makes up facts,”Politico wrote, “it was Spicer’s portrayal by a woman that was most problematic in the president’s eyes, according to sources close to him.”
A Trump donor also told Politico that the President was disturbed by the skit because “Trump doesn’t like his people to look weak,” while sources said his Twitter silence “was seen internally as a sign of how uncomfortable it made the White House feel,” adding that “the caricature of Spicer by McCarthy struck a nerve and was upsetting to the press secretary and to his allies, who immediately saw how damaging it could be in Trump world.”
This week’s edition was the penultimate episode in SNL‘s 42nd season. During season 42, which has included multiple parodies of Trump and his administration, SNL has increased its viewership among 18- to 49-year-olds by 19 percent, and Variety reports that season 42 has brought the show its “strongest ratings performance in 22 years”.
The season concludes next week with host Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and music from Katy Perry.