Melissa McCarthy explains how she joined SNL as Sean Spicer and jokes about being offended that the transformation process was so quick.
Melissa McCarthy explains how she got cast as Saturday Night Live‘s Sean Spicer and jokes about their surprisingly close resemblance. Like any other hot name in Hollywood, McCarthy has hosted the live sketch show a number of times over the years. That said, she has come on to the program on several occasions to do more than just host – in 2017, McCarthy was recruited to play former President Trump’s press secretary and White House communications director, Sean Spicer.
This is extremely common for SNL. While the show’s main formula is to populate sketches with their recurring ensemble cast, the week’s host, and the week’s musical guest star, a sketch can also feature additional celebrities who either play themselves or play a caricature of someone else. The latter is most common with SNL‘s political satire bits and is the reason why fans have seen so much of Alec Baldwin as Trump and McCarthy as Spicer during the last presidency.
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Recently, McCarthy partnered with Discovery+ for a special called Cocktails and Tall Tales, in which she spoke over video chat with Food Network veteran Ina Garten. As reported by EW, the two discuss at one point in the program how McCarthy was brought on to play Spicer and how long it took to make her resemble the former press secretary. McCarthy said:
“A dear friend was a writer at SNL at the time and I think I was in New York working and he called me and said ‘This might seem crazy, but would you consider doing Sean Spicer?…Just come in, let me pitch you the thing. There’s an amazing man there that does all these prosthetics and all this work.’ And I was like ‘I mean, what would that entail? Even if I would consider it, are we talking about hours just in hair and makeup?’ And he looked at me and he goes, “…No.” I was like, ‘wait a minute! What do you mean no?’ And he was like, ‘it won’t be that hard to do.’ And I was like ‘Really? I’m slightly offended but I’m intrigued.’ And, sure enough, there was one time that I had to get from looking like me, opening the show, into Sean Spicer, and I think they got me into a bald cap, prosthetics, they push your ears forward, they put the spray thing, all of it – and I think it was under four and a half minutes.”
It has been a few years since McCarthy last had to go through her (surprisingly quick) transformation process into Spicer, and she hasn’t been brought on to do an impression of anyone from President Biden’s administration. But as usual, the actress has been keeping busy with a number of projects. She has a few movies coming out, including the goofy superhero movie Thunder Force set to come out later this year. McCarthy will also be playing Ursula in the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. And lastly, she will once again work with Ghostbusters co-star Chris Hemsworth for a brief but already fan-favorite cameo in Thor 4: Love and Thunder.
Garten closed out their SNL conversation by saying that whoever recruited McCarthy was a “genius” because she had such an amazing performance. Indeed, it seems a lot of people agree, seeing as she won an Emmy for playing Spicer back in 2017. For some people, McCarthy’s era of impressions was the last time that they felt very drawn to SNL‘s political satire. Whether it was because of the actual political landscape they were spoofing or the performance itself, people have been not been as charmed by the government-related sketches as of late. Or, maybe the other actors are just not as convincing as McCarthy playing Spicer.
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