On 'SNL,' Melissa McCarthy's Sean Spicer emerges from the bushes (w/video)
After such a busy news week, and with the White House press operation especially in the spotlight, there was plenty of anticipation ahead of Melissa McCarthy hosting "Saturday Night Live."
The buildup grew when cellphone video and photos emerged Friday showing McCarthy dressed as her breakout character this season, White House press secretary Sean Spicer, rolling around a busy Manhattan street on a mobile podium.
It turns out that scene was the lead-up to a shocking conclusion for her Spicer sketch Saturday, and one that involved "SNL's" other main political impersonator: Alec Baldwin.
First, we're in the White House press briefing room where principal deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, played by Aidy Bryant plays, says Spicer's out on Navy reserve duty. A reporter points to a window and says, "I'm pretty sure I can see him hiding in those bushes."
McCarthy's Spicer, with a scared look on his face, is crouching in shrubbery - a reference to a Washington Post story about the fallout after FBI Director James B. Comey's firing. (That story was later updated to note that Spicer was "among bushes," not "in the bushes.")
"That's right, Spicey's back, Sarah's out," McCarthy's Spicer yells. "Let's do this, first question: Michelin Man - oh, I'm sorry, I mean Glenn."
After the typical back and forth exchange between Spicer and reporters, one asks the press secretary to "be straight with us for once - what's really going on?"
"I am being honest with you," McCarthy's Spicer answers. "I'm telling you exactly what President Trump told me."
But what if he's lying to Spicer, reporters ask. "He - he wouldn't do that. He's my friend," a pained Spicer answers.
If they're friends, "why does he make you come out here and humiliate yourself every day" and then "why is everyone saying he is about to fire you and replace you with Sarah?"
At that, McCarthy's Spicer loses it, and takes his moving podium to the streets of New York "to find Trump."
Cut to a prerecorded scene of McCarthy rolling around midtown to the Simon and Garfunkel's "The Only Boy Living in New York," yelling "I promise I'll talk better" and asking for the president at Trump Tower. (He's not there.)
The show returns to McCarthy playing Spicer live. And he happens upon Trump and declares that he's not sure he "can do this anymore," especially given the rumors he'll be replaced by Sanders.
"Sean, come on. I would never do that," Baldwin's Trump insists. "She doesn't have your special spice, salt and pepper and a little bit of sugar."
He then tickles Spicer, and it gets uncomfortable pretty quickly. "You like when I do that, Sean?" Baldwin's Trump asks, and then, yup, he asks for a kiss.
"I have a wife, I took vows," McCarthy's Spicer answers.
Trump answers: "I'm famous. It's OK."
"Wait - is this like 'The Godfather' where you kiss me and no one ever sees me again?"
Trump's response: "Yes."
And then, boom. You guessed it. The two break into a kiss-of-death bordering on a pretty intense make-out session. The scene ends with McCarthy's Spicer yelling, "I had a good run!"
McCarthy first appeared as Spicer back in February. And her impersonation was so unexpected that it took audience members, at home and in the studio, several moments until they recognized her. Her spot also was a break from the show's reliance on Baldwin to poke fun at Trump.
That first sketch reportedly unsettled the White House and bothered Trump so much that some questioned its impact on Spicey's longevity in the job.