After the contentious election of 2016, Americans remain divided. There is something that unites Trump supporters as well as Trump nonsupporters, laughter. The best show on television for political, humorous satire is Saturday Night Live. Alec Baldwin does not miss any key political issue, facial expression or gesture when he imitates President Donald Trump. When Bannon, Trump’s adviser, appears as the Grim Reaper, most of us are not scared, but we get a case of the giggles instead.
For years, the comedians on Saturday Night Live have been impersonating political figures from the United States and worldwide as well. The satirical news segment on Saturday Night Live is based on real news stories that are changed and exaggerated to make them humorous. When we see the actual news on television, most of us are not laughing at all with such serious reports that affect our daily lives. It is an entirely different story when we watch Saturday Night Live since we know that even the bad news will make us laugh.
The comedians on Saturday Night Live cover a myriad of topics, using satirical humor, such as the immigration ban, the wall, the economy, healthcare, terrorism and international politics among many other issues. They use the power of free speech and artistic expression to make us think. When we watch their hilarious skits, we learn about the news in more creative ways rather than conventional ones.
The guests that arrive on Saturday Night Live are just as unpredictable as the news itself. One of the surprise guests that came to Saturday Night Live and gave an unforgettable performance was Melissa McCarthy. Dressed like a man with a suit and tie, McCarthy looked unrecognizable as she impersonated Sean Spicer, President Trump’s Press Secretary and Communications Director. In a hilarious parody, she changed her voice and used the facial expressions as well as the gestures of Spicer when he gives a press conference. McCarthy used the movie Rocky to compare Spicer’s turbulent relationship with the media. She also said several times, “I want to punch you in the face.” She often paused during the conversation and ate a lot of gum.
As we watch McCarthy’s portrayal of Spicer, we see how art really does imitate life. Even before becoming president, Trump has had problems with the media. Now that he is Commander-in-chief, this troublesome pattern with the press still continues, and some members of his administration, such as Spicer, also have contentious issues with the media.
If we are fans of Melissa McCarthy, we should not at all be surprised that she outshined all the other actors on Saturday Night Live. When she got her big break on Gilmore Girls, after years of working as a standup comic, we saw how well she played Sookie St. James. Sookie was the easy going chef who was Lorelai Gilmore’s best friend and confidant. Even though McCarthy did not have the biggest role on this hit show, she turned her small role into a huge one that drew audiences in. Gilmore Girls, the popular family show, lasted until 2007.
Playing the role of Sookie on Gilmore Girls catapulted McCarthy’s career as she successfully made the transition from the small screen to the big screen. In 2011, she played the role of Megan in the film Bridesmaids. As the sister of the groom, she showed, all of the other maids of honor that hey can have fun as they prepare for the wedding. For her exceptional performance as Megan, she was nominated for an Academy Award for best supporting actress, a Screen Actor’s Guild Award, and a Critic’s Choice Movie Award.
In 2014, when McCarthy starred in the movie, Tammy, a film that she co-wrote with her husband Ben Falcon, she showed how a granddaughter could have fun with her grandmother on a road trip as well as all of the unpredictable things that can happen.
McCarthy also worked in many other humorous films such as This Is 40 (2012), Identity Thief (2013), The Heat (2013), St. Vincent’s (2014), Spy (2015), Ghostbusters (2016) and The Boss (2016). In 2007, she worked in the suspenseful film, The Nines, a profound movie that explores the different lives and experiences that a person can have. McCarthy proved that she could not only play a comedic role but a dramatic one as well.
With a resume that is already very impressive, now McCarthy can add that she was a comedian on Saturday Night Live who flawlessly parodied Sean Spicer. We should all give McCarthy a resounding applause for making us laugh hard, especially in today’s world.
[Featured Image by Christopher Polk/Getty Images]