Melissa McCarthy has been spotted in New York City in her already-iconic role as White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
McCarthy is hosting SNL this week, and one character sure to be featured on the show is Spicer. The actress was seen dressed as Spicer riding in the character’s trademark motorized podium, roaming the streets of New York City. McCarthy’s presence on the streets was captured by many eager locals, as seen below.
Um, Melissa McCarthy is filming outside the CNN building in NYC pic.twitter.com/Az7AeWNrT3
— Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) May 12, 2017
— Sherrilyn Ifill (@Sifill_LDF) May 12, 2017
— Donie O'Sullivan (@donie) May 12, 2017
With a film crew spotted with her, SNL is presumably filming McCarthy as Spicer for a pre-taped sketch to air on Saturday night’s show.
McCarthy and the writers of SNL certainly have a lot to work with after this week in politics. Spicer was the subject of many headlines once again this week after the Washington Post reported on the press secretary “hiding in the bushes” after the news spread that President Donald Trump had fired FBI Director James Comey.
The Washington Post corrected this story to state that Spicer was “hidden in the darkness and among the bushes,” writing, “After Spicer spent several minutes hidden in the darkness and among the bushes near these sets, Janet Montesi, an executive assistant in the press office, emerged and told reporters that Spicer would answer some questions, as long as he was not filmed doing so. Spicer then emerged.”
Regardless, the damage had already been done, and the internet had a field day with a series of Spicer-in-bushes memes.
McCarthy first played Spicer in the February 4 episode of SNL, hosted by Kristen Stewart. The eight-minute sketch, which features McCarthy’s Spicer angrily berating the press, chewing massive amounts of gum, and using props, has racked up over 27 million views on YouTube. She returned for the cold open of the February 11 episode, hosted by Alec Baldwin, in which the character debuted the motorized podium and repeatedly ran into the press. She also reprised Spicer in the Jimmy Fallon episode on April 15, giving a special “Easter message.”
Spicer has only shared a few comments on the SNL impression of him, telling Extra that while the original sketch was “funny,” he thought McCarthy “could dial back” a bit.
As for Alec Baldwin’s take on Trump, Spicer shared a similar opinion as his boss, stating the impression was “mean,” and adding, “Alec has gone from funny to mean, and that’s unfortunate. ‘SNL’ used to be really funny. There’s a streak of meanness now that they’ve crossed over to mean.”
Meanwhile, McCarthy spoke about how SNL first approached her to play Spicer, admitting she was a bit blindsided by the offer.
“‘SNL’ called and Kent Sublette, one of our old friends from the Groundlings, who is one of the head writers there now, called and he goes, ‘I hear you’re in New York. Do you have any interest in coming in and doing Spicer for us?'” McCarthy recalled on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in March. “I was like ‘What?!'”
McCarthy noted that the prosthetics and makeup can be tricky to perform with, saying, “[Y]ou mess with your ears and it really changes the shape of your head.”
She also admitted after seeing a side-by-side of herself as Spicer next to the real press secretary that there’s a strange family resemblance.
“The weird thing is I feel like I look so much like my dad, I feel like my dad and Sean Spicer had a baby, and it’s me,” she quipped.
SNL is set to air live Saturday night at 11:30 p.m./8:30 p.m. PT on NBC. This is part of SNL’s new plan of going live coast-to-coast, which started with Fallon’s episode.
[Featured Image by Will Heath/NBC]