For those who follow politics and have any respect whatsoever for the history of the American government, this week was made of headaches. Well, okay, things seemed pretty okay on Monday, when we were just contending with the AHCA fallout and Jeff Sessions‘ passionate lust for locking up people who smoke pot. As soon as Tuesday afternoon hit and FBI director James Comey was dismissed from his position, however, the whole nation seemed to go nuts. This included Press Secretary Sean Spicer, whose attempt to hide amongst White House bushes spawned enough memes to keep Buzzfeed going for another three years.
There has been a multitude of comical reactions to Spicer’s desperate actions but last night set a high water mark on Saturday Night Live. Host Melissa McCarthy returned once again to play Spicer, a role which may number amongst her very best thus far, in the post-Comey melee, reckoning with the press, represented most memorably by Bobby Moynihan, and Sarah Huckabee Sanders, played by Aidy Bryant. The sketch included what may be the best Russian nesting doll in the history of craftsmanship and a trip to New York City to hunt down Alec Baldwin‘s Trump via Spicey’s podium-mobile, as well as the Paul Simon classic “The Only Living Boy in New York.”
Considering that Lorne Michaels helped render Trump a cute moron rather than a flailing disaster for democracy during the campaign by filming him dancing to “Hotline Bling” for a sketch, its hard to reconcile this obvious, not-so-vitriolic disdain for the man these days and the show’s past actions. For all the talent on hand, the show remains a hit-and-miss affair, doing a terrible job at lampooning Sessions while nailing something like the engagement of Mika and Joe from Morning Joe. The only inarguably positive element in all of this is that the performers have risen up to the task by latching onto the behavioral tics and temp of speech for all these people, from Spicer to Trump to Kellyanne Conway. McCarthy’s Spicer deserves special attention for letting one of the comedian’s most valuable and underutilized comedic talents – rage – loose but she’s not alone in finding the most bewildering yet unmistakably human parts of people who continue to act inhumanely. You can watch the sketch below.