snl writers

Why Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer is SNL’s Best Sketch of the Year

It’s no secret that Saturday Night Live has grown more and more liberal over the years. Sure, they make fun of Democrats, but they really go after Republicans to the nth degree, certainly during this election cycle. With President Trump in particular, the SNL writers hold nothing back and neither does Alec Baldwin.

But in the latest episode, they found themselves a new target: Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

The result? The best sketch of the year.

It’s a bold statement, especially after months of watching Baldwin channel Trump and Kate McKinnon doing an uncanny Hillary Clinton. But there are two reasons why this sketch in particular was best in the class.

First, it was brilliant satire. Melissa McCarthy captured Spicer’s hostility to the White House press corps. While Spicer in real life isn’t that angry, the sketch pokes fun at what he might want to do like jailing CNN’s Jim Acosta or squirting reporters with a water gun. And his now-iconic way to respond to tough questions was completely spot-on like his bickering with a reporter about who starting using the word “ban”. And like the real daily press briefings, the sketch covered a lot of topics including Steve Bannon, the White House’s statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day, and Trump’s Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVos (played briefly by McKinnon). It was a long checklist and this sketch nailed every one of them. And the prop comedy was hysterical (”radical moose lambs” had me crying!).

Second, and most importantly, this was the first political sketch that was funny without having to be malicious. Nearly every sketch involving Trump makes him out to be a racist, a fascist, and an utter moron. Even in the cold open, there were more tiresome jokes that eluded to the president being a Nazi and Steve Bannon literally being the Grim Reaper. But in this sketch, SNL managed to poke fun at Spicer without outrageous personal attacks. The writing was good-natured and disciplined. Even the biggest Trump supporters should be able to laugh out loud at this.

Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer is the greatest impression since Larry David played Bernie Sanders last season and this sketch is on-par with Tina Fey’s debut as Sarah Palin. Bipartisan humor that can have both Democrats and Republicans laughing is the winning strategy. While the odds are still strong that President Trump will angrily tweet about SNL at 3 o’clock in the morning, it’s sketches like this that can make SNL great again.

Remember when Martin was on SNL, and [the writers wanted to do a sketch making fun of the homoerotic undertones in Sherlock, and Martin and Mofftiss had to spill the johnlock beans to the SNL writers to convince them that this is serious business and they are not allowed to spoil it, so instead] the writers wrote Martin a skit with lines like “I didn’t want to talk about that tonight,” and “I’ve been instructed not to talk about it,” and “I’m not supposed to talk about it, ok,” and “I’m just here for the gig, my man,” and Kenan says, “wow! It is really happening! Look at this lovely couple down here,” and gestures to a couple obviously dressed as Sherlock and John[, and then I screamed for a thousand years the end].

earlier this week inside the snl writers room
  • writer 1: so what should we do with benedict cumberbatch
  • writer 2: people think he's attractive, so lets have him do something he couldn't possibly look good doing
  • writer 1: are you kidding he's so cool he could make sitting on a damn toilet look sexy
  • writer 1:
  • writer 1:
  • writer 1: get me a pen

Chief writer for SNL goes full Nazi.

“Leftists always project.
They call you a Nazi, while advocating that you wear the equivalent of a star of David.
They say you’re working with Putin, as they sell 20% of our uranium to Russia.
They say you’re a racist, as they call blacks super predators.
They say you’re a misogynist, as they accuse a 12 year old girl of promiscuity, and older rape victims as “being trash”.
They say you make shady financial deals, as their charity pockets 95% of all donations.
They call you violent as they bloody their knuckles with your face.
They are the dregs of humanity.”
- u/CommentBomber
2017 WGA Awards Winners for Comedy Include Atlanta, Last Week Tonight, and BoJack Horseman

Comedy Series-Atlanta
New Series-Atlanta
Episodic Comedy-Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Comedy/Variety Talk Series-Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
ComedyVariety Sketch Series-SNL
Comedy/Variety Special-Trumph: The Primary Election Special 2016
Animation-BoJack Horseman

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