How many times since Saturday night have you watched Melissa McCarthy in the Sean Spicer sketch? I watched it twice that night, another 3 times the next day, and at least once a day this week. There’s something new that’s funny to me with every viewing. Yesterday it was the size of the suit jacket and how much room there was between her neck and the back collar. Every detail was just so f-cking perfect.
According to PEOPLE, the idea to have Melissa McCarthy play Sean Spicer came from SNL’s new head writer Kent Sublette and she was down as soon as they asked. As you’ve probably heard, despite Sean claiming otherwise, her performance reportedly did not go over well at the White House. Donald Trump was apparently bothered by the fact that his male press secretary was played by a woman. She played him as a bombastic bully…but no, what was most offensive was that Melissa McCarthy has a vagina and not a penis.
Frankly, her vagina has nothing to do with it. As Alexandra Schwartz wrote in a great piece for The New Yorker yesterday:
From the start of the sketch, (Melissa McCarthy’s) gender was beside the point, neither provocation nor distraction. It didn’t seem that McCarthy was cast because she was a woman. She was cast because she was the best person for the job.
The highlighting there is mine. It’s an exhilarating description – a woman, the best person for the job. Because, as Sarah noted in her post on Monday, Melissa McCarthy is a “tremendous performer of characters…an incredible sketch comedian” – and that only comes with experience. She has worked for years to become the “best person for the job”. Stand-up comedy, Groundlings, on television. So what we saw on Saturday night wasn’t just about putting a woman in a wig and a man’s suit but about a woman who, over the course of her career, has earned the right to be that excellent for 7 minutes that will keep replaying and replaying for weeks, if not months, if not the entire year, until they give her all the awards for it. Nevertheless, she persisted.
Yours in gossip,