— Donie O’Sullivan (@donie) May 12, 2017
— Samantha Barry (@samanthabarry) May 12, 2017
Melissa McCarthy is hosting SNL this weekend, and it looks like we have at least one sketch to look forward to where she’ll be performing her spot on Sean Spicer impression. The one in the videos above will be a pre taped sketch, so it remains to be seen how many live sketches we’ll get with Spicer. The makeup process for the transformation has to be crazy, so I can’t imagine SNL would be able to get her ready during a commercial break. McCarthy is so great at sketch comedy that I know it’ll be a wonderful episode no matter what the content is, but a few timely Spicer burns are always fun to watch.
SNL – Comedy seems to thrive in adversity—according to the latest ratings for Saturday Night Live, the long-running satirical sketch show is seeing its highest numbers in over 20 years. Variety reports that Donald Trump’s victory at the polls, as well as his relentless “criticism” of the show, have boosted viewership among among adults 18-49. SNL’s February 4 episode was the second highest rated of the week, trailing behind The Big Bang Theory.
Here are some more numbers that attest to this yuge development: SNL’s viewership has grown by 19% among adults 18-49, and 22% in total viewers (that’s now 10.6 million), when compared to the same period last season. NBC says these ratings are the highest they’ve been since the 1994-1995 season.
When Donald Trump vowed to ‘Make America Great Again’ on the campaign trail, I can’t imagine he thought that his actions and words would catapult a late night comedy institution to create their most popular work in decades. Believe it or not, here we are, and SNL has been thriving under Trump, turning in a superb season including one of their best episodes last week. The biggest reason for that is embedded above, as Melissa McCarthy made a surprise guest appearance as Sean Spicer and left us all floored in the process. The ratings for the season as a whole are at a 22 year high (the highest since the 94-95 season with a cast featuring Chris Farley, David Spade, Adam Sandler & Mike Myers, among others) and they’re about to take part in their most important episode yet. The main reason for that is because the host for Saturday’s show (Alec Baldwin, hosting for the 17th time) is the man pegged with playing Donald Trump. In most election years the shows from September-December/January would feature the candidates and the President elect, but this year has been different. Every cold open has featured Baldwin’s Trump in some way, and it’s working.
There are people who think SNL should stray away from Trump and get back to other sketch topics, but that is impossible to do when the President himself is tweeting about your show every Sunday morning. Like everything else Trump tweets about, it’s 100% negative, and it’s clear that the material SNL is putting on air is getting under his paper thin skin. Nobody loves themselves more than Donald Trump, so it must kill him to watch himself get parodied every week. SNL knows that, and knows that he’s watching, which must make the ratings news that much sweeter for the writers and cast. Will Baldwin’s Trump be a one and done in the cold open like episodes past, or will SNL rely on him for multiple sketches throughout the show? Nobody knows the answer except for Lorne Michaels, who has the final say on what sketches make the air, but from a logistical standpoint, my guess is that Trump will only be featured in the cold open. It’d be tough to continually get Baldwin in and out of Trump’s makeup and wardrobe throughout the show, but I wouldn’t sleep on some kind of pre-taped digital short featuring Trump.
The other big question floating around social media is ‘who will play Steve Bannon’? SNL chose to portray him as the Grim Reaper on last week’s show, but that doesn’t strike me as a long term solution. Will it be a current cast member or will they stray outside the box like they did with McCarthy? The AV Club has a fascinating article detailing why it shouldn’t be Rosie O’Donnell, and I 100% agree. While it would be a deep personal dig at Trump, I don’t think it would have the impact some people are hoping for. The reason McCarthy’s Spicer worked so good and is because it was completely unexpected and McCarthy is a comedic gold mine. O’Donnell clearly isn’t as talented as McCarthy, and at this point the whole world would be expecting it. That same article throws out possible picks of Robert De Niro, John Goodman and Jonah Hill. De Niro has been publicly against Trump in the past, but I don’t know if at this stage he’d be willing to do something like this. Goodman has already played Rex Tillerson this season, so casting him as Bannon would be overkill. Of the three, Hill would be the best choice, especially if he can get himself to that deranged, maniacal level we’ve seen during past hosting stints. If I had to pick a current cast member and a random celebrity, I’d go with Bobby Moynihan (channeling his evil political Kim Jong-un impression, only less wacky) and I’d go full throttle crazy and put Danny DeVito on there. I dare you tell me you wouldn’t watch Danny DeVito in a hair piece playing Steve Bannon.
Even if you didn’t watch Saturday’s SNL, chances are you’ve heard about this sketch. Melissa McCarthy surprisingly showed up to play Press Secretary Sean Spicer and blew the roof off of 8H. You had everything here for a great sketch: a fearless comedian, McCarthy somehow looking EXACTLY like Spicer and tons of information to work with. I loved the minute details, like McCarthy shoveling gum in her mouth, which happens to be a very real habit of Spicer’s. I loved how she argued with the reporters over labeling the Executive Order a ban, another real thing that is continuing to happen between Trump’s administration and the press. Finally, just when you thought the sketch was winding down, McCarthy brought out the visual aids, and the ‘radical moose lambs’ is something that I’m going to enjoy for a very long time. This is SNL at it’s best.
First of all, if you haven’t seen this episode of SNL please go back and watch it in it’s entirety. There was not one bad sketch (outside of the cold open) and SNL took their recipe of giving McCarthy oddball characters to play and shot it to the moon. The ‘horror movie test audience’ and ‘pick up line’ sketches were amazing, and every other sketch was good to great. I can’t wait until McCarthy hosts again so her opening monologue can be a Timerblake-esque five timers celebration. But back to the Beyoncé sketch; this is a great example of SNL taking a ridiculous concept and finding the humor in it. Beyoncé was criticized for her new music video/song Formation as well as her Super Bowl performance, because once someone’s goes against what the majority of people believe they should be doing, people get angry. I really can’t say enough good things about this sketch, and the fact that it was filmed and edited in two days blows my mind. Watch this now, and then go back and watch it again.
Ghosts – Well, who else was he going to call?
Director Paul Feig took to Twitter on Wednesday to reveal his all-female leads for his upcoming “Ghostbusters” reboot.
It’s no surprise that at the top of the marquee are Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy, the stars of Feig’s megahit comedy “Bridesmaids.” McCarthy in particular has developed a De Niro-Scorsese like bond with the director, having also starred in Feig’s “The Heat” and the upcoming “Spy.”
Rounding out the new-look “Ghostbusters” cast are “Saturday Night Live” vets Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon.
The fab foursome will be filling the proton packs once wielded by Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson and the late Harold Ramis, stars of the first two “Ghostbusters movies” in the ‘80s. Sony had high hopes for a third installment of the supernatural comedy franchise, but original director Ivan Reitman dropped out in the wake of his friend Ramis’ death last year.
— Paul Feig (@paulfeig) January 27, 2015
I’m not a huge fan of reboots, but Paul Feig just put together a murderers row of comedic actresses that pretty much guarantees that the ‘Ghostbusters’ reboot is going to be great. I’m happiest for McKinnon and Leslie Jones, the former becoming a legendary SNL performer and the latter rising up the ranks from the writing team to be a key cast member this season. Wiig and McCarthy killed it in another Feig movie, ‘Bridesmaids’, so you know they’ll be familiar with his directing style. Add that familiarity to all four women’s comedic acting chops and you have yourself an instant classic. As a side note on Kate McKinnon: what a fucking year. First she’s nominated for an Emmy for her masterful work on SNL, and now she’s starring in a major summer blockbuster. The movie will be released in July 2016, so let the unreal expectations and constant analysis begin!