Saturday Night Live: Melissa McCarthy’s magnetism glosses over weaker moments

Elise Czajkowski

Guardian

14th May 2017

The expectations going into the latest Melissa Saturday Night Live were sky high — too high for the show to ever live up to. But McCarthy is the type of effortlessly charming, shamelessly goofy performer who makes a great SNL host, and she redeemed so many of the show’s weaker moments. McCarthy has always been a great host — this was her fifth time — but most of the excitement was obviously focused on her Sean Spicer impression.

Because McCarthy had to look like herself for the monologue, she couldn’t get into character as Spicer until the fourth live segment of the night. When she did, she jumped in whole hog, hiding in the bushes before storming the White House press briefing and spraying a journalist with a fire extinguisher over taunts of “Liar, liar, pants on fire. ” There were the staples of these sketches — plenty of making fun of Glenn Thrush a series of Russian nesting dolls that included Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Vladimir Putin and Steve Bannon, here portrayed as Slimer from Ghostbusters and cartoonish violence.

The show aimed high by having McCarthy cruise the streets of Manhattan on a rolling podium in search of Donald Trump. Unfortunately, she found him in the form of Alec Baldwin, and before long, the two were making out. It was a cop out and cheap sight gag, as if the show has nothing interesting to say about Trump or Spicer after the week of chaos following James Comey’s firing.

The firing of Comey was also the basis for the show’s cold open, which featured Baldwin’s Trump sitting down with NBC’s Lester Holt, played by Michael Che, to discuss the recent news. The high point came when Holt got Trump to agree he had obstructed justice. “Did I get him? Is this all over?” Holt said eagerly, looking around the camera crew.

“No I didn’t? Nothing matters? Absolutely nothing matters anymore?” Dejected, he returned to his interview. Other sketches worth watching include:.
 

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