Melissa McCarthy’s uncanny impression of Sean Spicer has become a highlight ofSaturday Night Live, and now she’s spilling the beans on exactly how she ended up channelling the embattled White House press secretary in the first place. (Unsurprisingly, Spicer is not a fan.)
In a new interview with USA Today, McCarthy revealed that SNL‘s co-head writer Kent Sublette was the one who initially pitched the impersonation — and she took some convincing.
“It was his idea,” she said. “He called me when he knew I was in New York, so he gets all the credit for that. At first I thought, ‘What are you talking about?’ And he’s like, ‘I just think we have to have an outlet for how so many people are feeling.’”
McCarthy will host SNL on May 13 — one of four episodes that will air live simultaneously across the country to close out the season — and it remains to be seen whether she’ll make another gum-chewing, leaf-blowing appearance as “Spicey” before then.
“I’m just watching and observing,” she told USA Today of Spicer’s daily press briefings, admitting that in preparation for her show-stealing role, “I just squirrel away notes.”
McCarthy pointed out that Saturday Night Live and other political commentary plays an important role in society.
“It’s political satire. It’s there to skewer and kind of be a watchdog in a playful way of what’s actually happening,” she said. “It’s just that perhaps we have gone further in reality than we thought we ever would. So I’m glad that SNL still is there to lovingly poke the bear.”