In a week where U.S. President Donald Trump abruptly fired FBI director James Comey in the middle of an investigation into possible ties with Russia and Press Secretary Sean Spicer was allegedly caught hiding “among the bushes” during a White House briefing, Saturday Night Live writers had ample material to work with.
Melissa McCarthy hosted the episode and returned as “Spicy,” but the sketch opened with an impersonation of Sarah Huckabee Sanders (played by cast member Aidy Bryant, who filled in for Spicer a few times last week.
McCarthy/Spicer makes a hasty, angry entrance and steals the podium after a reporter spots the White House official in the shrubbery through a window. The Washington Post had reported earlier this week that Spicer was seen huddling with staff “among the bushes” after Comey’s firing was announced Tuesday.
“That’s right, Spicy’s back,” McCarthy/Spicer announces. The character, which has appeared on SNL several times, has been popular with audiences.
“Let me put this whole Russian thing to bed,” McCarthy’s Spicer tells the group of comedy actors playing reporters. “Trump is innocent. How do we know? Because he told us so. Period.Then he hired lawyers to agree with him.”
After his own state employment is questioned, McCarthy/Spicer sets off on a motorized podium through the streets of New York City to find Trump. The exterior scenes were filmed Friday with much buzz online.
“Have you ever told me to say things that aren’t true?” Spicer asks Trump after locating him.
“Only since you started working here,” said Trump, played once again by Alec Baldwin.
Baldwin, whose Trump impersonation has helped SNL capture substantial ratings, also opened the show as the president being interviewed by NBC’s Lester Holt (played by Michael Che).
Che/Holt asked Baldwin/Trump about what led to the FBI director’s firing earlier this week. In real life, the president’s staff had indicated it was not because of the current investigation involving Russia but Trump contradicted those statements in an NBC interview.
“I fired him because of Russia,” Baldwin/Trump said. “I thought, he’s investigating Russia. I don’t like that. I should fire him.”
“But that’s obstruction of justice,” Che/Holt says.
“Wait, so did I get him? Is this all over?” says Che/Holt, taking a moment to listen to producers through his earpiece. “Oh, no, I didn’t? Nothing matters? Absolutely nothing matters anymore?”
Next week’s SNL marks the season finale and will be hosted by Dwayne Johnson with musical guest Katy Perry.