Melissa McCarthy is one of America’s funniest working comedians. Whether she’s facing off against an air marshal in Bridesmaids, geeking out about food on Gilmore Girls, or doing her best James Bond impression in Spy, McCarthy is the rare performer who has an impeccable sense of comedic timing and the complete willingness to make a fool of herself when necessary.
That’s why it’s such a delight whenever she shows up at Saturday Night Live. When she gets on the Studio 8H stage, McCarthy is fearless, blessing us with laugh-out-loud moments where she douses herself in ranch dressing, aggressively dances with a horse-shaped balloon, or simply falls down stairs. And of course, she’s recently joined the pantheon of iconic SNL political impressions with her belligerent, gum-chewing take on White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
This weekend’s episode marked McCarthy’s official induction into the SNL Five-Timers Club — veteran Steve Martin showed up during the goodbyes to present her with her own Five-Timers jacket — and she did not disappoint. A bonkers new Spicer sketch that took to the streets of New York? An off-the-wall bit about a woman in a bathrobe who scratches her head with a knife? An entire sketch that existed solely to watch McCarthy get pied in the face over and over again? Melissa, we do not deserve you.
McCarthy kicked things off by paying tribute to Mother’s Day in her opening monologue, giving a shout-out to some of the many moms in the audience. “Every single one of these ladies who stood up have not been to the bathroom alone since they gave birth,” McCarthy explained. “They haven’t had a hot meal in years. All of our purses are filled with cracker crumbs and dirty Purell bottles.” Then, McCarthy grabbed one mom from the audience, a woman named Joan, and took her on an impromptu backstage tour, saying hi to a changing Alec Baldwin and coming face to face with the famed SNL llama. They even ran into Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively, a.k.a. “The Livelys.”
Best Political Moment
After a political news week that involved Donald Trump firing FBI head James Comey and Sean Spicer literally hiding in — excuse me, among — the bushes, there was no doubt McCarthy’s inevitable Spicer sketch would be one for the ages. But oh man, was it a doozy: Aidy Bryant showed up first as Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, but as soon as the White House press corps spotted Spicer hiding in the bushes, Spicey came out swingin’. After attacking the reporters with a fire extinguisher and inadvertently giving out his bank routing number, he brought out some Russian nesting dolls to further insist that, no, Trump does not have any ties to Russia. (Highlights include: James Comey as Jake the Dog from Adventure Time, Hillary Clinton as Maleficent, Steve Bannon as Slimer from Ghostbusters, and Jeff Sessions as Pikachu.)
But after one too many reporters questioned Trump’s treatment of Spicer, Spicer decided to hit the road with his trusty podium. Earlier this week, McCarthy was spotted filming in New York, zipping through traffic on a motorized podium, and the final result was an emotional filmed piece, set to Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Only Living Boy in New York.” When Spicer finally finds Alec Baldwin as Trump — not in New York but at a golf course in New Jersey — it ends with a massive makeout session between the two.
There’s a reason watching people get pied in the face is a lasting tenet of comedy: It’s really, really funny. Mikey Day stepped in as host of a game show called Just Desserts! in which McCarthy loses again and again and multiple pies are thrown in her face. It’s stupid, it’s silly, and McCarthy gives it her all. I laughed so hard I almost fell off the couch.
The cold open wasn’t bad, per se, it just paled in comparison to McCarthy’s later appearance as Spicer. Michael Che sat in as Lester Holt to lampoon Trump’s NBC Nightly News interview from earlier this week, and the cold open mainly just functioned as a way for SNL to repeat things Trump actually said in that interview. “On behalf of everyone here, I just want to say: I can’t believe you’re president,” Holt declared. “I feel you, Tupac,” Trump replied.
One of the most delightful running gags this season has been the fake budding relationship between Kyle Mooney and Leslie Jones. Here, we check in with the two lovebirds to find that they’ve gotten married and had a young son, appropriately named Lorne. But Kyle is feeling a bit lost and unloved in this relationship, especially as Leslie’s career takes off. It culminates in an angry love-triangle confrontation between Kyle and Colin Jost, with a deadpan kicker from Lorne Michaels himself: “I don’t usually support cast members shooting each other… But I mean, Colin can be annoying.”
Weekend Update Highlights
Jost and Che had plenty of material to work with this week, and Jost kicked things off by declaring, “Well, I know most of us think this every week, but this week was crazy.” (He’s not wrong.) Together, they went deep on all of the crazy news that’s come out of the Trump administration this week, from Trump’s tax returns to Comey’s firing. (Jost on Comey: “He looks like the word ‘gosh’ became a person.”)
Jost also earned some shocked gasps from the audience with this zinger: “White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer tried to evade reporters by ducking into some bushes. Which is weird because diving into bushes without warning is usually his boss’s thing.”
Guests at the Weekend Update desk this episode included the return of Cecily Strong’s loudmouthed Cathy Anne and an appearance by Pete Davidson, who once again opened up about his sobriety by recounting the hilarious tale of his time at equine rehab — where he learned he’s allergic to horses.
Best and Weirdest Use of Melissa McCarthy
The final sketch of the night introduced Beck Bennett as a ponytailed video editor pitching logo ideas for a startup production company called Lighthouse Features. Most of the ideas centered around a strange woman named Donna, played by Melissa McCarthy, who proceeds to scratch her head with a knife and pop a young child’s balloon with a lit cigarette. It’s a classic late-in-the-evening SNL weirdo, made all the better by McCarthy staring down a kid and declaring, “I could kick your ass.”
Another odd, late-night winner starred Melissa Villaseñor as a mom named Jen, who’s celebrating her son’s first birthday. It’s then that the other neighborhood moms declare it’s time for her to pick an animal, the animal that defines her as a woman. So begins a bizarre mashup of creepy horror movie tropes and jokes about T.J. Maxx and Costco. I loved every minute of it.
Best Musical Moment: Haim
Ahead of the July release of their new album, the sister trio rocked the Studio 8H stage, showing off some guitar skills and gorgeous vocal harmonies. In addition to playing their recent hit “Want You Back,” they also debuted a new song called “Little of Your Love.”
Cast MVP: Aidy Bryant
McCarthy stole the show, but Aidy Bryant had a particularly great turn as Sarah Huckabee Sanders, whose father is former Arkansas Governor and political commentator Mike Huckabee and whose mother is a “big Southern hamburger.” If Spicey really does get the boot as SNL is suggesting, I wouldn’t mind seeing a lot more of Bryant’s Sanders in the future.
Saturday Night Live recap: Melissa McCarthy – EW.com