NEW YORK — Melissa McCarthy lampooned White House press secretary Sean Spicer in a “Saturday Night Live” sketch where she taunted reporters as “losers,” fired a water gun at the press corps and even used the lectern to ram a Wall Street Journal journalist.
“SNL” opened with Alec Baldwin reprising his President Donald Trump and phoning foreign leaders with chief strategist Stephen Bannon by his side. Bannon, with hood and scythe, was portrayed as the grim reaper.
But it was McCarthy’s mid-show sketch impersonating a pugnacious Spicer that sparked the bigger response in the NBC show’s second episode since the inauguration. McCarthy’s Spicer insisted that “no one was sad” at Trump’s supreme court nominee unveiling. She kept a CNN reporter, chastised as “fake news,” jailed in a cage.
“I know that myself and the press have gotten off to a rocky start,” McCarthy-as-Spicer said. “I’d like to begin today by apologizing on behalf of you to me for how you have treated me these last two weeks. And that apology is not accepted.”
McCarthy also played on a testy exchange between Spicer and reporters over the use of the word “ban” to describe Trump’s immigration executive order, which barred travel from seven Muslim majority countries.
Spicer said the order was not a “ban,” even though Trump had used the word in tweets about the measure.
“He’s quoting you. It’s your words,” McCarthy told a cast member who played a reporter asking about the ban. “He’s using your words when you use the words and he uses them back. It’s circular using of the word, and that’s from you.”
CNN media analyst Bill Carter said McCarthy’s spoof was one of the best ever on “SNL.”
The sketch was one of a number in Saturday’s show that took aim at Trump’s White House. Another segment parodied Trump’s interactions with foreign leaders.
Trump, who has for months taken to Twitter to attack the show’s portrayal of him, has yet to respond to the latest episode.
CNN and AP contributed to this report.