White House press secretary Sean Spicer has been a hard man to find this week, whether he was letting a deputy handle an important briefing or outright hiding in the bushes to avoid reporters. (Sorry, outright hiding among the bushes.) Some saw his absence as a sign he was on the way out, but it seems just as likely he was simply trying to avoid giving Saturday Night Live host Melissa McCarthy more material. (If that was the plan, hiding in the bushes around a bunch of reporters seems, in retrospect, like a strategic error.) But even without any new Spicer fiascos on the level of his “Holocaust centers” statement in April, McCarthy found plenty to work with, from the bushes to this defense of Trump on Russia:
All right, let me put this whole Russia thing to bed once and for all. Trump is innocent. How do we know? Because he told us so. Period. Then he hired lawyers to agree with him. And they’re gonna prove it with a certified letter, which you know is the truth because it costs an extra two dollars!
You don’t have to lean very hard on the press secretary’s quirks when the administration’s official line is so consistently hilarious. In fact, we might have passed the point where the real Sean Spicer has much influence on McCarthy’s fictional version, which sprung to life fully formed on Trump’s second day. The heart of this week’s sketch, a montage of McCarthy’s Spicer driving around Manhattan on that amazing motorized podium, doesn’t seem to have been inspired by anything the actual Spicer did or didn’t do this week (and would have worked fine if Trump had canned Spicer on Saturday night just to screw with McCarthy). The fictional Sean Spicer is now a character in his own right, able to have his own sad little adventures, even if the real Sean Spicer gets fired or gets better at being White House press secretary. This is Spicer’s Frankenstein moment: The monster he created is no longer under his control. What’s worse, he works for Donald Trump.