When the history books are written about this season of "Saturday Night Live," there will be much to say about Melissa McCarthy and her impersonation of White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
That's because she's been completely spot-on with her portrayal of Spicer's over-the-top, prickly press briefings — events which, USA Today notes, have been topping beloved soap operas like "General Hospital" in the ratings — and we love her for it.
But how does she do it? Well, aside from being a top-notch comedian, McCarthy is watching Spicer carefully and taking notes.
"I'm just watching and observing," she told the newspaper while promoting a new TV Land comedy series she's executive producing with her husband Ben Falcone, called "Nobodies." "I (hope) for everyone to have clarity and better things to say. And in the meantime, I just squirrel away notes."
Apparently the genius idea to have McCarthy play Spicer on "SNL" came from the show's co-head writer Kent Sublette, who knew her from their days performing together in Los Angeles with improv group, the Groundlings.
"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.'"
Over the years, "SNL" has made it a regular practice to spoof public figures. Some of the best imitations have become legendary: Chevy Chase as President Gerald Ford, Dana Carvey as President George H.W. Bush, Tina Fey as Sarah Palin and Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton.
More Television videos
MTV goes gender-neutral in VMA categories, and reaction is mixed
Kelsey Grammer: ‘The Last Tycoon’ is like being in 1930s Hollywood
Chrissy Metz: ‘This Is Us’ is even better than you can expect in Season 2
Chrissy Metz: I almost quit acting before landing ‘This Is Us’ role
McCarthy, who will return on May 13, says this is what the long-running NBC comedy show is all about. "It’s what SNL does so well. It's political satire. It's there to skewer and kind of be a watchdog in a playful way of what's actually happening. 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."
Keep poking and taking notes, Melissa!
Follow Randee Dawn on Twitter.