Kyle Johnson
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Melissa McCarthy Drives Podium-Mobile Around Manhattan as Sean Spicer

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Pretty typical Friday in Manhattan, really.

Here is an altogether unusual turn of events for your Friday morning: Kia spokesperson Melissa McCarthy was spotted wearing some sort of businessman disguise this morning as she rode around lower Manhattan on a bizarre looking vehicle that may or may not be the prototype for a new Kia city car.

While my initial reaction upon seeing McCarthy’s strange masquerade was that she had adopted a new method for staying out of the public eye that involved an elaborate drag king presentation, multiple sources report that she is actually portraying a public figure(?) by the name of Sean Spicer.

(Full disclosure: I returned to work this morning from a seven-month sabbatical during which time I lived underneath a very cozy rock in an undisclosed national park. It might sound somewhat strange, but my to-be-read pile was really getting out of control and it seemed the best possible method to get as much reading done as possible, if not an altogether extreme one. I look forward to hearing more about all the great things that have happened in the world since my departure as soon as I have finished writing this article.)

In the video below, tweeted by CNN Producer Donie O’Sullivan, a woman (presumably also a CNN employee) immediately identifies McCarthy and the subject of her portrayal despite a pretty significant distance.

This would indicate that a) McCarthy has come to be identified by this role in a manner perhaps not dissimilar to Eddie Murphy’s synonymy with beloved “Nutty Professor” Sherman Klump, and b) this Spicer individual is famous enough that he warrants routine parody (a response to a video tweeted by CNN Money Senior Multiplatform Editor Elana Zak was a gif that depicted a Simpsonized version of what I can only assume to be the actual Sean Spicer slinking backwards into some hedges ala Homer Simpson…not sure what that’s about, but I think it means I have some serious catching up to do).

I’m not sure who this person is, exactly, but it is my understanding that she will be portraying this character as part of her hosting duties on this week’s episode of Saturday Night Live. Boy, that sure sounds like a fun show. Maybe that’ll be a good opportunity to figure out who or what a Sean Spicer is and why it’s so funny that she’s portraying him.

Having resolved the question of why the star of Ghostbusters was cosplaying as a rather surly and toady-looking fellow, the question remains of the vehicle McCarthy is piloting. At first blush, it appears to be a kind of podium—actually, it’s pretty obviously a podium. But why? One has to reasonably assume that it has something to do with this Spicer character, but given that so much of Mrs. McCarthy’s popularity has derived from her role as a spokesperson for the Kia automotive brand, this leads me to believe that it is, in fact, some kind of new Kia prototype.

Naturally, this is only conjecture, but with the surge in attention paid to the idea of urban mobility solutions, Kia testing out the viability of a sort of city car is as plausible as anything. It is pretty clear, however, that this particular Kia is still in the very early stages of development—it does not look particularly well-appointed, nor does it seem to have any infotainment or convenience features. It actually doesn’t look very safe at all. In fact, it appears to just be a Segway (or, more likely, a Kia-built Segway alternative) wearing a podium artifice with a kind of dolly attached to it. Not super practical or even remotely appealing, but, hey, like I said, it’s probably an early-stage prototype.

Oh, so this video suggests that this Spicer character, who McCarthy seems to play with notes of unhinged and unrepentant rage, is the Press Secretary for the White House? Hmm. That’s not at all alarming or disconcerting!

In any case, McCarthy will be hosting Saturday Night Live tomorrow night on NBC, where her podium/Kia prototype-riding exploits will probably pay off with a humorous skit about this not-at-all-creepy-looking Spicer person. Perhaps there will be other skits about other topical things. Should be a good time!


Kyle S. Johnson lives in Cincinnati, a city known by many as “the Cincinnati of Southwest Ohio.” He enjoys professional wrestling, Halloween, and also other things. He has been writing for a while, and he plans to continue to write well into the future. See more articles by Kyle.