Melissa McCarthy is one of the great female comedians of our generation. She’s been making audiences laugh throughout the twenty-first century and new millennium. If you need a laugh, highlights from her filmography across TV and movies are the way to do it.
10. Saturday Night Live
Character: Sean Spicer
Trump taking over the White House in 2017 was traumatic for a lot of liberals, and McCarthy used that angst to keep SNL relevant the same way it always did. Her turn as first White House press secretary Sean Spicer is the best way to remember Trump’s early years. It was the end of an era, and McCarthy ensured we entered the new one laughing.
This 2014 road trip movie pairs McCarthy with Susan Sarandon as a grandmother/daughter duo trying to make the best of a bad situation. Everyone has a bad day, but this movie cemented McCarthy as a modern-day Lucille Ball who knows how to have a really bad day and make it even more awkward.
8. The Boss
Character: Michelle Darnell
This formulaic 2016 film has McCarthy playing a wealthy CEO who serves federal prison time for insider trading. When she gets out, her old assistant (Kristen Bell) is the only person who will help her. She teams with a variation of the Girl Scouts to build a brownie empire.
7. Mike & Molly
Character: Molly Flynn
Billy Gardell joins McCarthy as Mike Biggs and Molly Flynn in this one-note sitcom based in Chicago. It never quite finds the footing “American Housewife” does, but it does have its old-school charm. It also proved all the way back in 2010 that McCarthy had enough charisma and star power to lead her own projects.
6. Samantha Who?
Sam Neely (Christina Applegate) wakes up after a coma with retrograde amnesia in this 2007-2009 TV series. McCarthy plays her awkward childhood best friend who kinda fudges the part where they drifted apart. Despite the deception, they remain friends throughout the series and share some of the most heart-warming scenes together.
5. Gilmore Girls
Character: Sookie St. James
“Gilmore Girls” is a defining WB turn-of-the-century dramedy that became part of American culture from 2000-20007. McCarthy plays Sookie, Lorelai’s (Lauren Graham) peppy best friend and the chef/co-owner of the inn. She’s a foundational part of the series, providing a warm place for them to return to at any given moment.
4. Identity Thief
This 2013 heist/road trip comedy finds McCarthy’s character trying to dodge Sandy Patterson (Jason Bateman) throughout Florida. His goal is to bring her back to Denver to pay retribution for the money she stole from him by stealing his identity. The two work magic on screen together, and it’s nice to see McCarthy pulling one of many hunks in her career, mirroring the classic Adam Sandler/Seth McFarlane formula of swinging way out of his league.
3. The Heat
In 2013, Sandra Bullock teamed with McCarthy for a buddy cop flick that’s as good as some of the Rush Hour and Bad Boys movies. One’s a methodical FBI agent, and the other’s a hot-tempered police detective. They work together to take down one of Boston’s most notorious drug lords, hopefully before losing too much in the process.
2. Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Character: Lee Israel
One thing McCarthy is not is a one-dimensional actress. McCarthy and co-star Richard E. Grant unlocked an avalanche of award nominations and wins for the entire crew of this biopic. It even inspired me to keep working on my book after being released from jail.
Character: Abby Yates
Ghostbusters: Answer the Call is a brilliant reboot of a classic supernatural comedy. McCarthy joins an all-star cast of comedians, including Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and a hilarious Chris Hemsworth to really do this iconic franchise justice. It’s bright, fun, and the characters are lovable – a formula for a hit that deserves a sequel. Anyone who hates the 2016 Ghostbusters film is an idiot who can suck my dick.