Sean Spicer is reportedly set to move out of the role of White House press secretary. It's not a surprising development. It would allow him to do something he's probably wanted to do since Saturday, Jan. 21:


Why is Saturday, Jan. 21 so notable? 
Well, that was the day Spicer ceased to become the Sean Spicer many in the D.C. press world liked and respected personally. It was also the beginning of the end of his role as press secretary despite officially being on the job for less than 24 hours. 
The scene that pivotal day was almost surreal to those watching at home and especially to those in the James S. Brady briefing room.
"This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration–period–both in person and around the globe," Spicer declared.

"Even the New York Times printed a photograph showing a misrepresentation of the crowd in the original Tweet in their paper, which showed the full extent of the support, depth in crowd, and intensity that existed," he said. "These attempts to lessen the enthusiasm of the inauguration are shameful and wrong."

Spicer didn't take any questions and left reporters in the room looking at each other almost in disbelief.

After the press criticized him for not taking questions, things only got worse, via (of all people) actress and comedian Melissa McCarthy.

After McCarthy's debut as Sean Spicer on Saturday Night Live, Vanity Fair wrote, "Having fun with Spicer’s instantly caustic dynamic with the White House press corps, McCarthy channeled some of her more bombastic comedic characters in order to rip journalists to shreds from her bully pulpit. (She also literally bullies them with her pulpit.)," read the review by Joanna Robinson.

"McCarthy’s glorious, kinetic impression is just one more weapon in S.N.L.’s arsenal against the Trump administration—and with Alec Baldwin hosting next week, the next episode could consist entirely of sketches like this one," the review concluded.

"The SNL effect" is a very real effect indeed. Just ask Sarah Palin in 2008, who never actually said she could "see Russia" from her house.
That line, of course, is all Tina Fey and helped launch her career to a whole other level. But despite it simply being the viral takeaway line from an SNL skit, it resonates with most of the American public to the point it became real. 

Just how many people believed the "I can see Russia from my house!" line leading up to the 2008 election? 
Try 87 percent of those surveyed, per a Zogby poll in October of 2008, or nearly nine out of ten adults.  

The SNL effect goes back more than 40 years to Chevy Chase‘s portrayal of a balance-challenged Gerald Ford in 1975. Whether its Dana Carvey as George H.W. Bush, Darrell Hammond as Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonBiden painted into a basement 'Rose Garden strategy' corner Giuliani says Black Lives Matter is 'domestic terrorist' group We have the resources to get through this crisis, only stupidity is holding us back MORE, Will Ferrell as George W. Bush or Alec Baldwin as Trump, the caricature, fairly or unfairly, helps define the person outside the political bubble and into the mainstream court of public opinion (Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaPandemic preparedness and response under a different president Wall Street Journal: Trump stretched law with executive orders, like Obama Trump's contempt for advice and consent MORE escaped relatively unscathed in this department). 

And that's what happened to Spicer. McCarthy, despite not being a cast member, was continually invited back because the ratings and virality were too good to pass up for both sides. The caricature only grew from there. 
If Spicer never holds that "press conference" on January 21, one that many speculate wasn't something he exactly volunteered to do but was sent out by the big boss instead, perhaps McCarthy's Spicer never comes to fruition. Perhaps Spicer escapes the dubious SNL effect. 

It also didn't help that the president reportedly didn't like Spicer's choice of suits early on. 

“Doesn’t the guy own a dark suit?” Trump reportedly asked a senior aide. 
The left-leaning GQ even ran a fact-check: 

“Fact: Sean Spicer’s Suit Is Bad.” - read the headline.
McCarthy aside, the president was reportedly never thrilled with Spicer as press secretary from the start. On a "Fox & Friends" interview in late February, Trump said, "

In terms of messaging, I would give myself a C or a C plus ... In terms of achievement, I think I'd give myself an A.  Because I think I've done great things, but I don't think I have — I and my people, I don't think we've explained it well enough to the American public.”
Either way, what was likely the longest five months of his life comes to an end once a replacement is decided on. 
Spicer receives what is being characterized as a promotion to serve as the administration's communications chief. Translation: He'll serve as Reince Priebus's deputy chief of staff, just like the old days at the RNC. 
For Sean Spicer, it was a learning experience that will end not with words at a podium, but a long exhale that goes with having one of the toughest white-collar jobs in the world ... 
... particularly under a president who prefers to communicate directly and often without warning his own staff.
Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) is a media reporter for The Hill.

The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.