Sean Spicer Does Shakespeare

In honor of Shakespeare’s birthday, I am pleased to share with you an out-take from one of his most popular histories, King Richard III. Historians remember that Richard had a press secretary named Sean Spicer. This is no coincidence – he was a distant ancestor of the current White House Press Secretary! And all of this is well-recorded in the history books.

But what you probably don’t know is that an early Quarto version of Shakespeare’s play includes a scene with the famous spokesman.


SPICER: And this is how we know that King Richard had the most attended coronation in English history. Period. Now, I’ll take a few questions before we go.

PRESS: Sean, how does the King respond to allegations that he had his brother Clarence murdered in the Tower?

SPICER: Well, I would remind you that this was something that happened under the previous administration. It was King Edward who ordered Clarence’s execution, and these were the orders that were carried out. Nobody was more upset to hear the news than King Richard. Nobody.

PRESS: The Earl of Richmond is reportedly claiming today that the entire York line is illegitimate and the throne was usurped from the House of Lancaster. Any comment?

SPICER: You have to remember that these were horrible, horrible people. I mean, if you look at what happened with Rutland, with the Duke of York… they killed their own people. You didn’t even see that in the Spanish Inquisition.

PRESS: They didn’t kill their own people in the Spanish Inquisition?

SPICER: No, only the Jews. I, of course, do realize that many Jews were… were invited in for conversion interviews, and all the stuff that was going on. But it’s nothing like the behavior we saw with the Lannisters.

PRESS: The Lancasters?


PRESS: But if the York line is legitimate, wouldn’t King Edward’s son, young Prince Edward, be next in line, and not Richard?

SPICER: You say that Edward is King Edward’s son:
So say we too, but not by Edward’s wife;
For first was he contract to Lady Lucy,
The Duchess lives a witness to his vow,
And afterward by substitute betroth’d
To Bona, sister to the King of France.
These both put by, a poor petitioner,
A care-craz’d mother to a many sons,
A beauty-waning and distressed widow,
Even in the afternoon of her best days,
Made prize and purchase of his wanton eye,
Seduc’d the pitch and height of his degree
To base declension and loath’d bigamy:
By her, in his unlawful bed, he got
This Edward, whom our manners call the prince.
All these are facts and you can look them up.

PRESS: What?

SPICER: No more questions.

The scene ultimately had to be cut from the play, not because of historical accuracy, but because the Master of the Revels had objected to the character of Sean Spicer being played by a woman.

However, we still have the scene as it exists in the Quarto, and it’s amazing how it still feels relevant to our world today!

2 Responses to “Sean Spicer Does Shakespeare”

  1. Asher Says:

    Well done, sir, well done.

  2. Bill Says:

    Thanks, Asher!

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