09 Feb

Bernie Sanders Does ‘SNL’


With A Little Help From Larry David, Bernie Sanders Does ‘SNL’

In a pre-taped sketch, cleverly named “Bern Your Enthusiasm” a-la Larry David’s show Curb Your Enthusiasm, we learn how Bernie Sanders lost in Iowa by a hair.

The buzz built all week. And rumors that Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and Curb Your Enthusiasm star Larry David would appear on Saturday Night Live — together — were finally confirmed just before the weekend.

But if you started watching SNL looking to #FeelTheBern, you might have had a moment of worry, at least at first. The Vermont senator did not appear in the show’s cold open. He did not come on stage during David’s monologue. He didn’t even appear in a pre-taped sketch all about him, called “Bern Your Enthusiasm,” where David, playing Sanders, loses the Iowa caucuses by annoying just enough voters in the way only Larry David (or Bernie Sanders, or Larry David — we’re confused) can. It was smart, and with a cameo by a coughing, no-hand-wiping Leslie Jones, it touched on Sanders’ lingering inability to attract widespread support from black voters.

But Sanders finally did appear, in a skit where he and David play two men on a distressed ship headed to America, arguing over who gets into lifeboats first during a storm. Sanders’ character, Bernie Sanderswitzky, rails against Larry David’s character when he tries to get preferential treatment because he’s rich. “I’m so sick of the 1 percent getting this preferential treatment,” Sanders says, alluding to one of his central campaign messages. David says that all sounds like socialism. Sanders corrects David, and replies, “democratic socialism.”

In the bit, Sanders’ character also makes light of his Jewish heritage, joking that he’d change his last name, Sanderswitzky, when he gets to America, “so it doesn’t sound so Jewish.”

And at the end of the show, when the band plays and all the cast hugs and shakes hands, Sanders appeared again, soaking it all in, smiling. No curmudgeonly “Bern Your Enthusiasm” Sanders present at all.

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