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It would be fair to say that the real Bernie Sanders is actually a bit like a caricature of a radical politician. Well, Saturday Night Live just capitalized on that notion to a major degree. The cold open skit on Saturday’s show made fun of the Democratic debate, and Sanders in particular.
Wow, that’s a lot of screaming and anger and general vitriol aimed at the way America is being run, and people and things in general. But, it’s sure funny as hell, right? Famous curmudgeon Larry David played Bernie Sanders in the skit, and everyone is abuzz over how perfect the casting is.
Bernie Sanders may be our angriest presidential candidate right now. He has been called a lot of things in his time as a politician. Anti-charm, troublemaker, holier-than-thou, maverick and anti-establishment all come to mind when people, especially politicians, talk about him and his political career. His general personality and appearance as the yelling old white guy who wants his country to change is perfect for a guy like Larry David, who definitely ranks as one of the angriest comedic voices of all time. Sanders even commented on David’s performance, saying that the actor does even better than him at getting people’s attention.
Larry David has built quite a career as the man who will become indignant over almost anything. From people who force him to take up part of another person’s parking spot to the need of having to battle a lunch mate over the right to pay the check at the end of the meal, David has never been afraid to go places few people think to go. And SNL might the second best place for him to showcase his talents on camera.
A seasoned writer and performer, Larry David briefly wrote for SNL himself in the 1980s after performing for years as a stand up comedian. He, of course, then went on to help Jerry Seinfeld create and craft his eponymous show from 1989 to the show’s end in 1998. Within a year David went on to star in his own show, Curb Your Enthusiasm. In the show, he portrayed a fictionalized version of himself as he and his friends and family dealt with the absurdities of life. The completely improvised show was highly praised and lasted from 2000 to 2011, with year long breaks between the last three seasons.
I doubt that when Larry David accepted the semi-challenge of playing Bernie Sanders on SNL, he thought the skit, or his performance, would garner so much attention. Now that he sees how much people miss his turns on television, maybe we’ll finally get more Curb Your Enthusiasm. Even if we only get a two-hour movie, it’ll be better than never seeing the guy again.