On the night that the Republican debate in New Hampshire opened with the candidates unable to follow basic instructions, the liberal end of the political spectrum offered up something that at least aimed to be intentionally funny: Bernie Sanders’ expected cameo next to his new impersonator, tonight’s SNL host Larry David.
But Sanders did not appear alongside that impersonation, as is often SNL custom. (David’s only bit as Sanders was a pre-recorded Curb Your Enthusiasm parody, though Sanders did appear briefly after the above sketch to do his best version of David.) Instead, Sanders appeared in a sketch in which David’s character is the captain of a sinking ship who objects to women and children being loaded onto lifeboats before he, the member of a wealthy family—a setup that allowed Sanders to lightly mock his own populist shtick.
Something interesting does happen towards the end of the cameo, though, when Sanders’ character jokes about changing his name (“Bernie Sanderswitzki”) when he gets to America so it “doesn’t sound quite so Jewish.” Even as a joke it was a visible recognition by Sanders of the question of whether or not America would elect a Jewish president. (Ted Cruz, for one, may be betting that they won’t.)
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