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Bernie Sanders appears on ‘Saturday Night Live’ with Larry David

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders appeared on

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders appeared on "Saturday Night Live" on Feb. 6, 2016, along with his "SNL" doppelganger, Larry David. Credit: AP; Getty Images

Continuing a tradition almost as old as “Saturday Night Live” itself, Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders turned up on the program Saturday night to both be himself and face himself — or a reasonably accurate facsimile of himself.

Sanders appeared just before midnight, in a skit with host Larry David — playing a captain of a ship, or someone besides Sanders for a change. Sanders, a passenger, walked up to David, saying: “I am so sick of the 1 percent getting this preferential treatment — enough is enough!” Playing an immigrant coming to New York, Sanders then said his name was “Bernie Sanderswit sky, but I’ll change it when I get to New York so it doesn’t sound so Jewish.”

“Yeah,” said David. “That’ll fool ’em.”

The real Sanders then appeared with David after the commercial break: “So how’s it going in New Hampshire?” David asked.

Sanders, for a change mimicking David, said: “It’s pretty, pretty, pretty good.”

Meanwhile, Saturday night’s set-piece was basically an inversion of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” with Bernie Sanders — David, of course — as a sour candidate who refuses to shake hands, or fix a voter’s dislocated shoulder, who then learns he loses the New Hampshire primary by a couple of votes. (It featured impersonations of “Curb” regulars by “SNL” players, including Jay Pharoah’s version of “Curb’s” J.B. Smoove: “Bernie, I would shake the black woman’s hand . . . ”)

In his first “SNL” hosting appearance, David certainly played to character, a familiar one — dyspeptic, self-lacerating, and disinclined to hyperbole. “Now’s the part where I have to say we have a great show,” he said at the end of his monologue. “But why raise expectations. I should be saying, it’s so-so.”

CORRECTION: In an earlier version of this story, the actor who portrayed J.B. Smoove was incorrect.


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