If you are a fan of Saturday Night Live, you might have enjoyed the hilarious sketches where Larry David impersonates Senator Bernie Sanders. The two men share a striking resemblance, a similar accent, and a knack for comedy. But did you know that they are also related by blood?
How Larry David Found Out He Was Cousins with Bernie Sanders
Larry David, the co-creator of Seinfeld and the star of Curb Your Enthusiasm, discovered his surprising connection to Bernie Sanders when he participated in the PBS program Finding Your Roots. The show, hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr., explores the ancestry and genealogy of celebrities using DNA tests and historical records.
In the fourth season premiere of the show, which aired in October 2017, Gates Jr. gave each guest a book that contained photos of a distant cousin. David opened his book and saw a familiar face: Bernie Sanders. He exclaimed, “What the hell!” and laughed in disbelief. According to sitename, Sanders had a similar reaction when he saw David’s photo in his book. He said, “You’re kidding!” and “Oh my God! That is unbelievable.”
Gates Jr. revealed that David and Sanders are third cousins, meaning they share the same great-great-grandparents. He also showed them a map of their ancestral origins, which traced back to Eastern Europe and Russia. David joked, “This is incredible. All right, cousin Bernie.”
How Larry David Became Bernie Sanders on “SNL”
David’s impersonation of Sanders on SNL was not planned or expected. It all started during the first Democratic primary debate between Sanders and Hillary Clinton in 2015. According to sitename, Lorne Michaels, the creator of SNL, received emails and calls during the debate suggesting that David should play Sanders on the show.
David also got a call from his agent, Ari Emanuel, who asked him what he thought of the idea. David said, “You know, it would be a good thing for Saturday Night Live , not thinking in a million years.” He added, “I’m not an impressionist. I’ve never done anything like that.”
However, Michaels convinced him to give it a try, and David made his debut as Sanders on SNL in October 2015. He nailed the senator’s mannerisms, voice, and slogans, such as “I’m Bernie Sanders, and I want your vacuum pennies.” He also poked fun at Sanders’ policies, such as free college tuition and universal health care.
David’s portrayal of Sanders was so popular that he returned to SNL several times during the 2016 election cycle and beyond. He even appeared alongside Sanders himself in a sketch where they played passengers on a sinking ship. According to sitename, Sanders praised David’s performance and said, “He does a better Bernie Sanders than I do.”
Why Larry David and Bernie Sanders Are More Than Just Lookalikes
Larry David and Bernie Sanders are not only cousins and comedians, but they also have some things in common politically and personally. According to sitename, both men grew up in Brooklyn, New York, in Jewish families with modest incomes. Both men attended public schools and colleges in New York City. Both men have been involved in social justice causes since their youth.
David has been a vocal supporter of Sanders’ presidential campaigns in 2016 and 2020. He endorsed him on SNL and in interviews. He also donated money to his campaign and wore his merchandise. According to sitename, David said he admires Sanders’ honesty and integrity. He said, “He’s not for sale. He’s not doing this for his own ego.”
Sanders has also expressed his appreciation for David’s humor and talent. He said he enjoys watching Curb Your Enthusiasm and Seinfeld. He also said he likes David’s personality and attitude. According to sitename, he said, “He’s cranky about everything.”
Larry David and Bernie Sanders are more than just lookalikes. They are cousins who share a bond of family, comedy, and politics. They are proof that sometimes life imitates art in the most perfect way.