A few weeks ago, SNL hooked onto a rather brilliant idea. For a sketch skewering the current political debate season we find ourselves in, Larry David took to Saturday Night Live to play Bernie Sanders, a fella you might have heard of over the last few months. It proved to be one of the best pieces of sketch comedy to get released last year, and a bolt of lightning in the relatively bland landscape of modern SNL. Knowing that they had a hit on their hand, SNL returned to the concept last night for Bern Your Enthusiasm, a fantastic parody of David’s beloved HBO comedy Curb Your Enthusiasm, wherein the Seinfeld co-creator played a version of himself in Los Angeles. The sketch relocates him to the campaign trail, specifically in Iowa, centered around his previous near-tie with Hillary Clinton in the Iowa caucus. You can check out the sketch right below:
The writing is completely on point, and the mimicry is pretty excellent on all sides. Bobby Moynihan is pulling off a stellar Jeff Garland, while Jay Pharoah is doing well approximating J.B. Smoove‘s distinct delivery and Vanessa Bayer is doing a solid Cheryl Hines. Of course, the simple aesthetic was also easily replicated, but let’s not kid ourselves, the real pull is David’s continued, ingenious take on Sanders. The SNL episode also featured a funny sketch which featured the real Sanders alongside David, but Bern Your Enthusiasm is without question the stronger (and strongest) work of the night.
The last time we saw David doing work on TV was on the intermittently uproarious The League, which finally ended this past year and was capped off by a look at all the main characters in the future. David, inevitably, played an older Ruxin, and did a splendid job playing with the surpassingly obnoxious character that Nick Kroll originated. Sanders, however, is the role David was born to play, other than himself.