Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) wants to talk about the issues. But on Sunday, thanks to comedian Larry David, he found himself talking about his underwear.
On this week's Saturday Night Live, the irascible Brooklynite famous for his work on Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm delivered a brilliant sendup of the irascible Brooklynite famous for running for president. During the show's cold open, David appeared as Sanders in a sketch skewering last week's Democratic debate. Channeling Sanders' unmodulated intensity, he immediately pledged to "dial it right up to a 10."
"We're doomed!" David-as-Sanders shouted. "We need a revolution! Millions of people on the streets. And we gotta do something! And we gotta do it now!"
David's best line came when he outlined Sanders' outsider credentials.
"I'm the only candidate up here who's not a billionaire," he said. "I don't have a Super PAC. I don't even have a backpack. I carry my stuff around loose in my arms like a professor, you know, between classes. I own one pair of underwear. That's it! Some of these billionaires, they've got three, four pairs. And I don't have a dryer. I have to put my clothes on the radiator."
Sanders, who spent the weekend campaigning in Iowa, was asked about the sketch Sunday morning during an appearance on ABC's This Week. He told host George Stephanopoulos, "I think we'll use Larry at our next rally. He does better than I do."
During a press availability later Sunday in Iowa City, a reporter had the temerity to ask, "Do you have more than one pair of underwear?"
"Next question," Sanders' spokesman, Michael Briggs, said with a laugh. "Thank you, everybody."
"No, no, this is a serious question," Sanders said, noting, with a touch of sarcasm, that though the country was "in crisis," he was finding himself answering such questions and, say, dancing for Ellen DeGeneres. "Yes, last week I bought my second pair of underwear."
"That's a joke," he quickly added. "Please don't write it down. Joke, joke, joke. I have an ample supply of underwear. I even have — actually, when I was mayor of the City of Burlington, I think I did have one suit. But I have now, being a United States senator, increased my number of suits as well. All right?"
"I'm glad to hear that," said the reporter who had asked the question.