If you had Larry David as the breakout comedian of the 2020 election season, congratulations: You’re a winner.
As any late-night TV viewer knows, David has done impressions of Bernie Sanders on “Saturday Night Live” for years, nailing the Vermont senator’s crusty delivery. The fact that David and Sanders look alike (balding, bespectacled), sound alike (both hail from Brooklyn, though in recent years David is more likely to be found on Martha’s Vineyard), and act alike (usually dyspeptic) only makes the illusion more seamless.
But it wasn’t the Bernie impression that had President Trump tweeting about David to his 72 million followers on Monday. It was a snippet from the new season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm," David’s long-running HBO series, in which Larry dons a red MAGA cap.
As ever, Larry has his own twisted reasons for wearing the hat on the show. But it sure comes in handy: The very sight of the Trump-endorsed headwear defuses a road rage incident that Larry blunders into with an angry biker.
In the “Curb” video, Larry, tootling along in his electric car, cuts off the biker in traffic. The guy, hurling threats and four-letter words, pulls up alongside his car.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t see you,” Larry pleads. “I’m sorry, I didn’t see you.” In that moment, the comedian pulls on the MAGA cap. The biker, so furious a second before, calms down instantly. “Just be more careful next time, OK?” he says.
“Will do, will do,” Larry says and flashes a thumbs up.
Trump, seemingly inspired by the scene, tweeted it along with the message “TOUGH GUYS FOR TRUMP!” Whether he got the gag or not, we’ll let you decide. But however you interpret it, by Tuesday afternoon, the president’s post had nearly 200,000 likes.
With Sanders polling well and the primary season in full swing, David will surely be back on “SNL” doing his Bernie shtick soon enough. Look for the next sketch to include a MAGA reference or two.
Hayley Kaufman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.