Larry David is Bernie Sanders in this Curb Your Enthusiasm parody that imagines what the Sanders campaign would be like if he were, well, Larry David. In the first scene, Bernie is greeting supporters after a speech and Leslie Jones coughs on her hand before she tries to shake his. Bernie, in the most Larry David way, can’t do it. “I do not shake disgusting hands!”
The next day, his staff gets on his case about the hand shaking incident, but he stands his ground. “You don’t understand. She gave me a cough and shake.” To which Bobby Moynihan’s Jeff responds, in typical David-esque pedantry, “You sure it wasn’t a cough and a wipe and a shake?” “No, no. There was no wipe. Definitely no wipe. She didn’t have the decency to give me a wipe.” The struggle between Bernie and his staff and supporters only gets worse from there, until he finds out, as he usually does, that maybe he should have been a little nicer, after all.
What makes this parody so hilarious is that it isn’t really a parody of Sanders at all. It is Curb Your Enthusiasm with a different name. It’s Larry David being Larry David in his Larry David element, which just happens to be mapped onto the Sanders campaign because of their slight similarities. Bernie is not satirized in any way. Instead, there is no difference between David’s Bernie and David’s Curb persona, and the sketch is in every way a mockery of David’s usual exasperation in a new, but familiar, format. But they still map it on to the Sanders campaign in a clever way, using his disrespect of those around him as the cause of his loss in Iowa by .2 percent. “How many people is that?” “It’s like five people,” the exact number of constituents Bernie pissed off that day. The sketch is essentially a look into what would happen if Larry David ran for president, and it turns out exactly as you would expect.