7 Democratic Debate Punchlines Bernie Sanders Should Drop On Sunday Night

On Sunday night, it'll be that time again — the fourth Democratic presidential primary debate will be airing on NBC, and it'll be the last one before the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses on Feb. 1. In other words, it'll be the last chance before the first voting day of 2016 for Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O'Malley to take some shots at each other, live and in-person. Which means it's time to finalize any jokes that they have in mind — here are seven Democratic debate punchlines Bernie Sanders should drop, because a little humor sometimes helps.

Obviously, when you're going to try to drop a laugh line in the middle of a presidential debate, knowing your strengths and weaknesses is key. Not everyone has the finest-tuned comedic timing in the world, and throwing out a clunker can be a lot worse than just playing it straight and not risking it. But Sanders has a certain understated charisma that really flies under-the-radar sometimes, and it could do him some good to show that off — especially considering his campaign relies so much less on familiarity with his personality than, say, Clinton's does. Time to spread those wings! Here are 7 jokes Sanders could try on Sunday night, although fair warning: some of these might be a little inadvisable.

1. "I Used To Be The Mayor Of Burlington. The Ben & Jerry's One, Not The Overcoat One."

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Most people, you'd think, would rather live in an ice cream haven.

2. "People Sometimes Say That I'm Too Corny, But That Should Play In Iowa!"


A terribly corny joke about the Hawkeye State? It's a decent warm-up act, and it's good to start small. But it'd be even better if Sanders mustered the courage to try one that's a teensy bit edgy. For example...

3. "The Main Reason I'm Running For President Is To Protect Ethanol Subsidies."

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Amid it, if he nailed the deadpan delivery on this, it would bring the house down.

4. "I'll Tell You What, Secretary Clinton Is Definitely Feeling The Bern — Burn Rate, That Is!"

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A perfect joke for all you campaign finance geeks out there. For the record, the Sanders campaign indeed enjoys a much lower burn rate than the Clinton campaign does.

5. "I'm Still Sick Of Your Damn Emails, Secretary Clinton, But I'm A Little Offended You Didn't Respond To My Friend Request On Peach."

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Who says Bernie doesn't know what's cool with the kids?

6. "I Admit, I Get A Little Riled Up Sometimes. But You Can Always Mellow Out With Some Jeb Bush Interviews."

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On the plus side, a self-effacing joke about his fiery rhetorical style and a jab at a flagging Republican candidate all in one! On the downside, though, it does make him sound a little more like a left-wing Donald Trump.

7. "Of Course, If I'd Ever Had To Choose Between Being Mayor Of Burlington Or Smoking Weed With Paddington Bear, I Might Not Be Here Right Now."

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Yeah, it's not going to happen. But you can always dream, right? Bonus points for putting the image of Bernie trading bong hits with a bleary-eyed Paddington Bear into minds across America, but unless he's both ready to go really hard on marijuana legalization, and really hard-in on surreal humor, you probably shouldn't hold your breath.