Hold Up — Bernie Sanders & Larry David Are Related??

by Seth Millstein
Getty Images / SNL

This is not a drill: Larry David and Bernie Sanders are related to each other by blood. The Curb Your Enthusiasm creator broke the news Wednesday at Television Critics Association event, explaining that he recently discovered that the Vermont Senator is his "third cousin or something." This is shocking, and yet also, not at all shocking.

David and Sanders, both Jewish Brooklyn natives, have always had strikingly similar aesthetics, and the former impersonated the latter on Saturday Night Live during the 2016 campaign to great fanfare. But David revealed Wednesday that, while researching his own genetics for an upcoming episode of the PBS show Finding Your Roots, he learned that he and Sanders are actually blood relatives.

“I was very happy about that,” David said, according to Variety. “I thought there must have been some connection.” He said that Sanders is a "third cousin or something," though he didn't get more specific.

David also spoke about how he came to play Sanders on SNL. He said that during the campaign, "every time I watched Bernie Sanders I would repeat everything that he said, because I know that I can talk like that." At one point, David says, he began talking to his agent in Sanders' voice; his agent, Ari Emanuel, got him in touch with SNL producer Lorne Michaels, and the rest is history.

David added that initially, Emanuel suggested he impersonate Sanders in a video and post it to the internet, but David was uninterested that.

"Then I said, ‘You know, it would be a good thing for Saturday Night Live,' not thinking in a million years [it would happen]." But it did, and later, David learned that Michaels had been receiving calls and emails from viewers asking him to cast David as Sanders on the show.

The segments were an immediate hit, and eventually Sanders himself appeared on the program alongside David, with the two New Yorkers playing fellow passengers on a sinking ship.

According to hacked emails from former Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, both Clinton and Sanders' presidential campaigns contacted David during the Democratic primary in an attempt to secure his endorsement. However, David stayed on the sidelines and declined to endorse anyone; a Clinton aide was soon told by director Rob Reiner that David wanted to remain neutral so he could keep playing Sanders on SNL, the emails indicated.

Although it's unclear who, if anyone, David voted for during the Democratic primary, he let his affinity for Sanders be known.

"I love Bernie, yes," David said at the Wednesday event. "I love Bernie."