Tracy Morgan made his triumphant return to Saturday Night Live on last night's wonderful episode (more on that a little later), but before he came onstage, there was another surprise former SNL employee who blew the lid off Studio 8H. Larry David played Bernie Sanders in the cold open, and he completely killed it, turning every response into a Curb-worthy rant about backpacks, banks, and geese. It was as inspired casting as Tina Fey as Sarah Palin, and he was so (pretty pretty pretty) good, he even eclipsed Alec Baldwin as Jim Webb.
This was David's first appearance on SNL since his brief stint as a writer during the 1984-1985 season—he only got one sketch on air, during the 10-to-1 slot, during that time. That was also the job he quit midseason, only to come back a few days later as if nothing had happened, inspiring a classic Seinfeld plot.
— Roger Simon (@politicoroger) October 18, 2015
I would vote for Bernie Sanders if Larry David agrees to play him on Saturday Night Live for the next 8 years.
— James Hell Brooks (@BobbyBigWheel) October 18, 2015
— Roger Catlin (@rcatlin) October 18, 2015
Larry David as Bernie Sanders is the Tina Fey as Sarah Palin of this election cycle. #SNL
— Michael Calia (@Michael_Calia) October 18, 2015
OK, Larry David, after last night, I will now forgive you for your vacation from "Curb." But now I want it back more than ever.
— Jeff Jarvis (@jeffjarvis) October 18, 2015
As you can see above, people were very happy about seeing David as Sander. Joyously, rapturously happy. It was perfect. No—It. Was. Perfect. It was the id that is Frank Costanza combined with the ego that is David's George Steinbrenner impression.
The whole sketch was really good—it was without a doubt the best cold open in years, and added an exciting edge to an already exciting evening—and David seemed to raise everyone's game. Kate McKinnon was great as ever as a slightly unhinged Hillary Clinton (smoking cigarettes like the cool presidents), Baldwin had some very good blustery reaction shots as Webb, and Kyle Mooney and Taran Killam were both good with their limited time as Martin O'Malley and Lincoln Chafee.
But David brought down the house. And it might be because, like with Fey and Palin, everyone had already cast David as Sanders in their heads. Just take a look at some tweets from the last debate.
Larry David is straight up killing it in the #DemDebate.
— George Wallace (@MrGeorgeWallace) October 14, 2015
bernie sounds like larry david as steinbrenner
— ilana glazer (@ilazer) October 14, 2015
— Adam Cozens (@Adam_Cozens) October 14, 2015
Sanders is the candidate for people looked at Larry David and said, "I like him, but he's too centrist and a way too goyish."
— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) October 14, 2015
— Michelle Collins (@michcoll) October 14, 2015
— The View (@TheView) October 13, 2015
Still can't get over the fact that Larry David is a socialist. #DemDebate
— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) October 14, 2015