SNL #41.12 Feel The Bern Enthusiasm with host Larry David, special guests Bernie Sanders, Zoolander 2’s Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson

The madness of another presidential election continues to shine all-star comedy on Saturday Night Live, as even before Larry David hosted this 12th episode of season 41, the Bernie Sanders campaign let everyone know that the Democratic junior U.S. Senator from Vermont and presidential candidate would leave New Hampshire for New York City to join David for the show.

Could it match the meta mockery of Hillary Clinton bartending to Kate McKinnon or sidling up to McKinnon and Amy Poehler?

Well, let’s just say this “Steam Ship” sketch isn’t the main highlight most viewers will talk about…

…unless you’re in the top 1 percent of the top 1 percent of comedy fans and politics nerds. Of course.

It’s always a treat when a stand-up comedian hosts SNL because they write their own monologues, and leave it to Larry David to describe how he’s no longer a “poor schmuck” now that he’s a “rich prick,” and recognizes as an old multi-millionaire divorcee, that’s what makes him attractive to women these days. Unlike when he was merely a writer for SNL.

David did give more of an effort to hosting than he suggested he would in the monologue. And this pre-taped piece was the pièce de résistance, as “Bern Your Enthusiasm,” not only tilted the lens of parody unto itself with Larry David portraying Bernie Sanders as Larry David, but also gave great showpieces for Cecily Strong impersonating Susie Essman, Bobby Moynihan as Jeff Garlin and particularly Jay Pharoah as JB Smoove’s Leon character.

SNL also has become a de facto bonus promotional opportunity for stars looking to plug their new movies without having to host the whole show. So here’s Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson in their Zoolander 2 poses as Derek Zoolander and Hansel — to talk about New York Fashion Week and the fashion styles of the presidential candidates, but really their new movie, opening this coming weekend.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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