At the annual Television Critics Association press tour, Curb Your Enthusiasmstar (and Seinfeld co-creator) Larry David gave some behind-the-scenes info on how he ended up playing Larry Sanders on Saturday Night Live leading up to the 2016 election.
According to David, SNL head Lorne Michaels received a wave of emails from fans and industry insiders alike, nominating David to play super-liberal Vermonter Sanders — the two do look quite alike, in addition to David being able to nail Sanders’ laid-back cadence.
Michaels obviously agreed it would be a genius casting choice, and reached out to David’s rep, agent Ari Emmanuel (the inspiration for Jeremy Piven’s Entourage character, incidentally).
“This Bernie Sanders thing… During the first debate between Bernie and Hillary, [‘SNL’ creator] Lorne Michaels got emails and calls during the debate, saying that I should be doing Bernie Sanders…. [WME-IMG co-CEO] Ari Emanuel called me up and said, ‘What did you think?’ And every time I watched Bernie Sanders, I would repeat everything that he said, because I know that I can talk like that. So I started talking to Ari, the agent, I started talking to him like Bernie… I said, ‘No, I’m not going to do that. That’s not me. I don’t care.’ Then I said, ‘You know, it would be a good thing for “Saturday Night Live”,’ not thinking in a million years.”
Also, apparently, on a new episode of Finding Your Roots, the show where celebrities explore their ancestry, David found out he’s distantly related to Sanders, making the portrayal that much more magical (while this may not actually be true, the resemblance is so uncanny we can’t help but hope it is!)
David’s hit HBO show, Curb Your Enthusiasm, returns for its highly anticipated ninth season on October 1st.