Following Bernie’s appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in October, an appearance in which he entered dancing to ‘Disco Inferno’ and answered questions about whether his hair is better than Trumps, Ellen released Bernie’s “new” campaign video. Videos of Sanders dancing on the show, which was off- beat and seemingly uncharacteristic of Bernie, became hugely popular. DeGeneres pokes fun at Sanders dance skills in her homemade campaign ad, which is set to Drakes enormously popular ‘Hotline Bling.’ The video is another example of the convergence of pop culture and politics, and Sanders appearance on such a popular show also shows just how vital it is for political figures to reach audiences through media like television.
The Saturday Night Live Democratic Debate skit takes some of the common criticisms and quirks of the candidates and uses them in a satirical way. Larry David perfectly captures Sanders scattered appearance, and the rough, blunt way in which he speaks. He also takes some of Sanders major stances and trademarks, such as his views on income inequality and climate change, and takes them to hilarious extremes; saying things like “we are doomed” and telling stories about Sanders single pair of underwear he owns because he is not a billionaire.
In Jon Stewart’s piece, he also capitalizes on some of the major critiques of Sanders, from things like his age and appearance to actual stances on issues. Stewart begins by acknowledging these criticisms, “Sanders is a loon!”, proceeds to showing clips of Sanders making the “outrageous” claims he so often does, and Stewart realizing that Sanders is a “rational, slightly left of center mainstream politician.” Stewart speaks to those who call Sanders a lunatic or unusual, asserting that it is Sanders authenticity, which we are not used to with political figures, that is what many perceive as crazy.