Sen. Bernie Sanders’ formal political career is quite prolific. Not counting his decades of political activism during the 1960s and 1970s, the 2020 presidential campaign candidate was elected as the mayor of Burlington, Vermont, in the early 1980s. After serving as mayor from 1981 to 1989, he was elected to Congress in 1990 as an independent candidate, the first since Frazier Reams won a seat in 1950. In the mid-2000s, Sanders was elected to the Senate and has since been reelected twice — once in 2012, and again in 2018.
Despite his prolific career in politics, Bernie Sanders has another career, one that was both short-lived and mostly forgotten about. That is, until it was brought up on a recent episode of Late Night with Seth Meyers.
As reported by HuffPost, Seth Meyers brought up Bernie Sanders’ oft-forgotten acting career, much to the delight of the audience — and, by the look on his face, the embarrassment of the Vermont senator.
After talking to Sanders about the upcoming presidential election, Meyers shifted focus to Bernie’s appearance in the film Sweet Hears Dance, which was originally released over 30 years ago, in 1988. Directed by Robert Greenwald — who has been nominated for a staggering 25 Emmy Awards — the film stars Don Johnson, Susan Sarandon, Jeff Daniels, Elizabeth Perkins, and, of course, then-mayor Bernie Sanders.
Seth Meyers unearthed a 1988 movie cameo by Bernie Sanders. https://t.co/iw6udHnzR5
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) March 1, 2019
As Seth pointed out, Bernie had a minor role in the film, wherein he portrayed a character who happened to be named Bernie. Meyers asked Sanders how he landed the role.
“It wasn’t that we did a lot of auditioning for the film,” Sanders explained, in a clip that can be viewed on YouTube. “It happened to be that the film was shot in Vermont. That helped. And they went — I was the mayor of the city of Burlington. We helped them out getting some extras and so on and so forth.”
While aiding the film’s production companies with logistics and in hiring extras, Sanders was able to land a minor role in the film. During his brief appearance in the film, Bernie can be seen handing out candy on Halloween after a few trick-or-treaters arrive on his doorstep.
After Seth Meyers played the clip for the audience, Bernie joked that he believed his performance was award-worthy.
“I think — I think that’s an Oscar award,” Bernie joked. “I think it was great.”
Seth also chimed in, pointing out that the clip showed Sanders handing out candy free of charge, doling it out to the trick-or-treaters “fairly.”
“No one should have to pay for their candy,” Meyers joked.
This is not the only time Sanders has appeared on the big screen. Per his IMDb page, Bernie also had a minor role as Rabbi Manny Shevitz in the 1999 film My X-Girlfriend’s Wedding Reception.
To see the segment on Bernie’s acting career, be sure to check out the video clip embedded below.