Dick Van Dyke is the star of a new political ad for Bernie Sanders. The 94-year-old actor, best known for his role in the 1964 movie Mary Poppins as well as his self-titled 1960s TV show, said he’s an “enthusiastic” supporter of the 78-year-old presidential candidate, and he hopes other members of his generation will follow his lead.
In the ad, a white-bearded Van Dyke made it clear that age is just a number when weighing the qualifications of the current candidates for the 2020 presidential race.
“The age question keeps coming up,” Van Dyke said in the spot. “I know that I’m 20 years older than Bernie. I have all my marbles. I could run for office if I wanted to. So I don’t think age — it really doesn’t matter, except for his experience and the years he’s put in.”
The Dick Van Dyke Show star also addressed poll numbers that indicate Sanders is having problems with older citizens like himself. The actor questioned why someone older wouldn’t vote for a candidate with Sanders’ record and his “experience and honesty.” Van Dyke said it makes no sense to him why Sanders isn’t getting the support of his own generation.
“I think somebody younger like Bernie, is just a perfect candidate,” Van Dyke joked of his own age. “Yeah, he’ll be around a long time.”
In comments to a YouTube video of the ad, fans of Van Dyke’s “Boomers for Bernie” campaign couldn’t help but reference Bert, the actor’s chimney sweep character from the original Mary Poppins movie more than 50 years ago.
“He has the chimney sweeps now, he’s growing unstoppable,” one commenter joked of Sanders.
“Chim chimney chim chimney chim chim cheroo, Dick’s voting for Bernie, and you should be too,” another person wrote.
“Thumbs up if you think this is Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!” a third fan chimed in.
Of course, followers of Sanders’ political past may recall that Van Dyke also supported him four years ago in the 2016 election. At the time, Reuters reported that Van Dyke was concerned about the people in his generation who were firmly “set in their ways.” He admitted that some overly cautious nonagenarians could be afraid that Sanders might get a little too drastic or “do something to upset the apple cart.”
In addition to Van Dyke, Sanders’ celebrity supporters this time around include Cardi B, Ariana Grande, Lizzo, and Justin Bieber’s wife, Hailey Baldwin Bieber, according to Refinery 29.