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Bernie Sanders And Larry David Discover They’re Related

During the race for the Democratic nomination, comedian Larry David became known for playing Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders on Saturday Night Live and many people remarked that he did quite a good job at it. As it turns out, there may be a genetic reason for that:

In a released clip from the season four premiere of “Finding Your Roots,” a PBS program in which celebrities learn more about their lineage and history, the two are told that if they have long identical stretches of DNA to someone, it means they are cousins.

When told Sanders is his cousin, David responds: “What the hell.”

“That is really funny. That is amazing…Alright, cousin Bernie,” David says.

“You’re kidding,” Sanders says in response, laughing.

“That is unbelievable,” he adds.

“People say to me, they talk about Larry David, and I say he does a better Bernie Sanders than I do,” Sanders says.

Talk about six degrees of separation.

For old times sake, here’s a clip of one of David’s SNL appearances:

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Ben Wolf says:

    That was a good skit.

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  2. Slugger says:

    All humans share 99.5% of their DNA. To show that those two are mish’poheh you would have to show that their DNA was more closely linked than some random Ashkenaz. I suggest testing me, Dylan, and Bloomberg.

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  3. Tony W says:

    @Ben Wolf: Indeed. Those were days when we still had some hope for America. It is hard to remember.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  4. DrDaveT says:

    @Slugger:

    To show that those two are mish’poheh you would have to show that their DNA was more closely linked than some random Ashkenaz.

    And so they did. Neither was detectably related to any of the (many) other Ashkenaz who have participated in the show.

    The math of this has to do with the number of matching segments found, and the length of the longest matching segment(*). The probabilities are very well understood; they can estimate the number of generations back the most common ancestor was, with reasonable precision.

    (*) Which is measured in ‘centimorgans‘ (cM). Gotta love anything with its own esoteric units.

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  5. Andrew says:

    Oh, what joy and who in their right mind actually cares. What a nonsensical article. Nothing better to do?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2