Officially establishing himself as the candidate of urchins, Baker Street irregulars, and soot-faced ragamuffins everywhere, Bernie Sanders released a video tonight featuring an endorsement from noted Cockney chimneysweep Dick Van Dyke. Van Dyke is, of course, not the first, or the last, celebrity to back a horse in this year’s extremely fractious presidential race, but he might legitimately be the oldest: At 94 years old, he goes out of his way in the video to note that he’s Sanders’ senior by 16 years. (He also holds up a small Funko Pop of the Vermont senator, because the internet is a strange and mysterious place.)
In fact, the ad is a fairly transparent effort to court the senior citizen vote, enamored as they are with the cinematic scamps and ottoman trippers of yesteryear. (Reports that Tim Steyer has secured an endorsement from actual Dickensian character the Artful Dodger remain apocryphal as we go to press.) It’s also an uncharacteristic effort from the beloved comic actor and king of the London rooftops: Although a life-long leftist, Van Dyke hasn’t publicly stumped for a candidate since campaigning for Eugene McCarthy back in 1968. That being said, this isn’t his first effort at wading into modern political waters, having vented his frustrations with Donald Trump way back in 2016.
Of course, this being politics in 2020 and all, the reaction to Van Dyke’s endorsement of Sanders has run the gamut, from “Oh, adorable!” to “Despite years of patronizing his content, I will never look at the Diagnosis: Murder canon the same way again.” Our sole consolation here is that we’re pretty damn sure that Van Dyke will never, in however many years he has left, ever encounter any of these internet comments, because he’s got better things to do—like showing up on Cameo, for reasons presumably known only to God and himself.