Bernie Sanders and his family still chuckle over Larry David‘s dead-on Saturday Night Live impersonation of the frugal Vermont senator: “I own one pair of underwear! That’s it! Some of these billionaires, they got three, four pairs. I don’t have a dryer. I have to put my clothes on the radiator!”
And while the Democratic presidential candidate himself fact-checked the riff months ago (“I have an ample supply of underwear,” Sanders joked to ABC News back in October), David was onto something, say his wife and kids.
“Bernie doesn’t need things,” says wife Jane in an interview for the new issue of PEOPLE. “If he has seven sweaters, that’s three too many for him.”
The senator’s step-daughter, Carina Driscoll, remembers fetching his winter jacket for him one time: “I reached in the pocket and there were two gloves that didn’t match – one tan, one black. Those went in the trash and I went to the store and bought him gloves.”
For more of our at-home interview with Senator Sanders and his family, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday
For his part, Sanders says he doesn’t watch much TV but is a fan of David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm and calls the comedian’s mimicry of him “hysterical” – so good that Sanders says he jokingly asked the comic to work it as a campaign clone.
“When I’m on the East Coast, he could be covering the West Coast,” Sanders says. “And he chose not to do that.”
It’s not just the frugality that rings true. It’s the cantankerous sense of humor, too.
Sitting at the kitchen table in their Burlington, Vermont, home, Jane teases her husband to smile for a photographer. “Bernie, be happy!”
To which the senator deadpans, “Why?”
And when the couple’s 27 years of marriage comes up, he cracks wise: “It means that we’re too lazy to get divorced.”
Across the room, Sanders’ son Levi watches and laughs.
“That could actually be Larry David at the kitchen table. I’d check his ID.”