Bernie Sanders: Vermont senator, former US Representative, and, as of Wednesday, two-time meme king. The politician was unexpectedly thrust into the spotlight on Inauguration Day when photographers captured him lounging in a folding chair at the Capitol, wearing a familiar gray coat, blue face mask, some adorable wool mittens, and quite the disinterested facial expression. As soon as the pictures began circulating, the internet worked its magic and transformed it into the first big meme of 2021, plopping the seated senator in a variety of hysterical scenes.
One day after the presidential inauguration festivities, Bernie discussed the viral moment on Late Night With Seth Meyers, and his reaction was pretty darn pure. “I heard about that!” he said with a chuckle when Seth brought up the deluge of memes flooding social media. After admitting he was “not at all” aware that the photo was being snapped from afar at the time, the politician added, “I was just sitting there trying to keep warm, trying to pay attention to what was going on.” Hey, sometimes the best memes are born of the most understated, split-second instances.