Elections

‘Burn, Baby, Burn,’ Bernie Sanders cuts the rug with Ellen

In this photo released by Warner Bros., talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, right, speaks with Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, of Vermont, during a taping of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show”on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015 in Burbank, Calif.
In this photo released by Warner Bros., talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, right, speaks with Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, of Vermont, during a taping of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show”on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015 in Burbank, Calif. AP

The presidential hopeful who seems pretty serious in most appearances, let his hair down on a visit to the Ellen show that airs today.

The Vermont senator -- who taped the interview on Wednesday -- arrived on stage to the sounds of "Disco Inferno” -- its refrain of “Burn, Baby, Burn” a nod to his unofficial “Feel the Bern” campaign slogan.

There was a sober discussion about income inequality and the role of money in politics, but the biggest applause came as he gamely answered a few questions posed by DeGeneres -- including which Republican presidential candidate he’d prefer to be stuck with on a deserted island: “Marco Rubio. He’s used to the sun,” he said of the Florida senator.

His own Ben & Jerry ice cream flavor? “Burn, Bernie, Burn.”

Who has a better coiffure -- the oft-unruly white haired Sanders or Donald Trump’s orange concoction? He pointed to his own balding pate.

And of course, boxers or briefs? “Briefs.”

DeGeneres called him a “unique guy” and suggested it was the source of his popularity: “You’re not like the politicians that people are used to hearing and you are saying things that are resonating,” she told Sanders.

Sanders held two fundraisers on his California trip, including a Beverly Hills event described as being “more upscale than most” of his campaign events. The fundraiser -- complete with valet parking and alcohol -- was at the estate of longtime Democratic donors Syd and Linda Leibovitch, who made their fortune in real estate.

Sanders, who rails against the undue influence of millionaires and billionaires, joked about the “proletariat” home as he began his remarks.

“The truth is there are many people in this country who have money but also believe in social justice,” Sanders said.

The minimum donation for the event was $250, and some donors gave up to the legal maximum of $2,700, according to Sanders aides, who estimated the event would raise about $150,000.

The event was only the ninth traditional fundraiser for Sanders,who decries the role of money in politics and has eschewed super PACS. Most of his campaign money has been raised online.

The 70’s rock band America (“Ventura Highway,” “You Can Do Magic,”) provided entertainment for the evening, playing on the far side of the pool in the back yard, according to a pool report of the event.

Sanders noted he was proud he was to be raising money in small increments, noting that the average contribution to his campaign last quarter was $30.

He also said that since Tuesday night’s debate, his campaign has raised $2.5 million. Earlier in the evening, Sanders attended a $25 per person ticket fundraiser with producer Seth MacFarlane at the Avalon nightclub in Hollywood.

“While it would be way funnier if Trump won, it would be far better for the health of the country if Bernie Sanders was the next president,” MacFarlane said, according to Variety.

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