Taylor Champ, who goes by @taylorchamp on TikTok, caught the now-viral moment and posted it to TikTok on 20 February where it received more than one million views. Since then, it’s been seen across Twitter more than 3m times.
The video showed Champ filming a TikTok dance with a doorman on the streets of New York City. Champ and the doorman are seen waving their hands in the air as a mash-up of Ice Spice and PinkPantheress’ “Boy’s a liar Pt 2” and “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles plays in the background.
It’s at that moment that US Senator Bernie Sanders appeared in the background of the TikTok, walking along the sidewalk. He caught a glimpse at the two TikTokers and stopped in his tracks. But instead of ruining their dance video, the Democratic senator walked around the pair to avoid a collision.
It’s perhaps Sanders face that says it all. In the video, the former presidential candidate maintained a deadpan – and almost confused – expression as he witnessed the two filming a TikTok in public.
Unsurprisingly, the amusing moment spread across the internet in less than a day. Many social media users praised Sanders for his “relatable” reaction to stumbling into a TikTok, while others were simply not shocked that the Vermont politician has once again inspired a meme.
“This is just as good if not better than the mittens meme,” tweeted one person in response to the video.
“That’s the most Bernie Sanders thing I’d expect him to do… just walk around it,” said someone else, while another agreed: “This is exactly how I expect Sen Bernie Sanders to respond to walking into a TikTok.”
This is just as good if not better than the mittens meme.
— Lamont Thompson (@TheLamontDT) February 21, 2023
That’s the most Bernie Sanders thing I’d expect him to do… just walk around it.
— The Wasted Talent™ (@NewRougeSton) February 20, 2023
This is exactly how I expect Sen. Bernie Sanders to respond to walking into a TikTok https://t.co/ZyChF8Lck1
— Farnoush Amiri (@FarnoushAmiri) February 21, 2023
“Most relatable politician of my lifetime,” wrote one user.
One Twitter user said that the “Bernie vibes” in the video were “immaculate,” while another replied: “The look on Bernie’s face. Perfect!”
Most relatable politician of my lifetime https://t.co/DcI49khTiM
— Screamer Jim (@HeheWaitWhut) February 21, 2023
The look on Bernie's face. Perfect! 😂😂 https://t.co/OCNxlaPWwF
— The Bern Identity (@bern_identity) February 21, 2023
Over on TikTok, Champ posted a separate video that also captured Senator Sanders’ wife, Jane Sanders. While the politician turned away to avoid being in the TikTok, Mrs Sanders accidentally walked right through the pair but apologised for interrupting their dance.
“Oh, I’m sorry!” she tells Champ.
It seemed that Champ had no clue that Bernie Sanders had walked right by her until she replayed the video. But at that point, the Vermont senator was already gone.
“I really wish in the moment I realised who was walking by,” she captioned her TikTok.
Replying to @morganraecwc I really wish in the moment I realized who was walking by.😂 All I was thinking was wow, first time I try to make a tiktok out here and I almost hit this poor lady in the face. I was just hoping she wasn’t mad but she was so sweet lol.
♬ original sound - Taylor Champ
“All I was thinking was wow, first time I try to make a TikTok out here and I almost hit this poor lady in the face,” she said of the woman who turned out to be Mrs Sanders. “I was just hoping she wasn’t mad but she was so sweet lol.”
Meanwhile, one TikTok user commented what possibly every viewer was thinking after watching the viral video of Bernie Sanders: “This needs the Curb Your Enthusiasm theme song.”
US Senator Bernie Sanders is no stranger to memes. The Democratic politician became the first viral meme of 2021 when he was photographed wearing mittens at President Joe Biden’s inauguration.
The picture sees Sanders huddled on a socially distanced fold-up chair wearing a grey parka and brown, oversized hand-knitted mittens made from recycled wool and plastic that were gifted to him by a constituent.
Of course, he was then photoshopped into every possible background: sitting on the throne in Game of Thrones, riding on subways, and appearing in countless famous works of art.
Now, Bernie Sanders has reflected on becoming a viral meme in his new book, It’s OK to Be Angry About Capitalism, due for release on 21 February.
In book excerpts obtained by Business Insider, the senator revealed that he didn’t learn about his meme status until he returned to his office after the inauguration ceremony. “That was weird,” he wrote, adding that “it got weirder” when he started to see memes of himself all throughout social media.
“There I was with my mittens on the moon, at the Last Supper, on the Titanic, alongside Forrest Gump, next to Spider-Man, on top of skyscrapers,” he said. “Who would have thought?”
In more than 50 years of his career, Sanders wrote that he “never received so much attention.”