The Best Reactions and Jokes to Come out of the Trump-Biden Presidential Debate

About 100 million viewers tuned in to watch President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden face off in their first presidential debate live from Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday night.

The heated war of words swung from chaotic accusations and personal digs to the state of the economy and the future of climate change.

Audience sympathies quickly turned to Chris Wallace, the Fox News host lumped with the task of marshalling the 90-minute spectacle, as he frequently scrambled to regain control as the men yelled over each other.

The contentious display certainly provided much for the audience to debate, with thousands taking to social media in the aftermath.

"Chris Wallace's debate performance tonight is a great reminder that kindergarten teachers are underpaid," The Daily Show tweeted in a reference to the almost childlike behavior displayed by the nation's leaders.

"This debate is like watching elementary kids fight over crayons," one woman replied.

Chris Wallace's debate performance tonight is a great reminder that kindergarten teachers are underpaid. #Debates2020

— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) September 30, 2020

At one point in the debate, Biden called Trump a "clown," with Trump hitting back saying, "There is nothing smart about you."

The to-and-fro of personal attacks led one viewer to compare the event to a "fist fight in a Chili's parking lot."

"Just confirmed, debate #2 is just a fist fight in a Chili's parking lot," Omeed Malek tweeted.

Follower Sean Tellez replied: "Chili's is too upscale of a location. Applebee's is more appropriate."

Just confirmed, debate #2 is a just a fist fight in a Chili's parking lot

— omeedmalek (@OmeedMalek) September 30, 2020

Trump repeatedly hammered and interrupted Biden, leaving the Democratic candidate and former vice president at times with little to say.

"In 47 months, I've done more than you've done in 47 years, Joe," Trump said to his rival.

In another particularly poignant moment, Biden told Trump to "shut up, man."

The Democratic candidate's reply came as Trump continued to interrupt him when discussing the Supreme Court and has now birthed a viral meme.

Political strategist Tom Watson tweeted: "Honestly, 'Will you shut up, man?' is going down in presidential debate history along with Nixon's beard. Iconic."

Honestly, "Will you shut up, man?" is going down in presidential debate history along with with Nixon's beard. Iconic.

— Tom Watson (@tomwatson) September 30, 2020

"This is so unpresidential," Biden said, later telling Trump, "Keep yapping, man."

Fed up Democratic Michigan State Rep. Mari Manoogian took to Twitter, writing, "I don't ever want to hear how a woman is 'too emotional' to be president."

I don’t ever want to hear how a woman is “too emotional” to be president. #Debates2020

— Mari Manoogian (@MariManoogian) September 30, 2020

"Can Chris Wallace be replaced with a mom who's been home with her kids since March?" writer and speaker Wendi Aarons suggested.

Can Chris Wallace be replaced with a mom who’s been home with her kids since March? #Debates2020

— Wendi Aarons (@WendiAarons) September 30, 2020

Further support flooded in for Wallace, with actor and comedian Ben Schwartz commiserating with the host's plight.

"THE HOST SHOULD BE ABLE TO MUTE MICROPHONES. I can't believe I want this to be more like zoom," he said over Twitter.

THE HOST SHOULD BE ABLE TO MUTE MICROPHONES. I can’t believe I want this to be more like zoom. #Debates2020

— Ben Schwartz (@rejectedjokes) September 30, 2020

"Whomever handles the protocol for the mic at the Academy Awards, please reach out to the Presidential Debate team and tell them how to #CutTheMic," Middle School counsellor Elektra Thompson replied.

Others developed a new-found sympathy for elementary and kindergarten teachers, calling for industry-wide pay rises and compulsory therapy.

"It's been an interesting hour and a half," Wallace said concluding the evening.

The next debate for each campaign will be between Harris and Vice President Mike Pence in Salt Lake City, Utah on October 7.

Trump and Biden are scheduled to face each other again in Miami on October 15 and then in Nashville on October 22.

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