Beelzebub, Fly and Pink Eye—The Best Reactions and Jokes About Pence-Harris VP Debate

Kamala Harris and Mike Pence went into the vice presidential debate on Tuesday hoping a combination of charisma and intellect would see them steal their opponents limelight—neither expected to be upstaged by a fly.

But the bluebottle that made a beeline for the top of the vice president's head was one of the biggest talking points of the night.

The unlikely stage invader prompted political pundits—and even the politicians themselves—to inject a little humor into the closing stages of the 2020 election campaign.

So, here we present a rundown of how the internet responded to the Harris-Pence debate.

Joe Biden, Harris' running mate, was quick off the blocks with a tweet urging supporters to donate $5 "to help this campaign fly." The former vice president was pictured in the tweet clutching a fly swatter.

Pitch in $5 to help this campaign fly. https://t.co/CqHAId0j8t pic.twitter.com/NbkPl0a8HV

— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 8, 2020

Biden's campaign also sprung into action, registering the domain "flywillvote.com" which takes people to information on how to cast their ballot.

Twitter users jumped on the bandwagon. One joked that the speed with which the Biden team responded suggested the bug was colluding with the Democrats.

"The fact that they had this ready so quickly shows that the Biden campaign was clearly coordinating with the fly," one wrote.

Another quipped that the fly—which sat patiently on Pence's head for two minutes and three seconds—"knew the two minute time limit."

"The fly knows," tweeted author Stephen King. "The fly needs a 14-day quarantine," wrote another.

fly mike pence
A fly briefly lands on head of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence during in the vice presidential debate against Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) at the University of Utah on October 7 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Some even posited that the fly that landed on the vice president in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Tuesday, was the very same insect which paid Hillary Clinton a visit during a 2016 town hall-style debate with now-President Donald Trump.

"The fly decides which party loses the election," wrote one.

The fly decides which party loses the election. pic.twitter.com/2ohLakqWIM

— Spider-Man (@Zekrom69) October 8, 2020

While Clinton didn't seem to notice the distraction, Barack Obama swatted a fly intruder away during the taping of a television interview in 2009.

Tweets referring to Beelzebub—variously translated as lord of the flies or prince of the devils—also made an appearance, with photos of Pence's head superimposed on cartoons of the demonic-looking fictional fly circulating online.

THE LORD OF THE FLIES, starring Mike Pence! Coming soon to a streaming platform near you.

— Stephen King (@StephenKing) October 8, 2020

Others picked up on the fact that Pence appeared to have a sore eye, with mentions of "pink eye"—another term for conjunctivitis—doing the rounds.

Some even questioned whether the puffy redness was a symptom of Covid-19, after nearly a dozen members of the president's inner circle fell ill with the virus in recent days.

"Does Mike Pence have a red eye like a Terminator or something?" wrote a viewer, referring to the red mark that was visible in the vice president's left eye.

Does Mike Pence have a red eye like a Terminator or something? He does normally act like a T-800 model. pic.twitter.com/jflSu52Qnh

— Jeff Blix (@JeffBlix) October 8, 2020

Comedian and writer Jordan Klepper tweeted: "Other than not answering any questions, having Covid pinkeye, having insects nest in his brain while he carried water for a clown, I'd say Pence did pretty well."