The third and final 2012 presidential debate kicked off at 9 p.m. EST last night, with Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama looking to score political points, or at least avoid kicking off the next "Big Bird" or "binders full of women" gigglefest among those of us that are incapable of keeping a straight face about matters of national importance. Undecided voters wondered: "Who should I vote for?" and also "Are we definitely not allowed to elect Jon Hamm for U.S. president?"
The early points went to the wardrobe liaisons for each candidate.
A sharp retort from Obama ("The 1980s are now calling and asking for their foreign policies back.") churned up Twitter into a fist sandwich of comebackery. Comedians across the country leapt into Chandler Bing-mode, crying out "Blank called, it wants your blank back!" from their couches in their sweater vests. Also, I misspelled "its."
Joke-tellers on the interwebs demonstrated their limited knowledge of foreign lands. Despite the dire consequences that a mess up in the Middle East would have for the U.S., the Tweeterati giggled to themselves at their own jokes.
Mitt Romney took the scenic route to the answer on a question about military spending, detouring down Folksy Lane and along Other Stump Speech Pieces Avenue, to discuss his love of teachers and teaching and learning and the smarteryness of America.
The moderator steered the candidates back on topic. Sort of. Comedian Kristin Schaal threw down with a zinger! The word "zinger," at this point in the debate, wasn't trending at all. #notlikethegoodolddays
Demitri Martin wondered where he could get a hotdog.
The conversation moved onto the nuclear threat posed by Iran, and complicated by the U.S. relationship with Israel and pressure for U.S. action from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Aziz Ansari and myself offered thoughtful commentary on the geopolitical conversation.
Comedians at this point in the debate were clearly fatigued, having lobbed their best sausage and Old Navy jokes at the thankless vacuum that is Twitter. An internet meme about the role of horses and bayonets in the U.S. military shot into the stratosphere on the rocket boosters of an Obama zinger, then burned up in the atmosphere and fizzed back to Earth as a crumpled lump of spent coal just minutes later. Jokes about Battleship the game also petered out as people across the nation began to ask themselves: "Should I have a second second bowl of Chunky Monkey?"
Those who were still Tweeting, and not just watching videos of German's dive-bombing "into" a frozen swimming pool, sighed as they realized that the debate season had again passed us by, without either candidate appearing to understand how a debate is supposed to work. Meanwhile, my dog dragged his butt along the polished wood floor, and I realized it was time for bed. SparkLife out!
What was the best Tweet you saw?