Fly on Mike Pence’s head sets social media abuzz during VP debate

An uninvited participant swooped into Wednesday night’s vice presidential debate, and it set social media abuzz.

For several minutes, a fly landed on Vice President Mike Pence’s hair, not moving as he answered questions about racial injustice and whether justice has been done in the death of Breonna Taylor.

Conversation about the fly shot up on Twitter’s trending list, where debate watchers discussed their distraction and inability to focus on Pence and California Sen. Kamala Harris’ answers. Some joked about the need to test the fly for the coronavirus, as it had skirted the plexiglass partitions separating the candidates and moderator.


A fly rests on the head of US Vice President Mike Pence as he takes notes during the vice presidential debate.

Celebrities, social media users and politicians posted pictures and videos of the insect. 

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden posted a photo of himself with a fly swatter writing “Pitch in $5 to help this campaign fly.”

Padma Lakshmi, host of Hulu’s “Brave Top Chef” posted a video on Twitter of the the moment the fly landed on the Vice President’s head. 

“Just a full minute of a fly on Pence's head,” wrote Lakshmi. 

“A fly died on mike pence’s head,” joked one Twitter user. 

Parody social media accounts were even created for the fly following the interaction. 

Wednesday night’s winged intruder wasn’t the first to take center stage at an election year debate. In 2016, a fly briefly landed between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s eyes during a town hall-style debate with now-President Donald Trump.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.