‘Get that fly to Walter Reed’: Late-night TV lampoons the VP debate


The jokes were flying Wednesday on the late-night TV circuit after the vice presidential debate between Sen. Kamala Harris, Vice President Mike Pence and Vice President Mike Pence’s fly.

“Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” and “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” all swarmed the cultural moment as the candidates tackled important topics, Pence appeared to have eye issues and Harris continued to remind Pence that she was speaking.

But nothing sparked more buzz than the tiny, scene-stealing bug that decided to land on Pence’s head just as the vice president began to deny the effects of systemic racism in the United States.


“Oh my God — look at his hair!” Colbert exclaimed. “He’s so full of crap, he’s attracting flies. ... God bless you, fly. I guess the plexiglass wasn’t high enough. But listen, all jokes aside, thoughts and prayers to that fly’s family. It’s gotta quarantine for two weeks now. We gotta get that fly to Walter Reed.”

“The big star of the debate tonight was a fly that landed quite symbolically on the vice president’s head,” Kimmel said. “I assume the fly thought he was a light bulb and was attracted to it. It stayed on his head for two minutes and three seconds. Technically that fly is now his running mate. Mike Pence’s fly just became the most popular Halloween costume of 2020.”

Noah didn’t tape his program live after the debate, but that didn’t stop the “Daily Show” Twitter team from reacting to America’s favorite insect and joking about Googling, “are flies landing on you a symptom of coronavirus no reason just curious.”

“Pence apologizing to Mother right now for getting to 3rd base with the fly,” read one tweet. (That fly, by the way, spawned a handful of its own Twitter accounts with thousands of followers already.)

Another major point of discussion was the COVID-19 crisis, which Pence misleadingly compared to the swine flu pandemic of 2009 as Harris challenged the Trump administration’s response to this year’s public health emergency.


“Ah, yes, the swine flu pandemic of 2009,” Colbert quipped. “We’ll remember those days when the economy shut down for a year, we couldn’t hug our grandparents for months and Barack Obama would not shut up about the MyPillow guy.”

“I wish Kamala would have started the debate by congratulating Mike Pence on his great work as leader of the COVID task force and then just laughed like a maniac for 90 minutes,” Kimmel joked.

During the vice presidential debate Wednesday, many were fixated not on the arguments — but on Mike Pence’s left eye and a fly in his hair.

Oct. 7, 2020