On Sept. 29, the first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden left much to be said — and desired. The evening's moderator, journalist Chris Wallace, hadn't intended to fact-check the evening, and he certainly followed through on that promise. The two candidates sidestepped questions, interrupted each other ad nauseam, and tried to deliver zingers. Fortunately, when they missed, viewers turned to social media to narrate and annotate the night, and to fill in some gaps.
Throughout the 90 minutes of relative mayhem, viewers flocked to Twitter. In response to Trump's near-constant interruptions, Biden said to Wallace, "It's hard to get any word in with this clown." Susan Orlean, the bestselling author and late-night Twitter savant, responded to the line: "The word 'clown' is so f*cking delicious." Below, find Orlean's tweet and others, which added much-needed levity or context to the evening.
Ziwe Fumudoh, comedian
Ziwe, who hosts wonderfully uncomfortable Instagram Live interviews, had previously offered to moderate.
Susan Orlean, author
Orlean, the writer, finds a favorite word.
Hillary Clinton, good sport
President Trump's former sparring partner watches from the sidelines.
Jemele Hill, journalist
After Trump refused to disavow white supremacy, Hill grabbed a GIF for the moment.
Ava DuVernay, filmmaker
DuVernay also responded to Trump's comment about the Proud Boys.
R. Eric Thomas, humor writer
ELLE.com's columnist riffs on an argument between Trump and Biden about suburbia.
Maggie Rogers, musician
The Maine singer-songwriter writes what we're all feeling.
Patton Oswalt, actor and comedian
Oswalt offers a seriously helpful suggestion.
Missy Elliott, musician
Elliot finds a perfect GIF for the national mood.
The Daily Show
A theme emerges for GIF of the evening.
Josh Gad, actor
Gad closes out the night with purpose.
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