Big Bird in the Presidential Debate
However, the people being considered for the title of most important character were not the presidential candidates. Instead, Big Bird and moderator Jim Lehrer were the most talked about figures of the night.
After Republican Mitt Romney stated his intent to cut funding to PBS, Twitter users rapidly posted in defense of their favorite “Sesame Street” characters. Although Romney did say, “I like PBS, I love Big Bird,” a doctored photo of Big Bird holding a "Will Work for Food" sign from circulated through the Twittersphere at lightning speed and, according to Twitter, users were posting 17,000 tweets per minute mentioning Big Bird.
A spoof Twitter account, @firedbigbird, garned thousands of followers shortly after Romney's remarks.
Moderator Jim Lehrer also received an flood of attention, with online users criticizing his performance as too lenient on the candidates who they claimed were trying to speak outside their allotted time constraints.
Among the comments made about Lehrer were comparisons to the replacement referees who recently stirred up controversy during the strike by the National Football League referees.
"Poor Jim" trended worldwide, and according to the Associated Press, one Reddit user claimed Lehrer had been "steamrolled" by the candidates.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.