Here's How Many Seconds That Fly Was On Mike Pence's Head

Everyone is talking about the 2020 vice presidential debate. California Sen. Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence traded barbs back and forth, and USA Today Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page did her best to moderate the debate, but there was one performance that earned the best reviews: that of the fly roosted in the vice president's hair for a good bit of the debate's final third.

Social media erupted with jokes, with Joe Biden tweeting out a joke that doubled as a fundraising ploy, writing, "Pitch in $5 to help this campaign fly," alongside a photo of him with a fly swatter. Meanwhile, Republican Senator Rand Paul quipped that the "deep state planted a bug" on Pence. While the fly brought some levity to an otherwise contentious debate (and election ... and year), people also had questions for the fly. Who is it? Where did it come from? And just how long did it make Mike Pence's silver 'do its home?

The fly followed the rules of the debate

As is the case with so much in 2020, nothing is clear cut — not even the amount of time a fly was on television. Bay Area journalist Ian Cull clocked the fly on-screen for two minutes and three seconds, while the New York Post reported its screen time at two minutes and nine seconds (this writer counted two minutes and two seconds).

What is clear, however, is that the fly on stage has demonstrated a better ability to obey the rules of the debate, which specify two minutes to speak, per person — better than many of the candidates we have seen over the course of this campaign. It didn't interrupt anyone, either, as Vice President Mike Pence continued to talk through the remainder of his time, and then some, upon the fly's entrance. The fly might not have been the hero America anticipated from the October 2020 vice presidential debate, but its the one we got.