(DANVILLE, Ky.) — Big Bird has a new replacement, and his name is “Laughin’ Joe.”
Vice President Joe Biden’s chuckles, sighs and interruptions during the first and only vice presidential debate with Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., took off on the Internet during the debate Thursday.
Within minutes, a new @LaughinJoeBiden Twitter handle emerged and added hundreds of followers every minute.
By the end of the debate, more than 7,000 users followed the parody account, which tweeted out photos and animated gifs of Biden’s laugh, punctuated by “lol.”
Another account, @BidenSmirk, tweeted: “Face hurts…stuck in permanent #BidenSmirk for over an hour…”
At one point in the night, according to Signal at Yahoo, about 6 percent of tweets mentioned Biden’s laughing, which typically came during Ryan’s answers.
Republicans, on the other hand, wasted no time labeling Biden’s laughs as problematic.
Eric Fehrnstrom, an adviser to Mitt Romney, tweeted: “Ryan: serious, sober, steady. Biden: smirking, mocking, immature.”
The Republican National Committee uploaded a YouTube video labeling Biden’s laugh a “cackle.”
Mentions of Biden’s laughter garnered the most tweets for a single term — more than 500,000 mentions, according to Signal at Yahoo.
Though Republicans sought to portray the attention on Biden’s laughter as negative, social media analysis shows that the commentary — at least online — was split roughly evenly between positive and negative comments.
Even Biden’s teeth became part of the action. A new meme emerged admiring “Joe Biden’s white, pearly teeth.”
Despite the focus on Biden’s laughter, no single moment in this vice presidential debate rivaled the Twitter hysteria that was sparked by Big Bird during last week’s presidential debate, which got 170,000 tweets per minute.
But when Biden quipped, “Now you’re Jack Kennedy?” Twitter activity spiked to its highest level of the night, with more than 7,000 tweets per minute.
Overall, Twitter reported more than 3.5 million tweets for the vice presidential debate, while the first presidential debate last week almost broke Twitter with 10.3 million tweets.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio