Only a few minutes after Mitt Romney announced, approximately half an hour into last night’s debate, that even though he liked Big Bird, he planned to cut funding to PBS, two twitter accounts were born.

At 6:39 p.m. Pacific time, @BlGBlRD tweeted:

WTF Mitt Romney... :(

— Big Bird (@BlGBlRD) October 4, 2012

At 6:41 p.m., @FiredBigbird (whose account, as of 11:50 a.m. is suspended, and now tweets as @BigBirdRises, which was also suspended), tweeted:

Somewhere Paul Ryan is kicking over trash cans in hopes of smoking out Oscar the Grouch

— Big Bird (@FiredBigBird) October 4, 2012

In the hours after the debate, both newly minted parody accounts have garnered tens of thousands of followers and, of course, mentions on CNN and other major news outlets. Neither has acknowledged the other. But they illustrate a new rule for watching major television events: The need for a novelty Twitter account can strike at any moment, so always be prepared.

At the Oscars, it was @AngiesRightLeg. At the conventions, thanks to Clint Eastwood, it was @InvisibleObama. But for the debate, the dueling Big Bird accounts have also inspired @FiredOscar, @FiredElmo, @FiredKermit, @Firedberternie, @FiredGrover, @FiredCount and @Closed_SesameSt (Also, a comment on the moderator’s performance: @SilentJimLehrer Note: as of Thursday afternoon, several of the Sesame Street parody accounts were suspended). The debate was only last night, but it’s safe to say that the race to create the cleverest fake Twitter account for the most-tweeted event in U.S. political history has already gotten out of hand.

Romney may have triumphed, but Sesame Workshop may be the real winner here: The ingenuous yellow character has become a galvanizing symbol of the importance of public television. As Craig Yoe, a former creative director of the Muppets, told the Post’s Michael Cavna: “It’s not easy being yellow or getting green for such fine causes like PBS, so they must be unequivocally supported by all people and politicians — I make a distinction — who truly love the red, white and blue.”