5. Lincoln vs. Douglas, 1858
No moderator, no interruptions, no cameras. Just nine separate three-hour debates that drew crowds from across Illinois to hear the would-be senators spit fire. (For real: each candidate spoke for an hour, then each got 90 minutes to rebut the other, then each got a 30-minute closer.) We don’t even know if a fly can live 27 hours, let alone get from Springfield to Chicago, but if it could catch a ride in Stephen Douglas’ neck folds or something? LEGEND.
4. Obama vs. McCain, 2008
Granted, a debate’s not a speech, but damned if listening to 44 wax extemporaneous wouldn’t have inspired that fly to dive-bomb into John McCain’s eye, just to juice the odds a bit.
3. Jay-Z vs. Nas, eternal
The most heated debate in America didn’t go down at lecterns in an auditorium somewhere—it happened in pre-Covid-19 barbershops across New York on a weekly basis. And if our winged friend stopped in at any of them, we know who it’d go for: the MC who raps for listeners, bluntheads, flies, ladies, and prisoners.
2. Nixon vs. Kennedy, 1960
The first ever live-televised presidential debate arguably swung the election Kennedy’s way when viewers saw Nixon looking haggard (the result of camera-savvy JFK opting for makeup) — but for an enterprising fly, it could’ve been a springboard to superstardom. Instead, this. You think its descendants are gonna care that Gramps inspired a couple of parody Twitter accounts?
1. Cam’ron and Damon Dash vs. Bill O’Reilly, 2003
No one brought it to the Fox News anchor quite like Harlem’s Finest. From “U maaaad!” to “I got dirt on you, doggie,” the Pink Panther and Dame showed how to come correct on a bully’s playground—and we have a feeling that for an interloping insect, the studio would’ve smelled a lot better than whatever’s hovering around Mike Pence’s head. (We’re thinking BENGAY, baby powder, and shame.)