Big Bird responds to presidential debate

Big Bird, one of the surprise stars of the first presidential debate, on Thursday revealed that he missed the whole thing.

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"Sesame Street," having a little fun with Big Bird's role in the previous evening's debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney, sent a tweet from the big yellow puppet the next morning that revealed he typically goes to bed early.

The "Sesame Street" team followed up with a tweet reminding their fans that they do not take a position on political elections.

Big Bird earned a shout-out from Romney during the debate when the GOP presidential nominee pledged that as president he would eliminate the federal subsidy to PBS, home of the beloved children's show.

“I like PBS; I love Big Bird. Actually like you, too,” Romney said to debate moderator Jim Lehrer, the host of PBS's "NewsHour." “But I'm not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for."

The Big Bird mention quickly became a popular moment of the debate, prompting conversation on Twitter and Facebook and launching high numbers of Google search queries. The morning after the event, Big Bird and PBS are still trending nationwide on Twitter, where concern for his fate prompted creation of multiple accounts not associated with PBS or Sesame Workshop, including @FiredBigBird, which already has more than 27,000 followers.

Sherrie Westin, the executive vice president and chief marketing officer for the nonprofit organization behind "Sesame Street," told CNN's "Starting Point" on Thursday that Sesame Workshop receives very little funding from PBS. She explained that the nonprofit raises its funding through licensed products and philanthropic sponsorship.

"You can debate whether or not there should be funding of public broadcasting," she said. "But when they always try to tout out Big Bird, and say we’re going to kill Big Bird — that is actually misleading, because Sesame Street will be here.”