Of all the memes and internet inside jokes spawned by the long-gestating presidential election on Nov. 6, the liveliest one involves New York Times statistical prognosticator Nate Silver — arguably the campaign's most celebrated and controversial figure not named Barack or Mitt. Silver got a lot of flak from Mitt Romney supporters and more gut-based political commentators, but he correctly predicted how all 50 states would vote, and came within a hair of calling the popular vote. So on Nov. 7, after the eerie accuracy of Silver's data model became clear — and Silver informed his readers that he was "going to get some sleep and grab a beer" — campaign consultant Dan Levitan mocked Silver's seeming compulsion to issue forecasts, tweeting: "Drunk Nate Silver is riding the subway, telling strangers the day they will die." Twitter took over from there:
"Drunk Nate Silver, updating the Wikipedia page of the 8 year-old who'll win the 2052 election"
– Jack Bohrer
"Drunk Nate Silver crashing weddings, yelling out the number of years until divorce"
– Ben Keegan
"Drunk Nate Silver stumbles over to people singing, 'Hey, I just met you. And this is crazy. But isn't this your number?'"
– Kimera Chetty
"Drunk Nate Silver sends you a text at 2:00 am that says 'It's 9:32 am.' And that's when you read it."
"Drunk Nate Silver looking at the Mayan calendar, shaking his head calmly, X'ing out Dec 21 and circling Dec 31"
– Aaron Brazell
"Drunk Nate Silver points at the night sky. The star he is pointing at flickers then dies."
– Alan Maguire
"Drunk Nate Silver counting out exactly five hundred and thirty-eight french fries at McDonalds, then slowly dipping 206 of them in ketchup"
– Ben Jackson
"Drunk Nate Silver changes a broken light bulb and mutters to himself, 'one person'"
– Jeff Tiedrich
"Drunk Nate Silver wanders supermarket aisles with a sharpie, changing expiration dates"
– Dave Levitan
"Drunk Nate Silver waits 20 minutes for the G train, nods silently when it arrives, walks out of the station"
– Josh Fruhlinger
"Drunk Diane Sawyer points at drunk Nate Silver. 'YOUUUUU' she says. 'Youuuuuuu.' Drunk Nate Silver giggles. Drunk Diane Sawyer giggles."
– Rusty Foster
"Drunk Nate Silver predicted 'Drunk Nate Silver' would become a meme two weeks ago"
– Rubina Madan Fillion
"Drunk Nate Silver knows exactly how long Drunk Nate Silver meme will be funny"
– Kaitlyn Dowling
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The hilarious hypocrisy of Republicans complaining about the imperial presidency
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- 10 things you need to know today: November 26, 2014
- After Ferguson: Stop deferring to the cops
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- In defense of Gwyneth Paltrow
- Republicans love this new health care plan. Too bad it's basically a tax cut for the rich.
Subscribe to the Week