Serial has quickly risen to the status of cultural touchstone for the podcasting generation as listeners across the Internet gather at the virtual water cooler to pass around theories, jokes, and opinions about every episode of Sarah Koenig and company’s true-crime investigation. Given how heavily big-box electronics retailer Best Buy features in the serialized story, it was perhaps inevitable that the company’s social media presence would want to comment on the show. And so Best Buy’s Twitter account got in on the Serial fun this week by tweeting a joke about the show, before being angrily reminded by the rest of the Internet that “the fun” here referred to the murder of an 18-year-old on the company’s property.
The joke (which, as most human beings with Internet connections and iPods know, references an apparently non-existent payphone referenced in police informant Jay’s testimony), was quickly pulled by the company after online outrage ensued. The company later tweeted an apology:
Best Buy isn’t the first company to try to tap into the zeitgeist-grabbing goodness. Cheerios made a joke (also since deleted) on its Twitter account on November 20, exploring the fresh “Serial sounds like cereal” comedic territory. Even Sesame Street has latched on to the most Dad-joke way possible to reference a 15-year-old murder investigation:
Of course, the difference between Sesame Street and Best Buy is that, as far as anyone knows, nobody was ever murdered on Sesame Street. As far as anyone knows.