Rally to Restore Sanity makes it to DC with Colbert, Jon Stewart

Anissa Ford's picture

The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear” was phenomenally funny. Broadcast through Comedy Central without commercial interruption, viewers could watch at least 150,000 participants gathered on the mall.

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert didn’t disappoint their fans. Before Stewart took the stage, The Roots and John Legend gave a performance. The guys from MythBusters then took the stage for an interesting experiment. They asked the crowd to jump and pound the ground on the count of three.

They wanted to know if the crowd of “about 20 million pounds of meat” could make a vibration in the earth similar to an earthquake in San Francisco. The end result was no, but the crowd’s seismic impact was 100 times stronger than a car crash at 35 miles an hour.

Stewart then took the stage and expressed his pleasure with the varied demographics of the crowd. He actually started a crowd count but was interrupted by Colbert who was calling for Stewart to “help” him. Colbert needed help escaping from his underground shaft.

Colbert was stuck underneath the stage surrounded by rocks. "Fear" had taken over Colbert and he needed coaxing and a capsule to get out of his cave and onto the stage.

The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or fear is a symbolic socio-political conversation

Once Colbert emerged from the stage in his “Fenix” rescue capsule, he sported a red white and blue stars and striped Captain America like superhero costume and the flag of Chile.

The rally was what it said it would be: Colbert represented “Team Fear” while Stewart represented the "Restoration of Sanity."

In fact, Stewart awarded four people with a sanity medal or the Medal of Reasonableness. The award was given to those who deserved special honors for displaying sanity and conciliatory behavior under stress. Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga won the first medal. Galarraga remained perfectly calm and matter-of-fact in interviews after an umpire made what many, including the fans, felt was a really bad call. Galarraga accepted his medal from his home in Venezuela.

Velma Hart received a second award. Hart had a heart to heart with President Obama at a town hall meeting. Despite their disagreements, they both remained civil during the exchange. Former pro-wrestler Mick Foley won the third. The final Medal of Reasonableness was awarded to another citizen, Jacob Isom. Isom’s YouTube fame grew when he reported snatching the Koran from the hands of someone who planned to burn it.

Ozzy Osbourne, the O'Jays, Mavis Staples, Yusef Islam, and Kareem Abdul-Jabar

Then Colbert doled out his Fear Award. Those two awards went to former Jet Blue flight attendant Steven Slater. Slater gave a videotaped apology for his behavior as did Teresa Giudice the New Jersey Housewife who shamed Bravo with her dinner party rage where she turned over a table in her own home. It was later discovered her husband was bankrupt, although Giudice blamed another housewife for her behavior in her Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear clip.

The biggest surprise of the day may have been Ozzy Ozbourne. The O’Jays, Law and Order’s Sam Waterston and Kareem Abdul-Jabar were also delightful guests welcomed warmly by the crowd. The O'Jays performed "Love Train." Ozzy played alongside Yusef Islam (Cat Stevens). Sheryl Crow and Kid Rock also played.

Overall, the afternoon was a great time. The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or fear was a symbolic conversation about political and social peacefulness. Although the acts were hilarious, the humor was done without pointing fingers at the political ideologies that likely sparked the rally in the first place.

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