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Recap: Rally to Restore Sanity

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Stewart and Colbert's Rally to Restore Sanity was a massive success! Depending on how one defines massive success! Over 200,000 people filled the National Mall in Washington D.C. yesterday. Stewart jokingly estimated nine billion people to be in attendance, thereby totally pummeling Glenn Beck's 80,000-person rally turnout over the summer.

The Roots appropriately opened the show (laid back enough for comedy, but also kind of participatory with important causes). Afterward, Jon Stewart thanked everyone for coming, then deferred to Samantha Bee and Aasif Mandvi who tried to point out all the mixed-race people in the audience, followed by light comedic bits which had to be broad and sweeping for an audience of 200,000 to digest (but still probably looked a little silly on TV).

Highlights:

  • An appearance by Father Guido Sarducci, whom very old people remember from early episodes of SNL, and only slightly old people remember from The Addams Family
  • Stephen Colbert's underground fear bunker
  • A real-life appearance/performance by Cat Stevens!
  • A poem recitation by Sam Waterston
  • Stewart's actually touching closing speech

Stewart started the closing of the show with some humble remarks ("So, what exactly was this?"; "Today, we saw what some may classify as comedy"). And yeah, parts of it did feel like Jon Stewart and Old Comic Friends Hearken Back to Old Days 2010. (I personally enjoyed that aspect.) His closing speech is below.