“God hates nags”: Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert bring it…

…in a nice, nonconfrontational way. John Aravosis at Americablog says, based on his attendance at other D.C. rallies, that there could easily have been half a million on the Mall today for Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. I confess that I wasn’t sure whether more than a handful of rabid Daily Show/Colbert Report fans would turn up, but the Mall sure looked really packed on TV this afternoon.

It was brilliant theater… even more brilliant because it was acknowledged as theater by everyone involved, talent and audience alike, which cannot be said of some other rally-holding types and their audiences. And the theater itself was hilarious, for the most part. Colbert’s fear poem — read by Sam Waterston, “the most reasonable seeming man in America” — was so spot on in taking down the state of terror the mainstream media tries to induce in the American public, and often succeeds in achieving. Yusuf Islam (aka Cat Stevens) versus Ozzy Osbourne? Fantastic. Jon Stewart singing “I’d marry Uncle Sam if I could do so legally”? Pointed satire.
Kudos to Comedy Central for running the whole thing live, for three hours, with no commercial breaks. That was truly unexpected.

The only sour note, for me, was that Kid Rock/Sheryl Crow song toward the end, in which they crooned so prettily about how we can’t really do anything as individuals, but “the least that I can do is care.” Ugh. That sounded like a copout of a sop to people who are too busy to get involved politically… which was, I thought, only a joke about who the rally was aimed at. I guess Stewart and Colbert took that more seriously than I did. But caring doesn’t do any good unless you actually do something with that caring.

The crowd did show an astonishing level of intelligent reasonableness. I think this might be my favorite sign spotted (which I swiped from Americablog):

Though these next are great, too. Spotted on the Comedy Central broadcast:

Civil is sexy

I believe in a sanity clause

That second one is a Marx Brothers reference. The Guardian noted that another sign represented a Monty Python reference:

Strange mama grizzlies distributing endorsements to constitutionally challenged witches is no basis for a system of government

The Guardian found that one via photoblogger Mollie Hemingway, who also offered photos of signage such as:

I don’t want my country back. I want my country forward.

and this one:

Rally to restore grammar

And that one really is accurate: I don’t think I saw a single sign with a spelling or grammar mistake, which is almost entirely opposite of what we’ve seen at some other rallies recently.

Also cool: All proceeds from the rally, such as from merchandise sales, go to the Trust for the National Mall.

Did you watch? Did you actually attend? What did you think?

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