District of Columbia - Rally to Restore Sanity - Part 2

Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, Part 2

To support sanity, Jon Stewart invited up Yusuf/Cat Stevens to perform Peace Train. Yes, he is a controversial figure, but the song stands on its own merits and the mostly younger crowd had a decidedly liberal leaning to it that led to broad support for Cat. (Some people, especially conservatives, have argued that this was a political rally. I argue in return that based on all of the content I saw, even given that Jon and Stephen both lean to the left - though Stephen's character is a mock-conservative - the rally balanced praise and criticism of both sides and stayed mostly in the middle with apolitical content.)

In response, Stephen brought out Ozzy Osbourne for Crazy Train - truly an appropriate representation of fear or at least the lack of sanity. Click to watch the performance, which included dueling between the twin forces of sanity/peace and insanity/fear, until both Ozzy and Cat left the stage.

Mock-upset at what they had done, Jon and Stephen agreed on a compromise - the O'Jays and "Love Train." Jon convinced Stephen that while love is a sane virtue, it can also create quite a lot of fear. Think of the first time you tell someone you love that person, or attempting to propose, and you understand.

After some more dialogue, Jeff Tweedy and Mavis Staples take the stage. The Roots have been there since 11 and never leave till the closing scenes, playing backup music for notable singers as well as at least one interlude from the comedians.

Stephen hands out the first Fear Award to Keith Olbermann for his segment on the worst people in America. Since no one wanted to show up (or, likely, was ever invited) to claim fear awards, the award went to his tight black T-shirt. (Note: not actually his, but probably worth more after this routine.)

In response to Stephen's pants, Jon changed into a flag shirt to show his love for the country. Not to be outdone, Colbert complained that he had the idea for the shirt first and Jon was just copying his patriotism. (Again, little related to fear or sanity.) But in such patriotic wardrobe, there was little choice but to break out in song (with the Roots). The entire crowd, or the entirety within range of a TV and speakers, sang along with "Greatest Country in the World." Once Jon found the right key, because he was woefully between ranges, but that just added to the comedy. The way he handled that is the difference between us and performers.

This guy probably wasn't singing along, and probably didn't catch much of the Sanity Rally. Or if he was there for the Fear March, he's actually an airborne toxic alien jellyfish leading an invasion.

Countering the Fear Awards, Jon handed out Medals of Reasonableness, here to former WWF star Mick Foley for taking a public stand against bullying.

More comedy, more music. Here's Sheryl Crow.

Jon got behind a podium to start to wrap up events of the night. But with half an hour left in the schedule, something else had to happen. Colbert demanded to be empodiumed and thus began the longest and most bizarre dialogue of the night.

The first part of the segment touched on pervasive fear of Muslims among many Americans. Saying there is nothing to fear about Muslims or Islam itself, only extremists of any persuasion (which is a very sane argument), Jon introduced a famous Muslim that no true American can hate - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Hard to hide him behind metal poles.

Sensing he was losing the debate, Colbert brough out the Fear Puppet, and proclaimed that Jon was dead because the massive representation of fear killed him. This is why I say "most bizarre" dialogue. Not sure what the puppet's holding, but it didn't inspire fear.

John Oliver from the Daily Show appears to "revive" Jon and defeat the Fear Puppet. This allows Colbert to disappear so that Jon can deliver a true closing monologue.

Tony Bennett closes the show with "America the Beautiful."

The Roots come back out, followed by everyone else from the show, including Cat and Ozzy who supposedly ran away, including even the Mythbusters who weren't a part of the rally proper. Click on the penultimate photo to expand it and see the faces a little more clearly.

This is the massive amount of crowd attempting to leave the Mall simultaneously at 4th St. NW. This scene was repeated for several blocks back as well.

Once out, the crowd started somehow thinning immediately.

Back to Part 1 of the rally
Signs and other good stuff
Back to the Rally main page

Back to D.C. Non-Roads
Back to Non-Roads main page