Saturday, October 30, 2010
Stewart, Colbert preside over lighthearted, star-studded rally - CNN.com
Washington (CNN) -- Assisted by a colorful cast of characters, Comedy Central funnymen Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert held a raucous rally on the National Mall Saturday in typical fashion before a cheering throng of supporters.
Amidst all the hilarity, however, the "Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear" carried a message about Americans turning their backs on hate and working together to make the world a better place.
Stewart and Colbert staged a mock battle, with Stewart supporting peace and sanity and Colbert promoting fear before a crowd that stretched nearly the length of the mall, most of the distance between the Capitol and the Washington Monument.
During the rally's opening, Colbert appeared on a video screen, saying he was trapped in his "fear bunker" and worried no one had shown up. Drawn by cheers, however, Colbert ascended to the stage in a device like that used to bring up the trapped Chilean miners earlier this month, wearing a superhero costume.
Former "Saturday Night Live" character Father Guido Sarducci -- played by comedian Don Novello -- provided a benediction, thanking God for "making it so easy to find parking spaces." And actor Sam Waterston of "Law and Order" fame read a poem entitled "Are You Sure?" about fears including "funnel clouds and hail/Anthrax in the mail ... someone's robbing your house/I can see through your blouse/Your mother was right, you chose the wrong spouse."
Cat Stevens, who now goes by Yusuf Islam, sang his song "Peace Train" as part of a duel with Ozzy Osbourne singing "Crazy Train." Stewart stopped Osbourne, rooting for Islam, as Colbert urged Osbourne on. The two compromised on the O'Jays, who showed up to sing their hit "Love Train."
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and "Star Wars" robot R2-D2 provided a lesson in tolerance and against stereotyping. "We're all on the same team," said Abdul-Jabbar, referencing Colbert and Stewart's discussion about Muslims.