Comedy Central stars hold rallies on National Mall

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, respectively, are holding rallies on the National Mall in D.C. Oct. 30.
Stewart’s “Rally to Restore Sanity” and Colbert’s “March to Keep Fear Alive” were first announced during their satirical news shows on Comedy Central, to encourage moderates to take part in the political process, in retaliation to Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally held Aug. 8 at the Lincoln Memorial.

Colbert came onto Stewart’s show on Oct. 14 to ask him to merge their rallies because he had failed to acquire the right permits to hold his march on the D.C. Mall, resulting in the “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear.”

Oprah then announced via satellite that she was sending the whole audience of the Daily Show that night to the rally. Later, on The Colbert Report Colbert attempted to one-up Oprah by sending his whole audience to the rally as well. The rally gives students an opportunity to attend a political event surrounded by much publicity. Colbert and Stewart will incorporate politics and comedy into their rallies because Colbert acts as a extreme conservative and enemy to Stewart.

“I want to go to both the march and the rally,” junior Natalya Ares said. “It’s really funny that they have a fake rivalry. It will probably attract some more audience members due to the comical aspect [it will] bring.”

Colbert originally worked for Stewart on The Daily Show, but now has his own show where he plays a self-obsessed conservative. As part of his act, he and Stewart sometimes engage in fake arguments, one resulting in Colbert’s rally. When Stewart announced his rally Sept. 16, Colbert retaliated by organizing his own counter rally. However, with their background in comedy, some have questioned the legitimacy of these rallies.

“Keep in mind, though, this rally is more of a comedy; they’re both comedians,” social studies teacher Justin Ostry said.  “I would encourage students to go to any political rally to see the viewpoints and energy of a political rally.”

Although Stewart and Colbert are both comedians, they also have strong political views and are considered by some as credible news sources for information on current events and politics.

“I watch their shows every day,” junior Maggie Pelta-Pauls said. “That’s how I get my news.”
Stewart announced the rally on his show hoping to attract those with moderate political views.

Commonly known as the silent majority, these Americans do not normally get involved in politics and government, leaving the issues to be resolved by the people with extreme views.

The rally may help to get those normally indifferent to politics involved.

“I’m definitely excited for [the rally],” junior David Stark said. “People in politics have become really polarized. Politicians seem to think that everything is a black and white issue. I think these rallies are coming at an important time.”