Stewart and Colbert's DC Rally Staged for Comedy, Not Politics

Stewart: Rally "was a really good show for people that wanted it."

ByABC News
October 30, 2010, 12:55 PM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 30, 2010— -- Tens of thousands of people turned out on the National Mall for Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, but afterwards the Comedy Central hosts said they are entertainers and the rally was not meant to be political.

Despite their disclaimers, the rally was in many ways a rebuke to Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally held just blocks away two months ago. Dominated by skits on "sanity," racial diversity and religious tolerance, the comedians blasted the press and pundits as they handed out comedic "Fear" awards.

"This was a not a rally to ridicule people's faith or people's activism ... or suggest that times are not difficult or that we have nothing to fear. They are and we do. But we live in hard times, not end times. And we can have animus and not be enemies," the "Daily Show" host said.

"Sanity will always be and always has been in the eye of the beholder," Stewart said. "Seeing you here today and the kinds of people you are has restored mine."

Though the rally, taking place just days before the midterm elections,had been billed as an opportunity for people to air frustrations withAmerican politics and the media, Stewart had claimed that the event wasmeant as a satirical comedy event rather than a serious politicalrally.

But there were clear political leanings, with Stewart taking on lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle.

"We work together to get things done every damn day. The only place we don't is here," he said, pointing to Capitol Hill, "or on cable TV, but Americans don't live here or on cable TV. Where we live our values and principles form the foundation that sustains us while we get things done, not the barriers that prevent us from getting things done."