The Internet Wins: Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert Announce D.C. Rallies

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When the web calls, Stewart and Colbert answer.

After a lengthy, persistent Internet campaign started by users of the site Reddit that raised over $200,000 for charity, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have relented. They will host opposing rallies on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on October 30.

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The announcement started last night on The Daily Show, when Stewart announced his Rally to Restore Sanity, a call to the nation to “take it down a notch for America.” The name, of course, mocks Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor rally — so naturally, Stewart compared his choice of date to Beck’s choice of the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

“Now you’re probably saying to yourself, October 30, 2010, that rings a bell … the 36th anniversary of George Forman and Muhammad Ali’s Rumble in the Jungle in Zaire! Yes! But that’s not why the date is significant. I’ll tell you the significance of October 30th. You see, The Daily Show’s actually already going to be in Washington doing shows.”

As his segment drew to a close, Stewart provided some sample protest signs for the realistic, sane ralliers to carry. They included, “I disagree with you, but I’m pretty sure you’re not Hitler.”

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But naturally, Stephen Colbert wasn’t going to take that lying down. On The Colbert Report, he lashed out against Stewart’s call for reason, noting that “reason is just one letter away from treason.” So to counteract Stewart, he announced his own rally, “to fight Jon Stewart’s creeping reasonableness, [and] to restore truthiness.”

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Colbert’s rally, The March to Keep Fear Alive, will also occur on October 30 in Washington. Colbert, naturally, used fearmongering to get people to attend. “People should definitely book their hotel rooms now,” he said, “or their children might turn gay.”