Hello! We're in Washington D.C. at Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. There are nine billion people here! But you all have the best view, watching on your computers. Let's liveblog this thing.
11:59 — The best thing we've seen so far was a group of tourists holding pro-Prop 19 signs outside a Fox News camera truck. Damn teenagers! (They were middle-aged ladies.)
12:00 — Anyway, that's your pre-show, because it's starting. The Roots are performing! You know, the Roots, from Jimmy Fallon's show and previously, Philadelphia. Someone on stage has a huge tuba and another is rapping. Coming soon: politics.
12:02 — While we're waiting for the Roots to finish their tuba-rap song, another thing: the first signs we saw at this rally to restore sanity were from 9/11 Truthers.
12:08 — Now John Legend has joined the Roots to perform another song. This is a weird way to open the comedy rally, with an R&B concert. So let's take the time to say: Send in your photos and things you've overheard if you're here! Tips@gawker.com. It looks like we'll have plenty of time to get sidetracked with them.
12:14 — A third song from these guys, to open the rally. Did Colbert get stuck on the Jersey Turnpike or something? We'll see. We're going to step away and read War and Peace cover-to-cover briefly; maybe the program will have started by then.
12:26 — Whew, that was a crazy book, what with the war, and then the peace. Those Russian authors: bleak. Anyway... ah, yes, the Roots are still performing.
12:28 — A friendly tipster who actually knows anything about musical instruments writes: "i don't usually split hairs, but the large brass instrument being played is a sousaphone, not a tuba." The point is, it looks expensive.
12:29 — Traffic getting into this city, we hear from everybody, was about the worst traffic in history ever. Everyone got stuck on the highway and sat for hours. This could not have been a pleasant experience for all the hobos on Arianna Huffington's fleet of 10,000 buses.
12:37 — So presumably after this song, a to-be-determined comedian will come out for 17 minutes, to warm up the crowd, after the concert warm-up. Who will it be? HMM.
12:41 — Oh, it's the guys from Mythbusters. They want to discuss the "wave." How does the wave work in crowds? Ah, it goes front to back!
12:43 — That crowd wave was pretty cool-lookin', because GOOD GOD there are a lot of people here. Mythbusters dude says 150,000. No way it's that small. There are at least 500 times that amount of people here, right now.
12:44 — Another tipster writes that Maryland is still completely clogged on all of its highways for this satire rally. Why not just get out and hang in Baltimore? They have... stuff.
12:54 — Now they are making everyone jump at the same time to cause an earthquake. Capitol police nearby are going to probably freak out about terrorists.
12:57 — Results of the jump. It was 100 times more powerful than a car hitting a brick wall at 35 miles per hour. Contextualize on your own!
12:58 — Oh shit it's Jon Stewart, hooray!
12:59 — Jon Stewart wants a quartet of military guys to sing the National Anthem first. The liberal crowd murmurs.
1:01 — Really, so many people, and such a positive atmosphere. Jon Stewart has a lot to be proud of. It makes all of those stupid pundit columns of the last week criticizing Stewart for "blurring the line between comedy and political advocacy" even stupider.
1:04 — Stewart is talking about race. Is everyone here really really white, like at the teabagger rallies? No: Samantha Bee has found an Asian-American in the crowd.
1:06 — Colbert's voice is heard, speaking from his Fear Bunker, 2,000 feet below the stage on the Mall. (Didn't Dick Cheney actually have one of those?)
1:08 — Colbert rises to the stage in a Chilean miner rescue capsule! Remember the Chilean miners from earlier this month? We do, just barely. That was at least 10 years ago in Internet Years.
1:11 — Stephen Colbert has already threatened to murder the crowd with killer bees. We think that's how Glenn Beck's rally started, too, but he wasn't joking.
1:15 — Don Novello is out to deliver the "benediction" in the old comedy character of Father Guido Sarducci. This must be confusing a lot of young people. But that's okay! That's the point.
1:20 — Oh and yes: Are you, the reader, at one of the out-of-town satellite Rallies in your hometown? If so, can you take a comical picture for us to post? We'll reward you with an iPod, or at least a friendly thank-you email.
1:22 — Old Sam Waterston, from Law and Order and that '70s version of The Great Gatsby, is reading a terrifying comedy poem about crystal meth and disease and death.
1:25 — Whoa hey they got Cat Stevens to perform! Now that's a great surprise, there.
1:28 — Colbert interrupts the peace and brings out... Ozzy Osbourne. We didn't know that half of the people on this stage right now were still alive! What a world.
1:30 — We have a suspicion that these dueling performers will soon work out their differences and end on a collaborative note. Do you?
1:32 — Or they will just bring out soul group The O'Jays to sing "Love Train." We like this apparent theme of "old '70s comedians and musical acts weaved into comedic Manichean struggle, next to Congress."
1:48 — Like any good liveblogger, your blogger was just staring at the ground for like seven minutes. What happened? Oh that's Jeff Tweedy! With Mavis Staples. As someone who has only seen Wilco five times and memorized all the albums, this is fine, but can Colbert get Tweedy and pals to perform the rage-filled guitar assault of "Spiders"? No? Well, there'll always be another concert.
1:55 — The traditional "subtle jokes about Anderson Cooper's gayness" segment of every Washington rally.
1:57 — Tim Meadows? Yeah, they definitely put this show together four minutes before it started.
2:00 — And we have our first satellite rally report, from tipster "Sarah" at Mother's Pub in Ames, Iowa.
2:05 — Oh yes, the rally in Washington: Colbert and Stewart and Tweedy are doing some sort of ostensibly funny song? About how great America is. Hmm. Now they're giving another reasonableness medal to pro wrestler Mick Foley, who, unlike the other guests, only looks like his heyday was in the '70s.
2:09 — Colbert awards a fear medal to Mark Zuckerberg, who is obviously not here. Again, that's MARK ZUCKERBERG of FACEBOOK. Give us a good search placement now, Google, eh? Also: Justin Bieber Steve Jobs Tiger Woods Sex Gaga.
2:12 — Phew, Sheryl Crow and Kid Rock are performing, or, as we in the liveblogging business call it, "coffee break."
2:25 — Thanks to coffee, your liveblogger now can actually feel and voluntarily move his limbs. How were Sheryl Crow and Kid Rock? Oh, interesting.
2:30 — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is out now, trying to tell Colbert that Muslims are "okay." Which would've been true, before one Muslim tried to build a restaurant/rec center in lower Manhattan over the summer.
2:36 — Now the show is starting to resemble what we thought it would be: a three-hour live Daily Show. Meaning, they're showing montages of insane cable news shows! Endless, endless montages. Colbert wants to keep them playing, Stewart wants to turn them off. This is what I imagine the final level in The Daily Show vs. Colbert Report: The Video Game would be like.
2:42 — Think Jon Stewart's a bit jealous of Colbert today? It must be so much more fun for a comedian to play the crazy guy, flopping around on the ground and screaming while a big paper monster hangs over everything, than the straight guy. It's still hilarious, too, that the fucking U.S. Capitol is right behind them while this is happening.
2:44 — Stewart begins his wrap-up speech. We see this one gradually becoming very earnest!
2:47 — Re: 24-hour media and politics: "If we amplify everything, we hear nothing." Hey, that's kind of like Anthony Weiner's critique of The Daily Show. But hey, we're down for a collective action media-fixing solution when it comes!
2:52 — He just pointed at the Capitol and totally DISSED it, along with "cable television."
2:54 — You restored Jon Stewart's sanity, he says! That was the plan, all along. And now he's done. The gist: Be sane, and destroy cable news. We agree with 1.5 of those.
2:56 1,762-year-old Tony Bennett comes out to sing the goodbye song about America. Oh and now here come all the guests on stage together, as if to shoot a '70s PSA about... whatever the big issue was back then. (Blowing cigarette smoke into babies' faces?)
3:00 It's over! Or at least they cut off the stream in our press tent here. What did you think? Us, too.