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Fun, with sober message

Comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert entertained a huge throng of thousands Saturday at a “sanity” rally poking fun at the nation’s ill-tempered politics, its fear-mongers and doomsayers, just three days before the congressonal election.

world Updated: Nov 01, 2010 00:38 IST

Comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert entertained a huge throng of thousands Saturday at a “sanity” rally poking fun at the nation’s ill-tempered politics, its fear-mongers and doomsayers, just three days before the congressonal election.

Part comedy show, part pep talk, the rally drew together tens of thousands in a festive congregation of the goofy and the politically disenchanted. People carried signs merrily protesting the existence of protest signs. Some dressed like bananas, wizards, Martians and Uncle Sam. “We live now in hard times,” Stewart said at the end of the rally. “Not end times.”

Stewart, a satirist who makes his living skewering the famous on the cable TV came to play nice. He decried the "extensive effort it takes to hate" and declared "we can have animus and not be enemies."

Colbert, who poses as an ultraconservative on The Colbert Report, played the personification of fear at the rally. He arrived on stage in a capsule like a rescued Chilean miner, from a supposed underground bunker. He pretended to distrust all Muslims until his hero, basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a Muslim, came on stage.

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