Restoring America’s Awesomeness (Through Truthiness)

Say what you will about Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, but they are perhaps the smartest journalists working in comedy, or the most soulful comedians working in journalism. Yes, they are wickedly funny. Yes, they make sometimes jokes best appreciated by a fourteen year-old boy. But Jesus H. Christ, some days they are all that keeps me from sticking my head in the oven.

There are many, many reasons to sport a Stewart/Colbert 2012 bumper sticker. My favorite moments include:

  • Jon Stewart channeling America’s fear, pain, and still reminding us of our unquashable optimism on September 20, 2001.


  • Stephen Colbert speaking truth to power, the president, and the White House press corps.


  • Jon Stewart calling out Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson on the ill-fated “Crossroads.”


  • Stephen Colbert taking Debra Dickerson - and all others who thought candidate Obama might not be black enough (wow. who knew we’d long for those days?) –down a peg.


  • Jon Stewart single-handedly ending Betsy McCaughey’s career as a “death panel” fear-monger.


  • Stephen Colbert, in a desert cammo suit and tie, shaving his head in solidarity with our troops in Iraq.


I could go on and on and on. But.

I now have an all-time Stewart/Colbert moment.

Last week, after much hype, and a plucky fan-boy facebook page, the satiric geniuses announced plans to host ….. a march on Washington.


How flippin’ awesome is that?!?!?!?! (Immeasurably awesome. That’s how.)

Why? Let me count the ways:

  1. They will attract a sizeable crowd. And the crowd will be energetic, replete with sardonic signs, and possibly drunk. They will also be more racially diverse, and younger, than any TEA Party crowd. Will they be bigger than the 9/12 rally, or Glenn Beck’s self-love fest to “Restore America’s Honor”? Well, no one will know for sure. Partially because there is no official crowd estimate of those rallies, and because Glenn Beck and Michele Bachmann can’t count to twenty-one while clothed. (“Don’t tell me there were less than a million people here!” “No, 3 million!” No, dear. Eleventy brazillion people. At least. Or ….. maybe just 80 to 90 thousand. But who’s counting?) So Stewbert can make up any number they want. (I vote for eleventy brazillion and one).
  2. As satire, Stewbert will get to play their comedy central personas to the hilt. Stewart will, I’m sure, bring his chalkboard and suede elbow-patched blazer for a hilarious parody of Glenn Beck. Colbert will undoubtedly out-Fox the Fox network in truthy lies told with phony emotion. In any case, any Fox-funded political rally to follow this one, will be anti-climactic, at best. There is no power like that of the gifted satirist, and Stewbert are (is?) perhaps the best of a generation. Once you’ve been pantsed by the jester laureates, you’ve jumped the shark.
  3. Even though Stewbert will swear this in a non-political event (I don’t expect guest appearances from actual politicians or pundits), but rather a parody of a non-political political event, this will have a “get out the vote” effect. The rally is happening 3 days before the midterms. It just might wake up the disengaged voters on the left. If this event can show America that the Emperor Has No Clothes (er, the TEA Party has no solutions), sanity might just be restored before the GOP fringe takes over congress.

Lest you think I’m a deranged fan who really, really needs to get out of their parents’ basement and kiss a girl, I’m not alone in my admiration:


Clearly, the boys from Comedy Central are a sleeper cell, at least in the minds of the truly crazy:


Let’s hope, Glenn!

Stewart and Colbert really, really don’t care how anyone votes on November 2. They just want you to think about who you’re voting for and why. Stewbert aren’t partisan hacks. (THe left, from Bill Clinton to Barak Obama, have been on the receiving end of the jester scepter). They don’t blindly worship Democrats, nor blindly condemn Republicans. They ruthlessly mock stupidity and hypocrisy. Sadly, there’s plenty of that to go round on both sides of the aisle.

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are satirists of the highest order, as soulful as they are smart; and for much of the last decade, they have been the keepers of America’s sanity. Whether the Rally to Restore Sanity/Keep Fear Alive attracts 50,000 or 500,000 attendees, whether it changes the midterm election results, or simply hastens sunset the misguided TEA Bagger experiment, it will have a positive impact on political discourse in this country. And for that, they deserve a medal.