Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert

Paul Morigi/

Sanity has been restored! Or fear has been instilled. Or, um, something happened today in Washington, D.C.

With election day just around the corner, Jon Stewart squared off with Stephen Colbert in front of thousands (or as Stewart ballparked it: "10 million people...a perfect demographic sampling of the American people") at the National Mall Saturday in their joint Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear.

The three-hour event was chock full of the requisite political humor, musical performances and a "Will This Help?" chant led by a Peter Pan-costumed John Oliver. Colbert, meanwhile, appeared in an Evel Knievel star-spangled jumpsuit and cape.

Yep, sounds perfectly sane to us...

After an intro by Stewart, the rally kicked off with a performance by The Roots accompanied by John Legend on "Dear God 2.0". T.I., whom Kid Rock joked couldn't attend the rally "for obvious reasons" (he's due to report to prison on Monday), later beamed in via satellite for a performance with Kid and Sheryl Crow.

But, even in the midst of the musical performances and the awarding of Medals of Reasonableness and Fear (one of Colbert's Fear Awards went to Anderson Cooper's "tight black T-shirt" for "fear-mongering in cable news"), the funny business took a serious turn right at its end. 

"I'm really happy you guys are here, even if none of us are quiet sure why we are here," Stewart said to masses.

"What exactly was this? This was not a rally to ridicule people of faith. Or people of activism or to look down our noses at the heartland or passionate argument or to suggest that times are not difficult and that we have nothing to fear. They are and we do. But we live now in hard times, not end times. And we can have animus and not be enemies.

"I feel strangely, calmly good, because the image of Americans that is reflected back to us by our political and media process is false," Stewart went on to say. "Sanity will always be in the eye of the beholder. To see you here today and the kind of people that you are, has restored mine."

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