In response to Fox News host Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally, which took place on Aug. 28, Comedy Central host Jon Stewart announced plans for his own Washington, D.C., gathering.
Called the "Rally to Restore Sanity," Stewart's event seeks to poke fun at what "The Daily Show" emcee considers Beck's bombastic grandstanding, while also attempting to return the American political discourse to a more reasoned, less vitriolic volume.
Here's how Stewart describes what kind of people he hopes will attend his march on Oct. 30.
We're looking for the people who think shouting is annoying, counterproductive and terrible for your throat; who feel that the loudest voices shouldn't be the only ones that get heard; and who believe that the only time it's appropriate to draw a Hitler mustache on someone is when that person is actually Hitler. Or Charlie Chaplin in certain roles.
But a funny thing happened to what started out as, with tongue in cheek, Stewart continued to describe what he has termed his "million moderate march": People started announcing that they actually plan to show up to it.
Since Stewart announced the event just three days ago on "The Daily Show" more than 100,000 people have gone to the march's Facebook page and indicated that they will attend. Meanwhile, fellow Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert has heard back from 40,000 fans who say they'll be at the "March to Keep Fear Alive," which will also be held on the Washington Mall on Oct. 30 and will act as a kind of comedic flip-side to Stewart's.
Estimates for the number of people who turned out for Beck's "Restoring Honor" were put at around 100,000 by most news organizations, and even higher by the organizers.
Certainly, an RSVP on Facebook is a far cry from an actual appearance in D.C., but it seems that support of the moderation Stewart is trumpeting may be catching. Fans of Stewart's in Seattle will hold their own march that is meant to emulate the principles outlined for the "Rally to Restore Sanity," The Seattle Weekly reports.