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Jon Stewart opened the Rally

Jon Stewart opened the Rally to Restore Sanity with a few digs at the way media…covers rallies.

“As I look out over here I see there are 10 million people,” Stewart said.

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Knowing full well the fixation on “color and size,” he dispatched correspondents Samantha Bee and Asif Manvi to actually get the crowd to count, one by one. (They got to four, but with a number of races mixed in).

Save for a reverential National Anthem from four US troops, much of the opener was a comic take on rally openers.

The benediction was led by Father Guido Sarducci, aka Don Novello, who many in the crowd may not remember from “Saturday Night Live,” and Sam Waterston, with a distinguished voice, read a poem from Stephen Colbert meant to inspire fear. Sample: “Someone is robbing your house. I can see through your blouse.”

The biggest crowd reaction came for the surprise appearance by the former Cat Stevens.

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