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Posted at 5:13 PM ET, 10/26/2010

Fear and sanity in D.C.: Level-headed fun for rally-goers

By Lavanya Ramanathan

No one is sure how many people will gather on the Mall for Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear on Saturday, but one thing is certain. Whether you hopped a Huff-mobile to get here or live a short Metro ride from the Mall, after the rally, you'll want to stay for the (totally nonpartisan) after-parties. From political comedy to club soirees to sanity-restoring yoga, it's all happening here.

Colbert fans will praise the Brickskeller's pre-rally Sanity vs. Fear Beer Tasting for the fact that there'll be drinks from two upstart American brewers, Mad Fox and Devils Backbone. Stewart disciples would probably poke fun of the tenuous-at-best, publicity-stunt-at-worst connection to the rally. But both sides would probably concede that this Friday bash sounds like a blast; Tom Dalldorf, publisher of Celebrator Beer News, hosts the tasting, then sticks around to play beer-inspired music with his Rolling Boil Blues Band.

Those here on Friday can also get some early laughs in with the Washington Improv Theater's "Moderate-ly Funny," a comedy show that will take shots at both sides. It's also a great chance for out-of-towners to see that we're not all stiff politicos without a sense of humor. There are performances at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.

If the intent of this rally is to restore sanity among the body politic, some people might need to find inner peace. To create this "moment of zen," on Saturday morning before the rally, two instructors from Flow Yoga will lead Yoga for Truthiness in the Classrooms. Proceeds will benefit, a charity favored by Stephen Colbert.

"Daily Show" co-creator and whip-smart comedian Lizz Winstead doesn't need any more boosters in these parts; her frequent Washington performances almost always sell out. But Stewart-Colbert rally-goers should take note of her shows after the rally; My State of the Union at Artisphere should be one of the hottest events of the night.

While it remains to be seen whether there will be enough Porta-Potties at the rally -- you might have to get Larry King to come up with a few more, Comedy Central -- there will be no shortage of drink and food specials afterward. Some local restaurants and shops have agreed to donate part of their sales to Among them: Pleasant Pops celebrates Colbert's southern heritage with the Stephen Colbert South Carolina Sweet Tea Pop. (Look for the truck near the Mall; follow Pleasant Pops on Twitter for the exact location.) Dolcezza offers a subtle commentary on the comedian's TV show persona with the special Colbert's Bananas and Nuts gelato.

The folks from New York record label Bastard Jazz host one rally after-party at Eighteenth Street Lounge. With jazz, DJs and reduced admission for staffers of "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report," the Bastard Jazz fete sounds like a fantastic way to let loose (in moderation, of course) after a hard day of reasonable debate.

UPDATE (10/29): Bars are continuing to jump on the truthiness bandwagon. The Passenger (which even looks political and important, what with D.C.'s stars and bars in its logo) will host an afterparty/happy hour from 3-7 p.m., raising money for Colbert's charity through the sales of awesome Colbert-themed cocktails such as "Tea Bagger" and "Fear Monger." And Town Tavern will also host a happy hour from 3-7 p.m. (a portion of proceeds will also go to DonorsChoose). You'll be pleased to know that "Glenn Beck Mind Erasers" will be priced for hard-working Americans, at a mere $5.

-- Lavanya Ramanathan and Brandon Weigel

By Lavanya Ramanathan  | October 26, 2010; 5:13 PM ET
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