Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert Visit Their Muse -- Washington : It's All Politics The Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert rally allows them to visit the source of much of their material. It's also one of the rare times when the germ idea that led a large group to come to DC was a joke instead of a serious cause.

Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert Visit Their Muse — Washington

The stage is set for Jon Stewart's Rally To Restore Sanity. Win McNamee/Getty Images hide caption

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Win McNamee/Getty Images

If there were ever a time for humor, the present moment of foreclosures and generalized economic angst surely qualifies.

And so it's maybe not a bad thing that two of the best-known comedians and political satirists of our era, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, are here in Washington for their Saturday Rally to Restore Sanity/Fear.

It's their response to Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally, though they disavow that.

In a way, the Comedy Central funnymen are visiting their muse, Washington, which provides their comedic mills with so much so grist.

And, fortunately for them, so much of what happens here is inherently funny or absurd, that the comedians really don't have to work too hard to refine out the humor from the 24/7 news cycle. The Salahis, anyone?

As NPR's David Folkenflik reported on All Things Considered, some are furrowing their brows as they try to puzzle out whether the rally is a good or bad idea, or what it might mean politically.

Meanwhile, left-of-center activists are using the gathering for last minute housekeeping, like signing up volunteers for get out the vote activities.

However it turns out, it will no doubt be different than other rallies that take place on the National Mall for a simple reason: most peaceable assemblies in the nation's capital start with serious people with serious leaders feeling the need to make the pilgrimage to Washington to petition their government.

This one started with two left-leaning comedians and a joke of an idea that caught fire and grew into Saturday's rally which, not incidentally, will also be a mega promotional opportunity for Comedy Central's biggest stars.

So long as they leave the crowd laughing, that's all that really matters in the end.