At a National Press Club press conference, Stephen Colbert dropped his character and both fended off reporters’ efforts at suggesting political motives, with Jon Stewart saying it wasn’t his place to encourage the ralliers to vote.
Stewart, swatting repeatedly at the analysis that he was yet another entertainer who’d devoured his own press clippings and begun attempting to imbue his career with gravity, turned somber.
Asked how he landed on the sermon-style bit he delivered toward the end of the rally, Stewart told reporters, “I just, you know, stayed up late last night, and just wrote until I was done, and that was about it. I just wanted to speak a little bit from the heart.”
And he said the media analysis of his performance was a non-factor for him: “I couldn’t care -- don’t care. Just don’t care.”
Stewart said, “Our currency is not this town’s currency. We’re not running for anything. We don’t have a constituency. We do television shows for people who like them. And we just hope that people continue to like them so that Comedy Central can continue to sell beer to young people.”
Colbert called the crowd “it-getters,” and said it felt to him as if the crowd and performers were playing a game together.
Comedy Central spokesman Tony Fox said the crowd estimate was developed with organizers of April’s Earth Day concert, which drew roughly 200,000. Fox said that concert’s organizers told officials at Saturday’s rally that 250,000 was likely conservative.