Time 100 Gala: Seth Meyers Roasts Honorees, Pharrell Williams Makes Influential Figures Dance
Some of the most influential people in the world, at least according to Time magazine, gathered at the Time Warner Center in New York on Tuesday night to celebrate the 2014 edition of the magazine's annual Time 100 list.
Current, past and (potentially) future honorees mingled over cocktails before being roasted by 2014 honoree Seth Meyers, who was modest about his place on the list.
"I'm aware that at best I'm at mid-to-high 90s on the list," he said.
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Still, he did appreciate the bragging rights that came with the honor. Meyers' entry was written by his friend Amy Poehler, who made the list a few years ago.
"I am so honored and happy to have made the list this year so that she could finally stop lording that over me," the Late Night host said.
And he encouraged other honorees to bask in the extended congratulations they would receive from their friends.
"For all of you who made the Time 100, it is so great because you get a lot of texts from your friends who read Time, and then like a month from now you get texts from all of your friends who are at the dentist," Meyers joked.
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Meyers also poked fun at specific honorees, noting that both Pope Francis and Pharrell Williams have a fondness for elaborate hats, and pointing out that "between President Obama and Jeff Bezos, we have a record-setting two people who control a large army of drones."
He also took a shot at the service some guests would likely use to get home: Uber. "For those of you who don't know, Uber is an app that marries the convenience of a cab ride with the price of a small yacht," Meyers said.
Meyers' jokes were well received but when one about Kim Jong Un fell flat, he quipped, "These are also the jokes I'm going to do at the Emmys," adding that he would talk to audience members later about which ones to keep.
He also noted that influence is fleeting, addressing past honorees whose power, he indicated, has diminished now that they're no longer on the list.
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"Many Time 100 honorees from years past are with us this evening, and I would just like to say to all of those who came before me, I am so sorry that you are no longer influential," Meyers joked. "But if there's anything I can do for any of you -- Matt Lauer, Rupert Murdoch, Martha Stewart -- do not hesitate to ask me. I would love to do a favor. Please. I am so influential now and none of you are."
Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, who was the first to take the stage, was also thinking about the past with his eye on the future, using his speech to promote next month's spinoff of Time Inc.
"Time Inc. is going back out, returning to its roots and recovering what it began 91 years ago as the world's leading publishing and journalism company," Bewkes said. "And I think -- and I know all of my brothers and sisters from Time Incorporated who are here tonight share this view -- we know this company is going to be better able to serve its audiences, better able to serve its partners, when it is on its own than it could do as part of a larger company that's mostly focused on film and television. The glory days, the American century of journalism is back."
In a separate speech, Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp jokingly boasted that the stand-alone publishing company would become so successful, "one day we'll buy Time Warner."
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Later, various honorees paid tribute to the people who influence them and a three-song performance from Williams, including "Get Lucky" and the ubiquitous "Happy," had the assembled crowd of stars, moguls, politicians, activists and authors dancing.
Earlier, The Fault in Our Stars author and 2014 honoree John Green expressed his excitement about the upcoming film version of his novel, starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort.
Green, who said he'd seen the movie twice and loves it, thinks other fans of the novel will also be fond of the film version, calling it "a very faithful adaptation."
"I think the movie is going to be such a great experience for [fans of the book], I hope," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "I really think they're going to be happy, and I think they're going to enjoy it as much as I did."
Green also said he was excited to be turning his novel Paper Towns into a movie with many of the same people from the Fault in Our Stars adaptation, including writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber.
"I said to someone before that happened, 'I never wanna make another movie unless it's with the same exact people,' and they were like, 'Oh, let's just do that then,' and it's been great," he said, adding that Neustadter and Weber were just starting to work on the Paper Towns script.
Harvey Weinstein also told THR why The Weinstein Co.'s boutique division Radius had to acquire Keep on Keepin' On from the Tribeca Film Festival, saying that the emotional, beautiful film made him cry. He added that Radius might have its eye on something else from the festival but The Weinstein Co. itself didn't.
Meanwhile, Time 100 honoree Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, who runs a school in Uganda for women and girls who were kidnapped and sexually assaulted, told THR that she never expected she'd ever be in Time magazine and hoped that her inclusion on the list would allow people to learn about the plight of the children and young women she's helping at the Saint Monica Girls' Tailoring Center.
Sister Rosemary is also the subject of a book and a Forest Whitaker-narrated documentary film, both entitled Sewing Hope, which she hopes will also inform people about what she's doing.
"These children have gone through a lot of pain but the pain has not defined them," Sister Rosemary told THR. "They have gone triumphantly above this pain. These children have been fighting back the war … with machines and needles.… They are the winners of this battle in Northern Uganda because they are working with dignity; they are working with their hands."
Elsewhere, during the cocktail reception, Bewkes was spotted chatting with Katie Couric and others and new Time Inc. board member Sir Howard Stringer held court. Others in attendance at Tuesday night's gala included Barbara Walters, Charlie Rose, Gayle King, Norah O'Donnell, Chris Matthews, Ronan Farrow, Alfonso Cuaron, Megan Ellison, Jenji Kohan, Laverne Cox and Carrie Underwood, who performed at the end of the night.