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The Time 100 list of the most influential people features everyone from Hollywood stars like Michael B. Jordan, Angela Bassett and Steven Spielberg to scientists like Peter Davis and Britney Schmidt and more.
That variety was also reflected in the guests for Wednesday night’s Time 100 celebration in New York, where host Jennifer Coolidge acknowledged the range of people in the room.
After listing off a few of the honorees and their accomplishments, including Davis and Schmidt, who are researching a melting Antarctic glacier; project manager Edward Reynolds, working to deflect asteroids; nuclear engineer Andrea Kritcher; Spielberg; “new Elvis” Austin Butler; and Doja Cat, Coolidge said, “some of our work here is more urgent than others’.”
As for herself, Coolidge, who also made the Time 100 list, poked fun at her White Lotus fate saying she (spoiler alert) “drowned on TV. It was prestige TV, you know, but still.”
And she encouraged the scientists to team up with the celebrities in the room.
“I think you should all pair up: All the famous people in here, I want you to get a buddy, a nerdy buddy,” she said.
She suggested that Butler could play Reynolds in a movie and Kritcher could team up with Spielberg, proclaiming that the filmmaker “could explain [controlled fusion] in a very compelling way. Probably with an alien.”
“Britney and Peter, go shadow Doja Cat,” Coolidge continued. “She can sing on the glacier while you guys, like, twerk behind her. Just think of how many followers you could get!”
Earlier, the host joked that she “made a fake fart video with JLo and I got two million followers. I thought the fart was going to be too much and you know what? It wasn’t.”
“Meanwhile we’ve got Peter and Britney, they’re trying to save the planet,” she said. “Peter, I could barely find you on Google. You’re like the 15th Peter Davis that comes up. … You are the guys who should have followers.”
At the end of her monologue at the Jazz at Lincoln Center event, Coolidge marveled at what these people from different backgrounds could do together.
“There’s many different kinds of influence [and] intellect,” she said. “And with our powers combined, I think we can reach more people than ever. Even more than a fake fart.”
Time 100 honoree Steven Spielberg was presented with another accolade, the first ever Impact Award, given to him by two memorable former child stars from his films, Drew Barrymore and Ke Huy Quan.
“We haven’t seen each other in almost 40 years!” Quan said onstage beside Barrymore, who noted they “were friends as kids.” The two first met on the set of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Spielberg recalled.
“I have never been more proud in my working career than being able to find in 1981, six-year-old Drew Barrymore, and in early 1983, 11-year-old Ke,” Spielberg said. “I was so lucky to find them both, and they have not changed in all these years.”
Others who spoke at the gala included Time 100 honorees Angela Bassett and Michael B. Jordan, with the actress calling out her “Black Panther nephew.”
“Your auntie is so very proud of you,” she said.
During his time onstage, Jordan reflected on being an uncle to his sister’s kid, calling it “one of the titles I’m most proud of.”
“Being an uncle gave me a new perspective on work,” he said. “More importantly it showed me just how strong of a woman my sister is.”
Jordan dedicated his toast to his sister and “all of the mothers and chosen family members whose love and encouragement shaped us into the people we are today.”
At the end of his remarks at the gala, which was being filmed for an ABC special set to air Sunday night at 7 p.m., Jordan fumbled a bit and asked to go again. During the brief break, Tiffany Haddish, who introduced performer Lea Michele and could be heard throughout the gala cheering for each of the night’s honorees, yelled out to Jordan, to which he responded that he loved her too before flubbing his line again. “You jinxed me,” he playfully told Haddish before getting it right on the third try.
Honoree Natasha Lyonne used her time in the spotlight to raise awareness of the dangers of artificial intelligence, delivering part of her speech before revealing, “That whole cutie-pie toast was written by none other than your friend ChatGPT with a directive to write a funny speech for Time 100 in the tone of Natasha Lyonne.”
In all seriousness, the Poker Face star, who said she was so shocked when she found out about her Time 100 honor, she accidentally hung up the phone, said that AI didn’t have the creativity to pepper speeches with references to Jiminy Cricket, Tiny Tim (the musician, not the Dickens character) and quitting smoking, which she recently did.
“Here’s a toast to the preservation of digression and non sequiturs and everything from vulnerability to vices — i.e., our humanity — and to all the people in this room that are smart enough to get why that matters,” she said.
Before the gala, recently fired CNN anchor Don Lemon made a surprise appearance on the red carpet, where he shared with a number of outlets his plans to rest up this summer before embarking on his next chapter. CNN CEO Chris Licht was also spotted at the event and while he wasn’t seen interacting with Lemon, he was spotted chatting with Gayle King, the CBS Mornings co-host who is set to pair up with Charles Barkley for the forthcoming King Charles weekly show on CNN.
Other stars spotted at the gala included Amy Poehler, Kim Kardashian, Salma Hayek, Ali Wong, Aubrey Plaza, Judy Blume, Gina Prince-Bythewood, Padma Lakshmi and Mia and Ronan Farrow.
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