Tina Fey, John Mulaney, Jonas Brothers Celebrate "#CuteWhiteBoyFall" at Natural History Museum Gala

Getty Images
Tina Fey and the Jonas Brothers at Thursday night's gala.

'SNL' stars, who turned out en masse for the event co-chaired by show creator Lorne Michaels, shared why it was important for them to support the education charity evening.

On an uncharacteristically warm New York November night, hundreds of people paid a visit to the American Museum of Natural History for its annual gala. Tina Fey and Jeff Richmond, Lorne and Alice Michaels and Jodie and John Eastman chair the museum's biggest event, which raises money for its educational programs.

Each year, Saturday Night Live castmembers flood the gala to support education and, of course, SNL creator Michaels and celebrated alum Fey. "I really support what we're all here for," Beck Bennett told The Hollywood Reporter on the red carpet. "It's a great cause. It's just important to come out and make it a fun event and make it something that people enjoy coming to every year." Bennett added that his favorite parts of the night are the appetizers and the giant blue whale in the museum's Milstein Hall of Ocean Life, where the main event takes place.

As for why Fey decided to co-chair the event, she told THR, "Something Lorne Michaels said for a long time, when his kids were young, 'If you live in New York, your kids grow up coming here, and it's a big part of your life.' My kids were young, and he sort of handed it over to me to see if I would help out." Fey said she was calling this year's gala "#CuteWhiteBoyFall" because John Mulaney hosted and the Jonas Brothers performed — for both of which, attendees were excited.

Kenan Thompson said apart from those two things, he was also looking forward to seeing how much money the night would raise for education. "Education is the most important thing that you have, you know what I mean?" he told THR. "That's your one, true power: your knowledge and wisdom." His fellow SNL castmember Heidi Gardner echoed that sentiment. "Education is everything," she told THR. The most important thing, she added, was that teachers felt supported and were encouraged to be passionate about what they do, because they have the most important jobs.

Proceeds from the charity auction, led by Christie's Robbie Gordy, went to the educational and scientific programs the museum offers. He auctioned prime seats watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade from the museum's steps, with breakfast for 25 people, which sold for $18,000 to two different attendees, and the chance to attend a live taping of SNL and an afterparty with the cast for $45,000. Many contributions were made from the final auction item, an anonymous trustee agreed to match up to $1 million in donations.

"It's fun to see extremely wealthy New Yorkers bid and see what that life is like that I am not a part of," Gardner said, laughing.

The SNL castmembers in attendance also shared how much they were looking forward to having alum Will Ferrell host the show again this week. Gardner said he even blow-dried part of her hair as she was getting ready for the gala.

"Everybody just wants to write for him," she said. "It's the most unselfish week ever 'cause you're like, 'I just want you to talk. I'll react and watch you.'"

Though the castmembers didn't reveal what exactly viewers could expect, they did promise it's going to be hilarious, as everything always is with Ferrell.

"He can say anything and barely move a muscle, and it's still so funny," Bowen Yang told THR. "You realize how happy he makes people. He means so much to so many people across generations and age groups."

The Jonas Brothers played a few of their biggest songs to conclude the night. They opened with "Only Human," a song from their newest album, Happiness Begins, heard on radio stations across the country. Then they played "Cool," the second single they released from their album. "This is just like our tours," they joked, in regard to the age of the audience, the black-tie attire and being in the museum, under the giant whale.

The brothers continued with Nick Jonas' "Jealous," which got some of the attendees on their feet, and followed that with "Cake by the Ocean," by DNCE, the band for which Joe Jonas was frontman during the Jonas Brothers' split. "If you've been to a wedding in the last two years, you've heard this song," Joe Jonas said. By the end of it, everyone was dancing.

As public school boys who grew up in Wyckoff, N.J., Joe Jonas said they went to the American Museum of Natural History often, so it meant a lot for them to be performing at the gala, celebrating the museum's 150th year. Then they played one of their older songs, "Burnin' Up," and, of course, ended the night with "Sucker," which was just nominated for a Grammy.