Leave it to Chris Rock to put things into perspective. “I know this is a great cause and Steven is known as one of the nicest guys in this business, but be honest: A lot of you are here to kiss Steven and Jeffrey Katzenberg’s ass,” the host said, kicking off the Starlight Starbright Foundation’s gala dinner honoring the helmer.
“I’m a father myself, so I’ve tried to do whatever I can over the years for this group,” said Spielberg, who serves as chairman emeritus of the org, which offers programs for seriously ill children and their families.
Many of the kids were guests at the BevHilton, along with Katzenberg, Joe Pantoliano, Debbie Allen, Phylicia Rashad, “American Idol’s” Tamyra Gray and Teri Hatcher, who auctioned off a lunch with herself and “Desperate Housewives” beau James Denton for $100,000.
And while Rock kept his material PG-13 for the most part (“I’m more nervous now than I was hosting the Oscars, ’cause this is really important”), a couple of zingers did slip in. Like after a clip was shown explaining the foundation’s mission, he quipped, “You know, a couple of kids in there didn’t look that sick.” Groans all around.