Women in Hollywood gala night of laughs

If it were up to Carol Burnett, Alec Baldwin would be hosting the upcoming Oscar ceremony. As she took the dais to introduce her “chum” and Legend Award honoree Julie Andrews at Monday night’s Elle Women in Hollywood event, Burnett said she’d give him her vote to emcee the kudocast.

Baldwin killed as host of the Elle event. And with helmer Adam Shankman in the room — on the eve of the announcement that he would be one of the Oscar show producers — it’s possible that Baldwin now sits on the hosting shortlist.

Andrews added: “You, my dear Alec, have been legendary for years. You’re delicious.”

It almost felt as if it was more Baldwin’s night than that of the eight women being honored by the women’s mag at the Beverly Hills Four Seasons.

“I didn’t steal this role from a more qualified woman,” he insisted. “I worked just as hard as the ladies to get this job.” He said he’d demanded to be paid two-thirds of a male host’s salary, in solidarity with women over their pay disparity. But he did the gig for free. “So it’s a principled stance that happens to be meaningless,” he admitted.

Baldwin gamely plugged the evening’s sponsors. He thanked “Moet, but not Chandon — you know what you did…” — and he had jokes and jibes for nearly everyone that took the stage. He was relentless with Curtis Hanson, who had gone into too much detail in explaining why honoree Katie Holmes was so talented.

Presenter Bill Nighy also provided a bit of levity, introducing Emily Blunt. “I’ve worked extensively with Emily. She’s played both my daughter and my girlfriend,” he deadpanned.

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