John Oliver Brings Down the House at Museum of the Moving Image Honors for Charlie Rose, HBO’s Richard Plepler

John Oliver at the Museum of
Jemal Countess/Getty Images

The Museum of the Moving Image honored HBO CEO Richard Plepler and long-time television journalist Charlie Rose at a dinner June 11 at the St. Regis New York.

Several of the honorees’ colleagues and friends came out in support, including former “Today Show” host Bryant Gumbel, “Girls” actresses Allison Williams and Zosia Mamet and special guest John Oliver of the cabler’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” who gave an uproarious opening to the evening.

“I was looking before I came out here at the [Museum of the Moving Image] program for this week, and I hope you’ll join for their June the 14th screening of ‘Showgirls.’ For some reason there is a screening of ‘Showgirls’ on June the 14th and it’s presented by some guy who wrote a book about it. The Atlantic reviewed his book thusly. It said: ‘His book definitely demonstrates that “Showgirls” is a coherent statement and that its excess and its ridiculousness and its tastelessness are not arbitrary, but thematic,’” Oliver said. “It was supposed to be shit. We just didn’t understand it. It’s lessons like that that the museum teaches us. It’s worth going to Queens for. That’s what we’ve learned. You can watch ‘Showgirls’ and interact with puppets.”

Plepler used much of his speech to honor Rose, even including impressions of President Bill Clinton and Henry Kissinger.

“I’m very thrilled to share this evening with my old friend Charlie Rose,” he said. “No one represents excellence and quality in television better than Charlie Rose — it’s as simple as that. There’s a great wonderful line that [Mikhail] Baryshnikov had about Fred Astaire: ‘The rest of us are dancing and he’s doing something else.’ Every single day, Charlie Rose is doing something else.”

Rose was then introduced by his “CBS This Morning” co-anchors Norah O’Donnell and Gayle King, alongside exec producer Yvette Vega.

“We’re here tonight because with Charlie Rose, one woman is never enough,” O’Donnell said. The women each reflected on Rose’s mind, soul and heart.

“I don’t deserve any of that,” Rose said. “What you’ve just seen is part of what my success has been about. I have chosen and been lucky to have and be surrounded by women who are smarter, more thoughtful, more elegant than I was, and who were able to work with me towards a shared goal. Never has any man been so grateful to have so many great women associated with him.”

Rose also returned the flattery to Plepler saying that his work at HBO “has made television today the place that people want to be.”

The evening could be wrapped up in one excerpt from King’s dedication: “We love us some Charlie Rose.”

Bryant Gumbel, Charlie Rose, Fareed Zakaria and Richard Plepler at the Museum of the Moving Image dinner(Bryant Gumbel, Charlie Rose, Fareed Zakaria and Richard Plepler at the Museum of the Moving Image dinner)

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