The swells were out in force for the Museum of the Moving Image’s salute to Alec Baldwin on Monday. The black-tie-and-ballgown crowd filled Cipriani 42nd St. to capacity as collaborators and pals spoke glowingly of the thesp to an aud that included Jeff Zucker, Richard Gere, Amy Ryan and Brian Williams.
As usual when comedians are feted, speechmakers delivered a few good-natured pokes. Michael Keaton said of his “Beetlejuice” costar that “there’s really not that much there. But my God, the hair!” Keaton also made the first Charlie Sheen joke of the evening, revealing that Baldwin’s real name was Chaim Levine. “Charlie really hits it so hard,” Keaton mused. ” ‘Chuck Lorre, whose name is Chaim Levine.’ I’m not sure what he wants me to do with that information. I have an idea, but I’m not sure.”
Ben Stiller gave a self-deprecating speech, inviting viewers to enjoy the next clip, set at a urinal. “Alec and I were in the unheralded 2004 classic ‘Along Came Polly,’ which is given in film schools the same careful scrutiny a medical examiner gives a corpse,” said Stiller. “In all honesty, Alec, peeing next to you was the highlight of my career. But that’s my problem.”
Tina Fey said of Baldwin’s Jack Donaghy that “not since Archie Bunker has there been a television character that my parents agree with so often.” Fey went on to say that Baldwin made all the difference to “30 Rock,” noting, “I shudder to think what kind of low-rent ‘Two and a Half Men’ show we would have without you. Actually, I’d probably have more money now.”
Baldwin gave as good as he got. Regarding “Beetlejuice,” he remarked, “I think it’s no mystery that we were doing a lot of blow back then. We were screwed out of our minds on cocaine, and that’s where those performances come from.”