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Carlton Cuse was honored Tuesday night at Variety‘s annual event for Hollywood’s New Leaders, presented by BMW. Cuse was recognized for mentoring others in the biz — and who better to present Cuse’s award than Damon Lindelof.

“Just over 15 years ago, I got a call from my agent,” Lindelof said, recalling how he was first introduced to Cuse. Garnering laughter from the crowd on the chic outdoor patio at the SLS, the “Lost” co-creator said, “The only Carlton I was familiar with was the one from ‘Fresh Prince.'”

In all seriousness, Lindelof touted Cuse for his efforts in supporting the careers of others, pointing out that 31 of the writers who have worked with Cuse have gone on to run their own shows.

Cuse received Variety’s Creative Leadership Award, following past recipients including Judd Apatow and Jerry Weintraub. “I love TV for many reasons, but none other than it is a collaborative medium,” Cuse said in his speech.

See More: For Carlton Cuse, Collaboration Is the Key to Creativity

Though Cuse and Lindelof’s “Lost” reunion was a highlight of the schmoozing soirée, the night was also about celebrating the industry’s heavy-hitting up-and-comers, who were listed in a special Variety issue released Tuesday morning. Cocktail-hour-goers caught up over passed bites including chicken croquettes, duck potstickers, and sliders, while sipping on wine, bubbly and Peroni.”American Horror Story’s” Sarah Paulson was on hand in support of her sister, Liz Paulson who is VP of casting at 20th Century Fox, along with Amanda Righetti, who co-stars in “Colony,” Cuse’s upcoming USA drama.

Cuse wrapped up his speech by offering advice to those gathered. “To all of you new leaders, congrats,” he said. “Keep it up, and one day you’ll be old leaders, which doesn’t have quite the nice ring to it.”

(Pictured: Variety’s Debra Birnbaum and Steven Gaydos flank Damon Lindelof and Creative Leadership Award winner Carlton Cuse)