There’s nothing better than Jon Stewart away from “Comedy Central,” doing standup. To get the crowd of media types at last night’s dinner for the Museum of the Moving Image in the mood, Stewart referred to the ornately draped and chandeliered rooftop ballroom at the St. Regis Hotel as being “inside Marie Antoinette’s vagina.” Then he went on the attack against Congressman Anthony Weiner. “He has to investigate if the picture is him,” Stewart said of Weiner’s now infamous crotch Twitter picture. “I don’t know if he thinks his penis robbed the Bellagio. I don’t know.” He added, shaking his head in disbelief: “There are few things I’m certain about. That The Empire Strikes Back is the best Star Wars movie, that OJ killed those two people, and what my [penis] looks like.”
Stewart was hilarious. about Weiner, but then he went after NBC News anchor Brian Williams, one of the night’s two honorees. “You’re so funny…A lot of people don’t know this, he started out in news. Obviously, he’s transitioned very nicely… you killed Bin Laden…no, I’m kidding. Brian does amazing work. He’d be the first one to say he does…The Nightly News, they just go through the obituaries to see how many viewers they have left.”
Williams, who brought his wife and daughter, Allison (soon to be seen in HBO’s “Girls”), didn’t mind hitting back at Stewart. Thinking the comic had left the room, Williams free-styled his own bits about Stewart’s lack of height. He joked they often went for rides with Stewart sitting on his lap to reach the pedals of his car. Stewart was actually not gone, but just outside of earshot in the vestibule, making a call. He likely heard much of Williams’s good natured rant. The NBC anchor said Stewart was “lovely but parasitic. Remember, there’s no him without us.”
Stewart also had fun with Donald Trump‘s pizza date with Sarah Palin. “Donald Trump took Sarah Palin to La Famiglia, a chain pizza restaurant on 50th and Broadway. Why don’t you take a sh– in Fiorella LaGuardia’s hat and feed it to the crying ghost of Joe DiMaggio? You sonofabitch,” Stewart added.
All of this took place, by the way, in front of an austere crowd that included museum leader Herb Schlosser, Steve Burke, the new head of NBC, Steve Capus, NBC News chief, Discover Network chief David Zaslav (who’s Oprah’s new boss), “Saturday Night Live” star Kristen Wiig and newer cast member Vanessa Bayer, Showtime chief Matt Blank, and the evening’s other honoree, the very impressive and good natured Kenneth Lowe, head of Scripps Interactive, the man responsible for HGTV and the Food Network. ESPN Chairman Emeritus Herb Granath was there, too, with his wife, former soap actress Ann Flood (she played Nancy Karr on “The Edge of Night” for eons and looks terrific.) Universal Pictures chief Ron Meyer stopped by earlier, but missed all this frivolity because he was due at an event honoring Revlon chief Ronald Perelman across town.
PS Great evening put on by Gary Springer and Ellen Delsener.