Host Conan O’Brien ribbed President Obama on the traffic problems he causes in Los Angeles every time he pays a visit recently at the Ambassadors For Humanity USC Shoah Foundation 20th Anniversary Benefit Gala in Century City.
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Founder Steven Spielberg feted the Prez, who also received the USC Shoah Foundation’s Ambassador for Humanity Award. The packed house was filled with celebrities including Liam Neeson, who introduced the evening, Kim Kardashian, Barbara Streisand and hubby James Brolin, Phil Rosenthal with his lovely daughter Lily, Rita Wilson, (her hubby Tom Hanks was in London filming,) Tom’s talented actor son Colin Hanks, Octavia Spencer, Sam Jackson, Judge Judy Sheinlin and hoards of VIPS.
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Bruce Springsteen sang haunting versions of “Promised Land” and “Dancing In The Dark.” Conan struck the right chord throughout the night and playfully teased Obama and the traffic nightmares his motorcade causes. “Mr. President, I’m so honored to be with you here but honestly it’s tough on us when you come into town. I know you left Washington six hours ago, I left Burbank seven hours ago.” Conan continued, “There are two things that make traffic shut down here, one is a Presidential visit, the other is a light drizzle. Hey how about Skype? Skype works! You owe everyone here a ride home in your helicopter. “ Speaking about the award that Obama was about to receive, Conan quipped, “This event always grabs big names. Last year George Clooney was honored. Lets face it, this award is a chick magnet.”
Spielberg, who founded the foundation after making the acclaimed Schindler’s List, gave a heartfelt speech, followed by Obama’s. The President gave tribute to superstar Steven by saying, “Steven didn’t stop with Schlinder’s List, because there were too many other stories to tell. So he created this foundation to undertake what he called ‘a rescue mission,’ preserving the memories that would otherwise be lost to time. Over the past two decades, you freed voices who could tell their story in their own way. You’ve turned that testimony into tools that could be used by scholars all over the world.” A worthy night for a worthy cause that all generations should most definitely know about.
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