Given that Lorne Michaels and his wife, Alice, are gala chairs, it should come as no surprise that practically the entire “Saturday Night Live” cast was at the Museum of Natural History Museum Gala on Thursday night.
In fact, it was quite the ecumenical affair, with almost all shades of the NBC peacock accounted for — Fallon’s crew of Steve Higgins and Questlove; “SNL” ’s Aidy Bryant, Kenan Thompson, Taran Killam, Kate McKinnon, Jay Pharoah, Beck Bennett, Kyle Mooney, Sasheer Zamata, Pete Davidson, Colin Jost, and this week’s host, Cameron Diaz; even Al Roker showed up, taking a likely much-needed break from uncomfortably shifting in his “Today” show seat this week.
The casts cross-pollinated by the bar. “I’m always on dessert,” Bobby Moynihan of “SNL” said after procuring a Jack and ginger. He was discussing something he calls “green pie,” his contribution to Thanksgiving. “It’s a Moynihan tradition. It’s pretty much green Jell-O with a little whipped cream mixed in. It looks like old cheesecake, but it tastes pretty spectacular.”
The crowd eventually migrated down to the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life, sitting for dinner under the big blue whale. “I wanted to welcome you all here in the Museum of Natural History. This is such a beautiful and historic building, and just like most places on Central Park West, nobody lives here,” host Tina Fey cracked. Expectedly, her opening remarks had the room roaring.
The evening was honoring Tom Brokaw; Fey, of course, put the award in perspective. “Tonight we honor Tom Brokaw. However, next week Tom is being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom…from the President…at the White House,” she said. “But Tom says he’s thrilled about both awards and that he has a special place in mind for this one. He’s going to put it right under the other award, so people can see it better.”