At Wednesday’s TIME100 Gala honoring some of this year’s most influential people—a group that spans Hollywood stars to heads-down scientists and activists working for change—Jennifer Coolidge wanted something from the other celebrities in the room.
“I think you should all pair up,” the Emmy-winning actress told the star-studded hall at Lincoln Center in New York. The audience laughed. “No, I’m not kidding,” Coolidge responded. “All the famous people in here, I want you to get a buddy. A nerdy buddy.”
Coolidge, a member herself of the 2023 TIME100 and host of the event, recently spoke to TIME about finally being invited to cool parties amid her rocketing career success. Indeed, few attendees on Wednesday night sparked the same paparazzi flurry she did upon arriving.
“I made a fake fart video with JLo and I got 2 million followers,” Coolidge announced incredulously. “Peter,” she said addressing glacier scientist Peter Davis, who was honored alongside fellow glacier scientist Britney Schmidt for research on an Antarctic glacier that is melting at a concerning rate, “I could barely find you on Google.”
“Peter, you know, go shadow Doja Cat, right?” Coolidge continued, to increasing cheers. “She can sing on the glacier while you guys, like, twerk behind her. Just think of how many followers you could get! It’s very unfair.”
Coolidge used her opening monologue to play matchmaker with other attendees, too, pairing Ed Reynolds, a project manager working to keep asteroids from colliding with Earth, with Elvis star Austin Butler and nuclear engineer Andrea Kritcher with director Steven Spielberg.
“You see why this event is so exciting,” she said. “It’s bringing people together. Because there’s many different kinds of influence [and] intellect. And with our powers combined, I think we can reach more people than ever. Even more than a fake fart.”
The TIME100 special airs Sunday at 7/6c on ABC and streams on Hulu and Disney+.
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