Dreams, they do come true. Last night in New York City, during Samsung’s Hope for Children Benefit Gala, $1.5 million was raised to benefit children’s health and education programs. That’s on top of the $30 million raised over the entirety of the gala’s existence, which dates back over a decade. At one point during the event, John Legend, who was honored as an ambassador along with Tony Bennett, brought out members of a local school, and they sang a song he had written for them. It was a touching moment, as was a prerecorded speech given by Bill Clinton.
Of much, much, much, much, much, much less importance, I met Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty, whose Yourself or Someone Like You was the first album I ever knew every. single. line. of. The cliché goes that you never want to meet your idols, to which I say: I WANNA PUSH YOU AROUND WELL I WILL I WILL. I’m sorry. The cliché is wrong; Thomas and his wife Marisol are both lovely, kind people, and they’ve started an equally amiable charity called Sidewalk Angels Foundation, a not-for-profit that provides critically needed funds and support to grassroots groups across the country, including many no-kill shelters. Also, Rick Ross was there, obviously.
Here are some photos from the red carpet, taken by Nadia Chaudhury, as well as a few quick Q&As.
Some of your 30 Rock friends are going to be here tonight. What was it like bouncing off Tracy’s insanity?
Tracy’s crazy. The first time I started working with him, he said, “You’re a big girl. We gonna have fun.”
Do you know beloved you say “HAM” is online?
*Laughs* I do. I’ve seen the videos with Beyonce and Willow Smith.
Let’s hypothetically say that there’s someone my age who, when he was in middle school, used to style his hair after yours and once submitted an English poetry assignment about Matchbox and saw you guys five times live. What would you say to such a person, who is most DEFINITELY NOT ME?
I’d say that’s probably one of the most flattering things I could imagine. When I was that age, I used to do the same thing with Michael Stipe.
[NOTE: from here, I mentioned my AIM name was “back2good13.” The rest is too embarrassing.]
I was curious how your Walking Dead campaign is going.
Walking Dead, man. They making me mad. My agent has reached out to them, everyone’s reached out to them, but no one’s gotten back to me. I’m kind of offended, y’know *laughs*.
That they won’t kill you?
Yeah. Turn me, let me turn someone. I want to body somebody’s neck.
You’re working on a pilot, yes?
I’m actually on tour right now, but the one I’m concentrating the most on right now is called The Lair. I own a comic book store in the Bronx. I don’t want to say it’s like The Big Bang Theory, but it’s got that feel to it.
What’s the Grizz quote you hear repeated back to you the most?
“Ned Stark is dead?” I get “smooth move, Ferguson” almost every day. One of my favorites is “World Com, man. World Com.” But yeah, I had a blast doing the show.