He even persuaded Chris Rock to serve as MC for the gala, which raised over $1.5 million. Despite stating he was more nervous than when he hosted the Oscars, Rock was his usual irreverent self and stated, “I know this is a great cause, and Steven is one of the nicest guys in the business, but be honest: A lot of you are here to kiss Steven and Jeffrey Katzenberg’s ass.”

He also congratulated American Idol’s Tamyra Gray, who belted out two scorching songs from her new album, and said, “She’s like Whitney Houston, before the crack.” Rock was so moved by the mission, he purchased a diamond ring for his Mom ($25,000) during the live auction

The evening was particularly rewarding to disabled teenage Lauren Henderson, who aspires to write and make movies, when Speilberg offered a six week internship on his next flick. Spielberg summed up the evening by saying “I’ve never felt so embraced and warm as I feel tonight.”