Arts and Entertainment
Robert De Niro, Carlos Slim honored by the Friars Club
It takes some major cojones to make fun of the world’s richest man, but Ben Stiller did just that when Carlos Slim was honored by the Friars Club at its Foundation Gala on Tuesday.
“You’re a Friar?” Stiller exclaimed of Mexican mogul Slim at the ceremony that also celebrated Robert De Niro. “That’s so weird . . . are you opening a hotel or something with Bob? That’s crazy, I thought you had to be funny to be a Friar. I guess if you’re the richest person in the world you can do anything.” (Then again, Stiller’s brave razzing came via video and not face-to-face.)
After Warren Buffett and Paul Anka duetted on a song dedicated to Slim and De Niro, Larry King cracked, “You feel proud Carlos? It’s the first time Warren Buffett has gotten dressed in 40 years.”
De Niro humorously said of the Friars honor:
‘“As you approach the stage in life I like to call the [Don] Rickles stage . . . You get older, you get shorter, you get Jewish and then you become a Friar. You start arguing who has the best smoked fish. You start asking questions with questions. ‘Bob, would you accept the entertainment icon award?’ ‘What, you couldn’t get Billy Crystal?’ ”’
Sting, Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder performed. The “Raging Bull” star was also fêted by Sharon Stone, Edward Norton, David O. Russell, Christopher Walken, Meryl Streep and Martin Scorsese. Joel McHale joked of De Niro’s prolific career: “There was an awkward moment when he was handed a menu earlier and he signed on to star in it.”