Malibu Seen: All-star salute for Stiller

Get Ben Stiller in a room and you can always expect lots of laughs. That’s why the “Tropic Thunder” star was all smiles as he was honored by the American Cinematheque at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. 

Locals like Jeffrey Katzenberg got gussied up and joined A-list stars like Jack Black, Will Ferrell and Jennifer Aniston to fete the famous funnyman. Each one introduced memorable (and not so memorable) film clips from Ben’s career. Jen and Ben’s wife Christine Taylor both showed off their perfectly toned shoulders, with Jen in a black and white strapless number while Christine wowed in red. 

On the more serious side, President Bill Clinton appeared in a video tribute saluting Ben’s humanitarian works in Haiti. On the lighter side, out-of-this-world actor William Shatner asked whether “anyone has ever done a DNA on Ben.” Funny runs in the family. His parents are the old school comedy team of Stiller and Meara. Katzenberg recalled Ben saying he wanted to do the “Madagascar” movie for his kids. Ben didn’t have any at the time but, Jeffrey mused, “Sure enough, by the time ‘Madagascar’ came out, he had two.” Pals and colleagues noted Ben’s attention to detail, especially in his upcoming flick, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” Ben’s list of credits is impressive with films including “Night at the Museum,” “Meet the Fockers,” “There’s Something about Mary,” “Zoolander” and “Anchorman.” 

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When Jack Black took the stage, he appeared to be giving Ben’s eulogy, and then quipped, “What, he’s not dead yet? What are we all doing here?” 

At the end of the evening, Ben took the stage to accept his award, saying, “It’s nice to get an award for nothing specific. It’s like there’s no single one thing you did, but when you add it all up, there’s something there.” 

Curtain Call

It’s an all new 2013 season coming up at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. 

It kicks off on a high note in January when “Dream Girls” comes to town. Then get ready to get twisted with acrobats, jugglers and contortionists squeezing into gratifying defying shapes at the Shanghai Circus. 

Crooner Steve Tyrell will participate in “Visions of America—A Celebration of Democracy,” a program that will also include Gershwin’s “Piano Concert in F.” 

In February, get ready to experience life on “The D List” as Kathy Griffin dishes the dirt on Hollywood. Also in February, philanthropist and best-selling author Caroline Kennedy will share her political insights in the “Distinguished Speaker Series,” world traveler Rick Steves will have plenty of travel tips on hand and, for the kids, join Snoopy and the gang for “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.” 

There’s more music in the spring with “The Coasters,” “Grease” and “Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.” So, if find yourself needing a diversion after the holidays, the plaza might be just the ticket. 

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