Malibu Seen / By Kim Devore

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Greater L.A. Zoo Association director John Lewis celebrates creature comforts with actress Sarah Michelle Gellar, GLAZA co-chair Betty White, Sammie the shingleback skink and GLAZA president Connie Morgan. Photo by Jamie Pham

A ROARING GOOD TIME

Animal lovers gathered under the stars and walked and talked with the animals at The Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association’s 42nd Annual Beastly Ball. Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard J. Riordan and actress Sarah Michelle Gellar were two of this year’s honorees.

Beastly Ball guests, decked out in their very best safari attire, strolled through the zoo grounds to visit with its local residents. They also lined up for the new LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates and Reptiles) habitat. The unique exhibit opened in March.

It was feeding time for lots of the critters, but there was plenty of tasty chow for the two-legged visitors as well. They served up fixings from some of the city’s best, including Bar Celona, Canel/, Celestino Ristorante and Bar, Clancy’s Crab Broiler, El Cholo, Fabiolus Caf/, The Federal Bar, Glorious Gourmet Catering & Garnish Caf/, Green Street Restaurant, Il Fornaio, Ix Tapa Restaurant & Cantina, Jersey Mike’s Subs, Maison Akira, Momed, ever popular Pink’s Famous Hot Dogs, Taix French Restaurant and Villa Sorriso, along with delights from Yummy Cupcakes to satisfy the sweet tooth.

Along the way, guests enjoyed up close and personal animal walk-abouts and chats with zookeepers, as well as entertainment by groups playing jazz, traditional African music and California rumba. Some opted for henna tattoos, while others put down bids at the silent auction, which featured hundreds of one-of-a-kind items.

The formal program was hosted by comedian Jimmy Pardo and began with a performance by Makoto Taiko drummers. Pardo also handled spirited bidding on the live auction, which raised $112,500, including a “behind the scenes” tour and dinner at the zoo with Betty White. That hot ticket went to two bidders for $10,000 a piece. Dancing to music from popular D.J. Morningstar topped off this year’s walk on the wild side.

The GLAZA gala attracted 800 animal fans and raised more than $1,120,000.

For nearly five decades, GLAZA has funded exhibits, plant and animal species conservation, capital projects, and education and community outreach programs at the Los Angeles Zoo, an international leader in the preservation of endangered species and a conservation center for the care and study of wildlife.

COMEDY CENTRAL

Fans of Jon Stewart and members of the Colbert Nation are resting easier knowing that the dynamic comedy duo will be back for another two years. Stewart and his sidekick Stephen Colbert have received two-year contract extensions, which keep their hilarious, late-night hour in place. Stewart’s previous deal was scheduled to expire next summer. Now he’ll be at the helm of “The Daily Show” until mid 2015.

Colbert’s new agreement will take him through the end of 2014. He serves as not only the host, but also the executive producer and writer of “The Colbert Report.”

Both shows are wildly popular with the highly desired 18 to 49-viewer demo. So look forward to more political laughs in the years ahead.