The American Cinematheque gala invariably turns into a roast of the honoree and Thursday's ceremony gently ribbed producer Jerry Bruckheimer at the Beverly Hilton.
There was a lot of talk of seeing Bruckheimer naked from those who played hockey with him as well as others including helmer Jon Turteltaub.
He also talked of Bruckheimer's mentoring. "I learned to make a $200 million movie. You start with a $100 million movie," he said.
Ben Kingsley spoke of Bruckheimer's care of actors during the "Prince of Persia" shoot, which took place in summer in Morocco where the temps frequently hit 120 degress. "Jerry kept lots of bottles of water so we were hydrated enough to say our lines," he deadpanned. "An actor may have fallen off his horse and died."
Singing his praises were Helen Mirren, Jon Voight, Hans Zimmer, Diane Warren, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Armie Hammer, while Nicolas Cage, Tom Cruise and Eric Bana were among those sending videotaped wishes.
Former L.A. Kings hockey star Wayne Gretzky and Luc Robitaille got on the podium too. "I've never seen so many people to present one award," Gretzky said.
Finally Bruce Willis made the actual presentation quoting Bruckheimer as saying, "he's just a guy with his hand in the popcorn but tonight he's getting something else in his hand."
But Bruckheimer got the last word, "I'm surrounded by Hollywood royalty including a knight and a dame," he said referring to Kingsley and Mirren. He also mentioned his late partners Don Simpson and Tony Scott and thanked Disney "for the past chapter and Paramount for the next chapter."
Quoting Winston Churchill the producer said, "We're known not by the monuments we build but by the monuments we've destroyed and I've got quite a track record: The Eiffel Tower, the White House, Alcatraz to say nothing of a city like Shanghai."