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Pre-Gaming The Time 100: Who Will Be There? And Will Any Of Them Be Named "Clooney?"

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Tomorrow night is the Time 100, the newsweekly's annual gala celebrating the most influential people on the planet, as selected by a panel of magazine "experts" and not by the frenzied Internet voters clicking in droves to vote for Rain. (Actually, Rain only clocked in at #3 after leading for most of the on-line voting, because Stephen Colbert and videogamer Shigeru Miyamoto also have frenzied internet voters on their side. People living in their parents' basements have a lot of time on their hands, man.) But, I digress! Because tomorrow night will be all about star-studden influentialness, swirling together in a potent mixture of winners from this year and years past (cue awkward "Oh, you weren't re-nominated this year?" moment), mixed in further with the various VIPs, friends of VIPs and fancied-up bloggers invited to mingle at the cocktail party and dutifully chronicle the glories unfolding around them. (Glories = Clooney, who will be in attendance. Also, BJ Novak!).

What, you want to know more? Well then, more I shall give you! In addition to the scheduled entertainment (Mariah Carey and Herbie Hancock, both probably in matching itsy-bitsy miniskirts, plus SNL dynamic duo Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers, who somehow have time for this on the Thursday night before the first live show in 3 weeks), the honorees double as entertainment, conscripted annually to deliver various toasts from the floor about who has influenced them and why. This year's toasters will include presumptive GOP presidential candidate (and presumptive-not-voter-for-George-Bush-in-2000) John McCain, who will be the only candidate in attendance unless someone tells Hillary Clinton the place will be packed with drunk, easy superdelegates; Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo. (um, wouldn't that make her a chairwoman, Time?); Tyler Perry, hopefully dressed up like a mad black woman, 'cause that's a good look for him; Craig Venter (he built the first synthetic genome, sheesh, have I taught you nothing?); Robert Downey Jr. (Julian gives good, er, toast); and Lance Armstrong (I have no punch line here, because it's Lance freaking Armstrong. He's strong enough to give a toast?)

Other celebs expected to attend, according to the tip sheet: Chris Rock (! who is awesome), Tina Fey, Judd Apatow, Lorne Michaels, Ethan Hawke, Rupert Murdoch, (Rupe! How'd you get Paul Steiger to write such nice things about you?), Suze Orman, Peter Gabriel, Angelica Huston, Taylor Hackford, Michelle Williams (from Destiny's Child, not Dawson's Creek), Matt Lauer, Gayle King, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Charlie Rose, Christiane Amanpour, Brian Williams, Bill O'Reilly, Martha Stewart and....last but not least....Jimmy Wales sans retributive ex-girlfriend Rachel Marsden. If you don't know who that is, check Wikipedia.

No word, alas, on whether nominee Bruce Springsteen will be there, or Miley Cyrus and her naked back. So who knows, we might leave in a huff. Actually, though the recognizable celebs are always the rage at these events, there are some truly incredible people being honored (Deep Brain Stimulator Nicholas Schiff, I'm lookin' at you), never mind the equally luminous luminaries that Rick Stengel somehow co-opted into writing about them all for his magazine. So, maybe we'll go.

p.s. For the record, our vote was with Amy Poehler, because you can't turn on your freakin' TV these days without seeing someone from the UCB. Go ahead, try. Jack McBrayer, Rob Riggle, the Human Giant guys, Casey Wilson, Jason Sudeikis...the list goes on. Oh and also there's the Hillary thing. And the Baby Mama thing. And the pushback against the stupid "chicks aren't funny" thing. But that's okay, Time, there's always next year!