‘Empire’s’ Taraji P. Henson Previews ‘SNL’ Host Gig at Samsung Dinner

“I have a thick long resume, so I’m sure they have lots to pull from,” Henson tells TheWrap at the intimate Samsung Galaxy S6 dinner party

Last Updated: April 4, 2015 @ 10:28 AM

On the eve of Easter and Passover, 29 Hollywood trendsetters and phone evangelists huddled for a “first supper” event Thursday night for the Samsung Galaxy S6.

Aaron Paul, Aaron Rogers, Olivia Munn, Kate Bosworth, Zoe Saldana, Michael Polish and a small orbit of managers, lawyers, and pr reps found their seats around a mirrored u-shaped table inside the blue-washed Quixote studios by finding their name on a phone screen.

Inside Quixote Studios in West Hollywood on Thursday night. (Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

Table for 29, please. (Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

Launching new flagship phones Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, Samsung placed the new wirelessly charging product as place cards, debuting the products at the event Thursday night, eight days before their release.

Marco Perego, Zoe Saldana, Kate Boswoth, and Michael Polish. (Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

Marco Perego, Zoe Saldana, Kate Boswoth and Michael Polish. (Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

In a Paleozoic tech era years ago, Joe Rogan chided my conception that celebrities get special model phones and technology, but Zoe Saldana, who earned her stripes as a technology pioneer via James Cameron’s inventions for “Avatar,” came out definitively.

“We kind of do (get things early),” she told The Party Report after giving one of my pals from E! News a YouTube-worthy training session on the technology moments earlier.

Civilians and the rest of the world can get their hands on them next Friday, April 10 — which I am sure will nest nicely with festival shots at Coachella.

Cookie and Jessie.

Cookie and Jessie.

By then, one guest will be too deep in rehearsals at 30 Rock to care about your floral crown.

“Empire” star Taraji P. Henson had just come off a plane from New York, having spoken at Syracuse University on Wednesday. She’ll be headed right back to the Empire State (ahem) to start prepping for her April 11 “Saturday Night Live” hosting gig, with Mumford and Sons as the musical guest.

“No one has called to give me advice,” Henson told The Party Report. “I’ve just been watching a lot of old episodes, trying to get my head around what they might throw at me. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a lot of characters I portrayed.”

Olivia Munn and Aaron Rogers.

Olivia Munn and Aaron Rogers


“I have a thick, long resume, so I’m sure they have lots to pull from,” Henson continued.

“SNL” already weighed in on the Fox hit last month, with Chris Hemsworth playing a dorky Dockers new office manager “Chip” in a fake promo. Henson approved of Sasheer Zamata’s turn as “Cookie.”

“It was  hilarious — ‘Take a dip, Chip,’” Henson quoted verbatim, recalling Zamata’s line that accompanied a hand missile directed at Hemsworth’s head.

Taking a dip is not something artist Alec Monopoly ever does to his identity-obscuring face bandanna, but for the seven-course menu from art exhibit-meets-dinner party Wolvesmouth, the red bandanna dropped.

“What if we can’t figure it out? Do we starve to death?” Henson yelled out after hosts instructed guests to pick their courses and wine pairings through the phone. Alec Monopoly’s bandanna would “dip” for dinner. (Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

Crab toast and pear skin ice floated past Monopoly, fresh off a weekend at Ultra music festival in Miami and the late mornings with the biggest electronic acts in the world, down towards Brian Lichtenberg, the designer famous for the “Homies” line.

Brian Lichtenberg is one of the tech homies.

Brian Lichtenberg is one of the tech homies. (Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

A few seats away, Saldana and Kate Bosworth flanked Samsung’s Joanne Lovato at the head, while across the table Rogers snagged Munn’s dessert to make the score 2-0 for the Packers QB against his “Newsroom” star girlfriend in the sweets course scoreboard.

Munn is no stranger to Samsung events, having attended several over the years. It’s not surprising, remembering her early days as the tech it-girl on G4’s “Attack of the Show” in the mid 2000s.

Polish and Bosworth got the Edge. (Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

Polish and Bosworth got the Edge. (Michael Buckner/Getty Images)


GQ-ready DJ Zen Freeman got some bites in at the table before slipping out the side to start warming up the few hundred invitees in the larger studio next door for a performance by Chromeo.

Chromeo's David Macklovitch takes the lead. (Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images)

Chromeo’s David Macklovitch takes the lead. (Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images)


Just after midnight, the Chromeo duo would begin an hour long set, featuring last year’s hit “Jealous.” That’s not the same “Jealous” as Nick Jonas’ current hit, as his brother Joe Jonas (there in the crowd) could have attested.

As for the phones themselves, the tech press is lobbing superlative blurbs: “Best phone in years” – Engdadget,  “First great smartphone of 2015” – CNET.

Chromeo's Patrick Gemayel and the lineup for carnivores. (Getty Images)

Chromeo’s Patrick Gemayel and the menu lineup for carnivores. (Getty Images)

With a coordinated global launch, they threw nearly simultaneous world events. Hollywood, these are your counterparts in Hong Kong...

With a coordinated global launch, they threw nearly simultaneous world events. Hollywood, these are your counterparts in Hong Kong…

..and a familiar blue hue in Singapore, on April 1. (Getty Images)

..and a familiar blue hue in Singapore, on April 1. (Getty Images)

In West Hollywood, ex-“Deal or No Deal” models worked the main party room offering to take selfies with guests that admittedly came out great without a flash in low light. Power users like me will be disappointed by the ground-up changes that eliminate swappable batteries and an SD card, but the trade off is wireless charging and a camera I still swear shames the iPhone.

A viral video shows it running after being submerged in water for 25 minutes.

Taraji Henson herself will need to run for three times that long, submerged on live TV for 90 minutes in Studio 8H on April 11.