Starkey Gala 2016: We ask Johnny Depp about Pokémon, Jay Leno about Prince

Alice Cooper and his wife Sheryl with Johnny Depp at the Starkey Hearing Foundation gala.

Alice Cooper and his wife Sheryl with Johnny Depp at the Starkey Hearing Foundation gala.

The annual Starkey Hearing Foundation gala ropes in an eclectic pool of talent and fame that includes high-profile politicians, celebrities, musicians, and revered athletes.

Last year? Bill Clinton, Katy Perry, and George W. Bush. This year? Jennifer Garner, Johnny Depp, and Tony Blair, to name just a few. Unfortunately, all three were too occupied to respond to City Pages. Instead we got Jay Leno, Buzz Aldrin, Evander Holyfield, and others. 

Below are some interview highlights from Sunday's red carpet event outside the RiverCentre in St. Paul. P.S.: We caught a Machop!

Jay Leno (comedian, longtime Tonight Show host)

On hanging out with Prince: "We wouldn’t seem to have a lot in common but whenever he would come to the show, we would have long talks.

"He was generally a gentle soul, I really liked him. And he had a great sense of humor. He was very funny. One time I dressed up like a security guard when he came in and pretended to not know who he was. I said ‘Mr. Prince is your name, is that right?’ But he didn’t get pissed off and then when he found out it was me, he laughed."

Alice Cooper and his wife Sheryl Cooper with Johnny Depp at Sunday's Starkey Hearing Foundation gala at St. Paul's RiverCentre

Alice Cooper and his wife Sheryl Cooper with Johnny Depp at Sunday's Starkey Hearing Foundation gala at St. Paul's RiverCentre

Buzz Aldrin (as seen on the fucking moon landing)

On his Google search history: [After some basic pleasantries, we asked Mr. Aldrin if he remembers what he Googled last. He smiled and turned to what we assume was his secretary/assistant, suggesting she did most of the Google searching. He then promptly walked away. We're afraid this question made him uncomfortable. Also, he thought my name was Ronnie.] 

Matt Blair (former Vikings player)

On his favorite Minnesota athlete: "I would say the Purple People Eaters. The guys in the front that help me all the time."

Frankie Muniz (actor, Malcolm in the Middle)

On potential Malcolm reunion and castmate Bryan Cranston: "Bryan and I have talked about it. I joked about it a year ago on Twitter and then people picked up on it. I ended up calling [Bryan] and Jane Kaczmarek and the creator of the show, Linwood Boomer. We discussed it. Everyone is into it, especially Bryan. He wants to take the project into his hands. He’s kind of a Hollywood god right now, so, if anyone could get it done, it’s him. The coolest thing about Bryan is he’s honestly the nicest guy on the planet."

Cedric the Entertainer (comedian, Original Kings of Comedy)

On his recent "town hall" meeting with dozens of black celebrities at his home: "The meeting was just a group of people who were concerned about all the violence that was going on, like again [Sunday] in Baton Rouge. So, we were just really sad about that. Everyone’s been tweeting. So, we wanted to get people together and say, ‘What can we really do?’ Just talk ideas, not going out and running into the streets. Not everybody just hashtagging what they think. Just really to go out there and get some information.

"We brought some legislators in, we brought some precinct people in, some mayors, people who were trying to give us constructive ideas of what’s going on and how to continue and figure out how to heal this country. Because that’s what we need to do."

Evander Holyfield (former heavyweight boxing champ, victim of infamous Tyson ear attack, longtime Starkey supporter)

On the Starkey Hearing Foundation: "I used to be a kid, and I am who I am today, because someone like the Starkey Foundation gave me an opportunity and I made the best of it. So, they’re now giving me the opportunity to shine with them and be part of this campaign."

Steven Bauer (actor, Scarface, Breaking Bad)

Machop, seen standing next to Jay Leno

Machop, seen standing next to Jay Leno

On the upcoming Scarface remake: "I don’t know much about it, I don’t even know it’s really happening. There’s been a couple of hoaxes going on. There was a big article about Leonardo DiCaprio [being in it] and I saw him in person and he said he had no idea, so that doesn’t make any sense."

Alice Cooper (rock 'n' roll icon, avid conservative-minded golfer)

On whether he’s planning on playing golf with Donald Trump: "We’re in Fargo tomorrow. But we’re both in and out."

Johnny Depp (movies, most of them)

When asked if he plays Pokemon Go: [No response.]