In a night full of tributes from Julianna Margulies, Nathan Lane, Alan Cumming and more, is it any surprise Meryl Streep stole the show?
Credit: Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

At the Manhattan Theater Club’s Fall Benefit held in New York on Monday, The Good Wife‘s Christine Baranski was celebrated by the likes of Nathan Lane, Alan Cumming, Chuck Lorre, Julianna Margulies, Cherry Jones, and her Into the Woods director Rob Marshall. But it was — who else? — Meryl Streep whose toast perfectly encapsulated why we all love Baranski.

First up, the sheer breadth of material she’s appeared in, or in Streep’s words: “Her CV is as big and as fat and overstuffed as Donald Trump’s sack of…” Streep also praised Baranski’s discriminating taste. “She’s a connoisseur of martinis and a real wine snob. I once handed her a glass of very, very fine Sancerre and she drew herself up to her full height, and her nose went even higher towards heaven and she said, ‘No, no darling, I never touch a sauvignon grape. I’ll have chardonnay, because apparently there is no gin.'”

Streep went on to describe how the duo became “pretty much best friends”: “Amazingly it took until we were both in our fifties to work together — I think that’s the Bechdel rule at work,” Streep lamented. “But once we did, in Mamma Mia! and Into the Woods, we bonded immediately over our love of musicals and bad boy motorcycling men and martinis and Mike Nichols and the insanity of traveling punishing hours of distances in order to try to be home with our kids and have a career.”

Before her toast was over though, Streep delivered her most sincere adoration with a dash of sly self-deprecation: “I’ve never heard her whine! And people say how can you be friends, because whining is my hobby and it’s an actor’s vocation really. Maybe she’s part actor, part Catholic martyr… but she is a girl who understands that talent schmalent — you have to work really hard to deserve this life that we have been given.”